There is more to Israel than conflicts, as played out on international news. Israel has not only survived 66 years of wars and aggression, but prospered and flourished in spite of them.

Israel is today a world leader in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. The biggest reason for Israel’s success has been the values that have guided this society over these years.

Israel is held in great regard in India not only for her technical or entrepreneurial, but also for her social success. A group of Indian youth is visiting Israel to find out more.

Beginning this week, around 50 volunteers from India are heading to Israel for a 9 month stay in Kibbutzim across Israel. Most of these volunteers come from the western Indian State of Gujarat, an economically robust and industrialized region on North-West coast of India.

With a population of 60 million, Gujarat’s per-capita GDP is much higher than India’s average. Gujarat State is also a pioneer in bilateral cooperation with Israel. Over 2000 farmers from Gujarat visit Israel annually to get trained in advance farming techniques – at their own expense. Israeli companies are playing an active role in state’s economy.

Gujarat’s economic success was the main reason behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landslide victory in the India’s recent parliamentary election. Modi ruled the state for 12 years before taking the top job in New Delhi.

The 9-month stay in Kibbutz would help the volunteers from India to learn new agricultural techniques and find out more about community life on a Kibutzz. It is worth noting that Israel is also helping Indian farmers in setting up Kibbutz-style Dairy Cooperatives to increase output and income.

What makes this group unique is the presence of Muslim volunteers, who are just as upbeat about their upcoming stay in Israel. The group does not only comprise of farmers but also young professionals who are keen to learn more about Israeli entrepreneurship.

The exchange program is organized by “Friends of Israel”, a social group based in Vadodara, Gujarat that promotes cultural and educational exchanges between Israel and India.

Today, Israeli agriculture and irrigation technology is making a positive impact in lives of rural and farming communities in India. Interactions like these will pave the way for even better implementation of these farming techniques and management practices.