New Playground for the Children of Kibbutz Yifat

Thursday, November 04, 2021 2:07 PM

The new playground has changed the daily routine of the kibbutz’s children and youth.

Their parents express heartfelt thanks to KKL-JNF, the Jewish National Fund, and, especially, to donors Ben and Keren Springer of Toronto, for making it happen.
Kibbutz Yifat, which was founded in 1954 and belongs to the Kibbutz Movement, is situated in the northwestern section of the Jezreel Valley, between Migdal HaEmeq and Nahalal in northern Israel. Today it is home to around 1,200 people, some of whom live in long-established neighborhoods, while others have settled in the more recent expansions. Yifat lies in the area under the jurisdiction of the Jezreel Valley Regional Council.
 
Because the kibbutz has a large population of children, the need arose for a new playground where they could spend their leisure time, said Dafna Kolmer, who is responsible for the care of Yifat’s gardens and environment. “The plan was to build a playground in the upper section of the kibbutz, as the only other playground was in the lower section, far from the extension neighborhood and from the buildings in the upper section. The new playground serves the many of children who live in the upper section,” she explained.
 
Neighborhood children enjoy the Kibbutz Yifat playground. Photo: Yoni ShefferAs soon as funding for the project was found, work began on the infrastructure. KKL-JNF representatives played an active part in the process, said Dafna: “KKL-JNF displayed a great deal of involvement throughout the entire initiative, and its representatives were present during both the planning and implementation stages. However, when we started digging at the original intended site, we discovered ancient wine presses, so had to change our plan and move the playground to an area where we could dig the foundations without damaging archeological antiquities.”
 
Much of the playground is built from wood that blends in with the site’s natural surroundings, and all around it fruit trees have been planted, which, when they grow to maturity, will offer pleasant shade and tasty fruit to park visitors. Dafna explained that members of the kibbutz’s younger generation were involved in the tree planting: “Over the summer holidays, local youngsters came to work with us on the project, to earn a little pocket money while also engaging in a satisfying pastime that is also beneficial to the community. And, as the playground is equipped with lighting, the youngsters gather there in the evenings to spend time together.”
 
Local residents had high expectations of the playground, and anticipation grew as the opening date drew nearer. The children were clearly very excited. Unable to wait any longer, they began to use the playground even before its official opening.
 
The new playground has changed the daily routine of the kibbutz’s children and youth. Older residents are well aware that construction of a facility of this kind is not something to be taken for granted, and they express heartfelt thanks to KKL-JNF, the Jewish National Fund, and, especially, to donors Ben and Keren Springer of Toronto, whose generous support has enabled the project to come to fruition. 
 
Dafna Kolmer takes this opportunity to express her personal appreciation for the donors: “It is thanks to your donations that we manage to accomplish projects of this kind. Thank you very much indeed for your help in a cause that benefits the residents. All that remains is for us to thank the donors from the bottom of our heart.”
 
You are invited to come and visit!