Overseas Visitors Unit

Activities

Oxford and Yavneh in the Negev
This day tour begins with a visit to the different exhibitions at the Ben-Gurion Desert Home Visitors' Center, followed by a tour of Midreshet Ben-Gurion. The tour will introduce the educational and scientific progress taking place at the Midrasha—an aspect of Ben-Gurion's vision for the Negev that is now being realized at the different Desert Studies institutes of Ben-Gurion University. We conclude with a visit to the R & D center of Ramat Negev where we will learn about unique agricultural developments for desert regions, and/or the innovative worldwide Ed Tech initiative: MindCet in Yerucham.
Main topics: Ben-Gurion, Negev.

Ben-Gurion and Me – Moral Dilemmas
This program consists of two workshops on the significance of morality in decision-making processes. The first workshop deals with formative decisions in the life of David Ben-Gurion, and concludes by addressing moral decisions typical to the lives of youngsters today. Inspired by aspects of Ben-Gurion’s leadership, participants will be given tools to engage in personal, moral reflections on future decisions. Each workshop is 1 ½ long (3-hrs. total). We recommend including a visit to the Ben-Gurion national burial site, and the audio-visual “Formative Decisions” presentation, or a tour at the Ben-Gurion Desert Home visitors' center (each approximately an 1 ½ in length).
Main topics: Ben-Gurion, leadership.

Ben-Gurion and the Negev
The lecture will connect between Ben-Gurion’s approach to the Negev as a region of central importance to Zionism, and his choice to reside there toward the end of his life.
 Main topics: Ben-Gurion, Israel: state and society, Negev.

Shades of Identity
This workshop examines the complex ties between world Jewry and the State of Israel, defined as the State of the Jewish people. Participants are invited to examine the meaning of Jewish solidarity today, and the significance of the State of Israel to its formation, by analyzing relevant current affairs. The workshop is approximately 
1 ½ hrs. long.  We recommend including a visit to the Ben-Gurion national burial site and the audio-visual "Formative Decisions" presentation, or a tour of the Ben-Gurion Desert Home visitors' center (each approximately 1 ½ hrs.).
Main topics: Israel: society and state, nationalism and Zionism.

The Dilemmas of a Leader
This workshop includes the audio-visual “Formative Decisions" presentation at the Ben-Gurion Heritage Institute, and addresses David Ben-Gurion's leadership dilemmas and his fateful decisions, which influence the State of Israel and the Jewish people to this very day.  The workshop (including the audio-visual presentation) is approximately 1 ½ hrs. We also recommend a visit to the adjacent Ben-Gurion burial site. 
Main topics: Leadership, Ben-Gurion.

The Old Man ‘Ascends’ to the Negev
The day tour will begin with a unique merge of desert and water at the Ein Avdat national park. We will follow with a tour of the different exhibitions at the Ben-Gurion Desert Home Visitors' Center, with a focus on the special connection between Ben-Gurion and the Negev. The tour will conclude with a breathtaking view of the Zin valley from the Ben-Gurion burial site and a discussion on Ben-Gurion's vision and its realization.
Main topics: Negev, Ben-Gurion.

The Negev in Israeli cinema
The title of the movie "At the End of the World, Turn left" reveals the perspective of Israeli cinema on the Negev, but also contains a complex message about its nature: a dead-end, a godforsaken place, somewhere to flee from, and nonetheless, a place that inspires revolution.  Movie excerpts will accompany the lecture.
Main topics: Israel: state and society, Negev.

I Have a Vision
After becoming acquainted with Ben-Gurion's vision at a tour of the Ben-Gurion Desert Home Visitors' Center, we will discuss the meaning of the term 'vision’ and its relevance to the participants and their background. During the workshop, we will examine the difference between a ‘vision’ and other objectives we strive to achieve, get to know famous and less-than-famous visionary leaders who have changed our world, and share personal visions for the reality and environment we each inhabit. The workshop is approximately 1 ½ hrs. long (not including a tour of the Visitor's Center of the same length).
Main topics: Israel: society and state, leadership.

The Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was written in the context of the War of Independence and its bloody battles, and the establishment of the State was imbued with great trepidation and fear. This lecture will take a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the writing of the Declaration and the dilemmas that characterized the establishment of the Israeli State.
Main topics: Ben-Gurion, Israel: state and society, nationalism and Zionism, leadership.

The Eichmann Trial – Who was the Central Figure?
The Holocaust and its memory can be seen in many different ways. To what extent did the Eichmann trial influence Holocaust awareness in Israel?
Main topics: Israel: society and state, nationalism and Zionism.

"At the End of the World, Turn Left"
This day-long activity will open with a tour of settlements in the Har Ha’Negev region and a short walk from Mitzpe Hagai through the "Lost City," to Hanyon Ha’roah (other hiking trails are available).  The next stop will be a tour of the various exhibitions at the Ben-Gurion Desert Home Visitors' Center, followed by a workshop centered on the image of the Negev in Israeli cinema, and a visit to a lone farm or an unrecognized Bedouin settlement; revealing the fascinating and complex reality of life in the Negev today.
Main topics: Ben-Gurion, Israel: society and state, Negev.

On Vision and Development: Ben-Gurion and Settling the Negev
The tour will begin with a visit to the various exhibitions at the Ben-Gurion Desert Home Visitor’s Center, with a focus on Ben-Gurion’s vision for settling the Negev and ‘making the desert bloom.’ We will follow with a workshop on the image of the Negev in Israeli cinema, and conclude by meeting exceptional figures involved in the development of Dimona and Yerucham. 
Main Topics: Ben-Gurion, Israel: state and society, Negev.

Philanthropy and the Negev
The support of world Jewry for the Zionist enterprise before and after Israeli independence was crucial to the establishment of the Israeli State. This lecture will discuss the period in which world Jewry ‘discovered’ the Negev and the role it has taken in its development, particularly in the educational field.
Main topics: Israel: state and society, Negev.