Art · Creativity is the answer · Getting involved · Living in Otef Azza · Music · Nofei Habsor · Theatre · What's Happening · Youth Making a Difference

The Wonderful Music and Art School in Eshkol

Bikurim, or “First Harvest” offering an invitation to artistically gifted students from 9th to 12th grades, opened its doors in September 2014 and has progressively welcomed students from all over the country.

Some of my most interesting pupils have studied there and have enriched our high school, Nofei Habsor, with a blossoming artistic environment, kickstarting the already lush Art Department and offering their gifts cultivated in a rich new Music Dept.
This past May, a film was created to highlight the dream of the founder, Jonathan and his associates, of bringing gifted pupils from all over Israel or from abroad to our home-town, Eshkol to study art and music, and more!

I’m proud of Bikorim and long to see it develop into a larger hub of artistic pursuits for students of all ages.

Please read what Prof. Jonathan Dekel-Chen says below and watch this film.

“In these difficult times for communities and people around the world, I am delighted to share with you a beacon of hope and joy: Bikurim Youth Village for the Arts. I invite you to view this short film, in English:

Bikurim: The Youth Village for Excellence in the Arts

This film is a window onto Bikurim, located 2.5 miles from Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, a most unlikely place to establish an exciting, new professional incubator for excellence in the arts, while narrowing the gaps of opportunity for our country’s gifted, but marginalized, young people from cities, small towns, kibbutzim and moshavim.

For more information or to explore partnering with us, please contact:

Prof. Jonathan Dekel-Chen (co-founder)


Phone: +972-54-7916931

Check out our Facebook page or website for the latest news, music and images from the Village:

Thanks for taking the time to read and watch the clip. Feel free to add comments below, Judih Weinstein Haggai, Kibbutz Nir Oz, Eshkol Regional Council

Creativity is the answer · Kibbutz Life · Living in Otef Azza

coming soon! Interviewing Arieh Schkolnik – keeping the dream alive

Arieh Schkolnik has long held visions of inventions and creations in his head. Circumstance often determined when and how he could set out executing his ideas, but his dreams have never faded.

Talking Now will be speaking with Arieh and maybe shed some light on how one person’s inner creativity can inspire others to follow their own.

Creativity is the answer · Living in Otef Azza

Arie Schkolnik is pleased to announce: Nesher II is ready for launch


Gazing up at rocket with parachute
Gazing up at rocket with parachute

Arie Schkolnik of Kibbutz Nir Itzhak

is pleased to invite you to attend 

the Experimental Launching of

Nesher II!

Date: October 1, 2008

Time: 13:30

Place: Back Gate of Kibbutz Nir Itzhak,

Western Negev* (map link below)

Details: Nesher II, 1.5 x 6 litre rocket


This launching follows last spring’s successful launch at the Eshkol soccer field on May 5, 2008. We were present and able to report. (Click here to read about that event:

You are encouraged to come and witness this first launch of the New Year!

Sponsored by NISA (Nir Itzhak Space Agency)

Arie Schkolnik and Nesher II
Arie Schkolnik and Nesher II
Nir Itzah Space Agency
Nir Itzhak Space Agency

Hope to see you there. 

 Click onto the link below for a map of the area. Nir Itzhak is situated between numbers 240 and 232.

* (map link below)

Thank you, Arie. We are all inspired by your work to convert plastic bottles, water, air and ingenuity into a working model of scientifically sound flight.
Creativity is the answer · Living in Otef Azza

Fanning Creativity in Children’s Minds – Arieh Schkolnik

yay!Parachute inspectionReadierGetting ReadyNitzenei Eshkol Public School kids watching Arieh\'s launchParachuting back to earth

Arieh Schkolnik is an effervescent enthusiast of many subjects. He delights in astronomy. He loves creativity. Lately, he is enjoying perfecting small rockets using water, plastic bottles and plastic bags and converting them into a watchable display of physics.

On May 29th, 2008, he brought a tank of compressed air and his latest manifestation of small launchable rocket to demonstrate to pupils of Nitzenei Eshkol Public School how it’s possible to convert a dream into a live take-off.

“Children, I had an idea and I tried many times. I had many failures, but I kept trying. About 3 times a month, on Saturdays, I take my ideas to the field in Kibbutz Nir Itzhak and I see if I’ve succeeded.

Finally, I came up with an idea. I found that a simple change in the shape of a bottle, one with a slanted top, could allow the exchange of gas and water that I’ve been hoping for. Now we will see a rocket blast off and have its parachute open  at the maximum height to take it back down to earth.”

I want you to watch. Last demonstration took me 4 times to succeed. Let’s see how it goes this time.”

Arieh filled his plastic bottle with water, folded the plastic parachute into place and inverted the bottle over the compressed air.

’10, 9, 8…’

The grade 6 kids were counting down, while I was aiming my camera at the launching pad.

Of course, I was out of sync with the blast-off, but I caught the faces of Arieh and the kids and the parachute gliding bottle as it floated back down.

Arieh also showed the kids how to measure the height by using trigonometry. (‘What’s that?” asked a kid. ‘Using triangles to calculate distances”, I answered, hoping that I correctly remembered. I used to love math, oops, what happened, I thought? Did life really get in the way of using the simple tools taught so many years ago?)

After 4 separate launches, two of which were totally successful, Arieh again encouraged the kids:

“Remember, school teaches you many things, but you can learn so much more by taking the tools and going out to learn things for yourself! And never give up. Persevere. It might not work the first time, but keep on going! You will be successful!”

Thank you, Arieh! Always a source of contagious enthusiasm. May our young children be filled with scientific curiousity to question what they’re taught and see if they can take it a step further. Creativity will open the minds of this generation, for the good of us all.

 -judih, May 30/08