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“Be’eri Will Flourish Once Again”: Decimated Kibbutz Begins Construction of New Neighborhood

The new neighborhood, which will replace some of the 150 buildings on Be’eri that were destroyed on October 7, will take an estimated two years to complete | Kibbutz Secretary General Gili Molcho: “Real rehabilitation will happen only with the return of the hostages”

הנחת אבן הפינה לשכונת “שקמים” בקיבוץ בארי (צילום: אורן דגן)
Laying of the cornerstone for the new neighborhood in Kibbutz Be’eri. (Photo: Oren Dagan)
By Oren Dagan

Kibbutz Be’eri held a foundation laying ceremony on Monday for its new neighborhood, in which 52 new houses are set to be built.

Be’eri was the hardest hit community on October 7, with 101 members killed and 11 still held hostage, in addition to 150 buildings on the kibbutz destroyed in the fighting. Monday's ceremony marked the start of the kibbutz’s physical restoration.

Ben Suchman, CEO of the Be’eri printing press, lays the cornerstone of the new neighborhood in Kibbutz Be’eri together with his son Ivri. (Photo: Be’eri spokesperson)
Ben Suchman, CEO of the Be’eri printing press, lays the cornerstone of the new neighborhood in Kibbutz Be’eri together with his son Ivri. (Photo: Be’eri spokesperson)

The construction of the new neighborhood is expected to take two years to complete. Until then, many of Be’eri’s members will live in the community’s temporary home base near Kibbutz Hatzerim.

“I am really moved,” Gadi Yarkoni, head of the Eshkol Regional Council, in which Be’eri sits, said. “Every time I come to Be’eri I am filled with pride and sadness. It’s important to me to turn to members of Be’eri and say, you, who have experienced the most terrible thing of all, everything here is personal, but also from here, the pride. Two days after the disaster you came to me and said that on Sunday we’re operating the factory. That is a symbol of hope.”

Be’eri’s printing press has been operating since 1950 and brings in hundreds of millions of shekels each year. As early as October 15, the printing press returned to partial operation.

Gadi Yarkoni, head of the Eshkol Regional Council, at the foundation laying ceremony for the new neighborhood in Kibbutz Be’eri. (Photo: Oren Dagan)
Gadi Yarkoni, head of the Eshkol Regional Council, at the foundation laying ceremony for the new neighborhood in Kibbutz Be’eri. (Photo: Oren Dagan)

“Nine months have passed during which we’ve dealt with grief and concern for the 11 of our members who are still held hostage,” kibbutz Secretary General Gili Molcho said. “Real rehabilitation will happen only with the return of the hostages.”

Moshe Edri, who heads the Tkuma Directorate, the government body devoted to rehabilitating southern Israel in the aftermath of October 7, also spoke at the ceremony. “For eight months, I didn’t have time to be moved,” he said. “This is very moving and important for our nation, that you are building a new neighborhood here in your region. You are rising up from the tragedy that you experienced and continued onward toward hope and toward the horizon. The kibbutz will flourish and prosper out of the tragedy.”

The foundation laying ceremony for the new neighborhood in Kibbutz Be’eri. (Photo: Oren Dagan)
The foundation laying ceremony for the new neighborhood in Kibbutz Be’eri. (Photo: Oren Dagan)

Ruti Algaranti, a member of Be’eri whose father, Yoram Bar Sinai, was killed on October 7, is among those planning to live in the new neighborhood. “The sounds of the cannons are still thundering,” she said at the ceremony. “Eleven of our members are still held captive in Hamas dungeons, and we are still refugees in our own country. The confusion is great, and the uncertainty hovers above our regional council and casts a shadow on our hearts. Amid this mood, it must be said: the decision to return and to build here is a brave decision. The start of building this neighborhood anoints us with optimism and returns to us the faith that in the foreseeable future, we will return with our children and it will be good for us here. Be’eri will flourish once again, and we will sit on the porch in peace and security and feel at home here again.”

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