The Association for the Preservation of the Heritage of Mishmar Hanegev
Following the kibbutz's 70th anniversary celebrations, it became clear that there was a need to raise funds for the renovation of the "Heritage House". Donations that had been collected at that point were not sufficient; there needed to be an organized framework for this important endeavor. In 2021, there was a lot of activity towards restoration of the First Hill and the renewal of the "Houses Tell Stories" route. Most of the activity had been supported by donations from kibbutz corporations.
At the kibbutz's 75th celebration held on the first hill, Yoram Inbar and Alon Dagani realized the immediate need to organize collection of donations from the entire population with ties to Mishmar HaNegev. Thus, an association was established for this purpose.
On January 2,2022, the association was officially registered in the Registrar of Associations in the Israel Corporations Authority and named "The Association for the Preservation of the Heritage of Mishmar Hanegev" for the purpose of registration and proper management. Seven founding members were recruited: Alon Dagani, Dorit Gazit, Hila Shenhav, Dikla Yassur, Loten Rosenblum, Boaz Golan, and Yoram Inbar. The founders constitute the executive committee and the general assembly of the association. The role of the committee is to direct the association's activity, subject to the objectives defined at the time of registration, and those goals to be determined in the future. Yoram Inbar was elected to manage the association. It is important to note that in accordance with the association's statutes, all activity is on a volunteer basis.
Vision of the Foundation
The Foundation for the Tradition of Mishmar Hanegev will work to preserve Kibbutz traditions and heritage passing them on to future generations. The foundation will make our heritage accessible during the events of the kibbutz, including educational events. It will strengthen the ties among kibbutz members and their heritage, as well as those who don’t live on the kibbutz but have close ties to it.
Aims of the Foundation
Preservation of the Mishmar Hangev heritage.
Reconstruction of principal heritage sites on the kibbutz: First Hill, Heritage House, Security House.
Create Signed on buildings with historical meaning on the main paths, “the story telling houses”.
Cataloging and easy access to historical data.
Teaching the heritage of Mishnmar Hanegev, its stories and people to the younger generation and all who are interested. Education and culture in the spirit of Mishmar Hanegev.
Contact with people associated with the kibbutz, especially sons and daughters who no longer live on Mishmar Hanegev.
Acquiring funding to carry out these aims.
The First Hill
Kibbutz Mishmar Hanegev Establishment
Prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, there was a security need to strengthen and expand Jewish settlement in the Negev in strategic locations. Thus, on the evening of Yom Kippur 5767, October 6, 1946, members of Kibbutz Mishmar Hanegev arrived on a small hill overlooking the area, in the northwestern Negev. The establishment of the kibbutz was part of an extensive operation called the "Eleven Points in the Negev" in which eleven Jewish settlements were established in the Negev on the same evening.
Mishmar Hanegev members (from youth movements and Holocaust survivors) together with members of the Palmach (underground Jewish army during the British mandate) and volunteers from other kibbutzim. It was necessary to act quickly, and within one night, three shacks were erected. In accordance with Ottoman law, adopted by the British Mandate, when there was a standing structure with a roof, it was forbidden to destroy it. Within a few days, another large group of Holocaust survivors arrived, who were in training for kibbutz life at the Borochov Citadel / House in Kfar Saba.
The name of the hill was “Bir Mansur”, until it was named Mishmar Hanegev upon moving to the current hill (the second hill). This new location enabled room for expansion and growth. The “First Hill” is known by this name until today.
The founders of the kibbutz, Israeli born members of youth movements, new immigrants who survived the Holocaust, and immigrants with an affinity for the Borochov movement abroad, enabled the existence of the flourishing and prosperous kibbutz of today.
David Alon who was a member of the first group to inhabit the hill recalled:
“Three bunks were set up on the hill. One was used as a dining room, with chairs made of tin covered with burlap. The other two were living quarters. In addition, there were tents also used as living quarters, a visitors’ tent – called the Madafa, a guard post called Nukta, a shower, a cowshed with 3 cows and 3 calves, a fence that surrounded the settlement and one water tank that was used for washing, cooking, laundry and drinking. There was also a lot of dust which darkened faces and lives but also a lot of friendship.”
Heritage House is a unique shack with sentimental value to our community. There are several shacks like this that were set up in other "Eleven Points" kibbutzim.
An essential pillar in kibbutz life was "Collective Education", according to which the kibbutz children grew up, slept, ate, and were educated in the kibbutz children house and not with their parents at home, who worked hard developing the kibbutz, its economy and maintaining security.
In Mishmar Hanegev, this shack was built to be used as the home of the first children that were born in the kibbutz, their group was named – “Ayala’s class”. When they grew older, they moved to the teen quarters, and the group of the third class in the kibbutz, “Arava”, took their place. Later on, the shack was used as an art room. The teacher, Chana Ben Zur, taught there for many years and after her Orna Freiberg.
In honor of the 70th anniversary of the kibbutz, the shack’s name was officially changed to “Heritage House”. Today it is used for diverse community activities for all ages.
The foundation intends to renovate the building while emphasizing various aspects of kibbutz life, from the day it was founded to present day.