Adele Raemer
Life on the Border with the Gaza Strip

Here’s why love and strength trump hate and fear

I taught the Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken” to my class this year. As the poem depicts, when a person stands at a crossroads, a decision needs to be taken. Same goes for a community.

When a community undergoes what this community did – there are two ways it can go. It can wither and die or it can fight and grow and thrive.

Kibbutz Nirim has chosen the second option. Here’s why:

We live less than two kilometers from the border. We have less than 8 seconds to take cover when the incoming rocket alarm (Red Alert) is sounded. A tunnel was found less than a five-minute jog from our homes. Two of our members were killed on the last day of the war. A third lost both his legs.

And yet:

This past summer we absorbed 20 new members. More young families are vying to move here. The community is investing heavily in reconstructing the communal dining room, members’ lodge and central meeting place. Gadi – the member who lost his legs – went on to recuperate and win his bid for mayor of the Eshkol Regional council. We, as a community, have consciously chosen to survive.

Today we saw how love and strength trump hate and fear. Love and strength of our community, our members, and people from all over the country demonstrated today that “Red South” (Darom Adom) wins over “Red Alert”. Approximately 1,500 visitors graced our green lawns today, to help us celebrate the welcomed sun, and life on the border. If you weren’t among, them, this is what you missed.

nirim_growing SM

Aviva wares

Gadi - back on his feet


Arnon Drawing



overview SM

Lemons into lemonade

Street Massage

About the Author
Born in the USA, Adele has lived in a Kibbutz on the border with the Gaza Strip since 1975. She is a mother and a grandmother living and raising her family on the usually paradisaical, sometimes hellishly volatile border. She moderates a FB group named "Life on the Border". Adele recently retired after 38 years as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language, as well as a teacher trainer and counselor for the Israeli MoE for EFL and a Tech Integration Coach. She blogs here about both Life on the Border, as well as about digital pedagogy, in "Digitally yours, @dele". She is a YouTuber, mostly on the topic of digital stuff. ( Her personal channel covers other issues close to her heart (medical clowning, Life on the Border, etc.) ( In addition, she is a trained medical clown and, although on COVID hiatus, until allowed back into hospitals, she clowns as often as she can in the pediatric ward in the hospital in Ashkelon. As a result of her activity as an advocate for her region, she was included among the Ha'aretz "Ten Jewish Faces who made Waves in 2018" In November 2018 she was invited to Geneva by an independent investigative committee for the UN to bear witness to the border situation, and in December 2019 addressed the UN Security Council at the request of the US ambassador to the UN.
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