Communities2gether

Pittsburgh and Kibbutz Nir Yitzchak Unite for Hope

The Heartfelt Journey

In the aftermath of the tragic events on October 7, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh forged a powerful partnership with Kibbutz Nir Yitzchak, nestled in the Southern Gaza Envelope. Their joint mission? To rebuild, to heal, and to inspire. Through the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Communities2Gether initiative, Pittsburgh and Nir Yitzchak are weaving a tapestry of hope that transcends borders and speaks to the indomitable human spirit.

Two Dates, One Destiny

For the 560 members of Nir Yitzchak, two dates define their existence: October 7, 2023—the day they fled their homes—and July 7, 2024—the day they hope to return from exile.

The Trauma That Lingers

While news outlets may have moved on, Nir Yitzchak still grapples with the aftermath of that horrific day. Rocket fire pierced the tranquility, terrorists infiltrated, and flames consumed the plastics factory near the kibbutz entrance. The rapid response team—heroes in their own right—rushed to quell the inferno, only to fall into a deadly ambush set by Hamas.

Together, Always

When the IDF finally arrived, the kibbutz members boarded buses, bound for Eilat. They clung to each other, determined to remain a cohesive community. From one hotel to another in nearby Eilot, they transformed small rooms into makeshift homes—offices, living spaces, and kitchens. Their belongings—bikes, Kitchen Aid mixers, cherished memories—followed, bridging the gap between exile and home.

The Painful Threshold

Yet, returning to Nir Yitzchak remains a poignant struggle. The kibbutz lies just miles from Rafah, its fate entwined with the dismantling of Hamas’s military capabilities. Young families hesitate, haunted by memories. Older members yearn to return, but without without young families, there is no future for the kibbutz.

A Shared Commitment

Nir Yitzchak was established immediately after the founding of the State of Israel and, like many kibbutzim, secured the border of Israel. The State of Israel has no future without strong communities situated along its northern and southern border. Our Federation stands shoulder-to-shoulder with them. Pittsburgh can make a real impact on this one kibbutz. Together, we ensure that when the members return, they find not just a kibbutz, but a beacon—a testament to hope, unity and unwavering pride.

Nir Yitzchak Members (before Oct. 7, 2023)

Nir Yitzchak Members before Oct. 7, 2023

 

Nir Yitzchak Agriculture

Nir Yitzchak agriculture

Welcome to Kibbutz Nir Yitzchak
Pre-Oct. 7
Location of Kibbutz Nir Yitzchak
Three Miles From Gaza Border
Within the Gaza Envelope
Louis Har (left) and Fernando Marman (second from right) reuniting with family after rescue by IDF (Nir Yitzchak)
Two Nir Yitzchak Released Hostages
Louis Har (left) and Fernando Marman (second from right) reuniting with family after rescue by IDF (Nir Yitzchak)
Famous for Flower Bulb Agriculture
Also potatoes, carrots, radishes, peanuts, wheat, dairy herd and chickens..
Nir Yitzchak modern agriculture with drones
Modern Agriculture Techniques
Drone Surveying Fields
Fragrant Fields
Various Varieties
Nir Yitzchak Animal Zone
Emu Says Hello
Nir Yitzchak animal zone by Moshe Moty Rozen
Nir Yitzchak Animal Zone
Children interact with non-farm animals.
Nir Yitzchak Children's Farm
Also rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, chickens and more!

Questions:

Kim Salzman
Kim Salzman
Director, Israel & Overseas Planning & Impact
412-992-5239