Top Row: Arnie Freedman, Arieh Nakash, Issie Levitan, Roy Scher, Alan Paz, Telfed Head of Volunteerism Dana Ben Chail and Teddy Saitowitz. Bottom Row: Marion Nakash, Charlotte Wiener, Dianne Sher, Zelia Abramson and Pam Paz.
We were welcomed by Issy Levitan and other Members of the Kibbutz who have been there for many years. The kibbutz was established close to 70 years ago, in 1948. It has had its share of problems having to care for their members, handling agriculture, chickens, olives, cows yielding milk (which does not bring in much income) and when capitalism started to come into kibbutzim they did not seem to have a solution. That is, until they founded MAYTRONICS…
We met Shimon Zelas who informed and took us on a tour of the miraculous MAYTRONICS company, which started in 1983. This is an electronic swimming pool cleaner with water purification which has become a global leader in its field. It is called a Dolphin and supplies about 45% of the world market demand.
The factory - which is an assembling plant, is on the kibbutz. There are 600 workers who come from the surrounding areas, as well as some of the kibbutz members.
MAYTRONICS has made the kibbutz viable and financially stable. The headquarters of the company is on the kibbutz and is run by a local board of executives.
There are other work projects on the kibbutz where areas and workshops are rented out by potters, sculptors, artists and people with various craft skills - a source of both business and income. Renowned sculptor Bernie Fink is a famous artist and has one of his works on display at Yad Vashem.
We had a delicious lunch in the dining room with a wide selection of food. At each table, we were seated with members of the kibbutz who joined us and were most hospitable. We were thoroughly spoilt!
After lunch we were shown a video giving us a full backround of all that has happened to the Kibbutz since its inception and with the success of MAYTRONICS. We wished them all the best for the future of the kibbutz.
Issy then took us to Afula to meet an incredible young Ethiopian woman: Oria Ashta. Despite the fact that she is blind and has a guide dog, she managed to compete in half marathons and does not intend to stop there!
This formidable woman has two young children and works part time as a massage therapist at the clinic. She has a great family who support her and a lovely home, which Issy has helped her to improve.
We hope that Issy will be able to help her fulfil her dream, which is to build an extra room in her house where she could do some private clincial work and improve her income.
It was a positive end to our most enjoyable outing.
Article written by Dianne Sher – Telfed Tel Aviv Regional Volunteer
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