Cultivating 100 Years of Agricultural Education at Meir Shfeyah Youth Village

February 23, 2023

Cultivating 100 Years of Agricultural Education at Meir Shfeyah Youth Village

The students at Hadassah’s Meir Shfeyah Youth Village are not afraid to get their hands dirty. By tending to the school’s agricultural resources, soiling their hands is actually a big part of their everyday curriculum. And it has been for 100 years.

Now in its centennial year, Meir Shfeyah celebrates how far it has come from when the village, originally established as an agricultural settlement in 1883 by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, was given to Hadassah in 1923 and became an agricultural school and children’s village.

Agriculture is still a mainstay of the village. In fact, it’s thriving there. The Meir Shfeyah of today features an organic farm, a computerized greenhouse, fish ponds, hydroponics, vineyards, a winery, a dairy, chicken coops, an herbal workshop to make soap and beauty products and an animal farm housing goats, sheep, rabbits, turkeys, ducks and more. The Shfeyah Winery, run by 11th- and 12th-graders, produces 3,000 bottles of premium wine annually.

What’s more, the students reap what they sow, as the produce grown on the farm is used in their dining room. Once a year this produce is donated to Leket Israel Humanitarian Aid, an NGO that provides food to families in need, and eggs and milk are sold to the Tnuva dairy cooperative.

Working on the farms provides students with hands-on opportunities to learn biology and chemistry, as well as responsibility and cooperation. They get a (green) thumbs up from us.

Meir Shfeyah Youth Village was founded by Henrietta Szold as a safe haven for children fleeing Nazi Germany. The village provides at-risk youth with comprehensive education in a supportive environment, guiding them to become productive members of Israeli society. Last year, the village welcomed around 30 Ukrainian refugee children.

Read more about Hadassah’s Youth Villages

Agriculture has been a part of Meir Shfeyah Youth Village students’ educational curriculum then and now

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