Founder of the First Reform Kibbutz
Founder of the First Reform Kibbutz,
Ron Bernstein, to Speak Wednesday, December 14th at 6:00 PM
Dinner at Select, 880 S. Pine Street
RSVP by December 12th to The Temple
$15 dollars per Person Seating is Limited to 30
Born and raised in New York, Ron grew up in a Reform Jewish household. Before making Aliya in 1977, Ron spent his junior year studying at Kfar Galim Agricultural HS near Haifa. Before his freshman year at the University of Albany, Ron volunteered at Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim, working as a farmer. Ron spent his sophomore year on a URJ sponsored university program at Hebrew Union College, living at Kibbutz Ma’aleh HaChamisha. In 1977, Ron received his BS in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Delaware. In October, 1977 Ron made Aliya and assisted in the establishment of Kibbutz Yahel, the first Reform kibbutz. Yahel is located in the Arava Desert Valley, the Southern Negev, considered one of the harshest deserts on earth.
Ron was manager of Yahel’s citrus pomelo orchard, the largest of its kind and for years the highest producing in Israel, for twenty five years. In addition to farming, Ron is a tour guide, accompanying temple and federation groups visiting Yahel. Ron also manages the logistics for the NFTY summer group’s desert adventure sponsored by Yahel. Between 1999 and 2001, Ron served as shaliach for URJ’s Youth Division in New York.
Between 2011 and 2013 Ron served as shaliach for Jewish National Fund (JNF), responsible for connecting with the Jewish Communities in TX, OK, AR, NM and LA. At present, Ron is serving as IMPJ Director of Resource Development Small Southern Jewish Communities. Ron is married to Gila, and has three children and two grand- children. Ron’s youngest child was adopted from China thirteen years ago.
About the IMPJ
The Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ )is the umbrella organization of all Reform communities and institutions in Israel, today totaling close to 50 congregations and institutions across the country, from Rosh Pina in the North to the Arava in the south. The IMPJ seeks to promote Israel’s character as a Jewish and democratic state by nurturing the values of Jewish pluralism, social and religious tolerance, gender equality, equal rights for all, justice and “Tikkun Olam” – repairing the world. To this end, the IMPJ works in a wide range of areas, including: Education, building and developing congregations, young adult leadership, social action, Arab–‐Jewish relations, and activities for immigrants. Jewish values are the guiding principles of all the work that this IMPJ carries out.