Kibbutz Ketura: 40 Years in the Desert

Founded by Young Judaea Year Course alumni in November 1973, mere weeks after the end of the Yom Kippur War, Kibbutz Ketura’s history has always reflected its desert home. Against many odds and elements, Ketura has produced some of the world’s most innovative environmental technologists and technology, leading Israel and the world into a greener existence.

solar field

The Solar Field at Kibbutz Ketura

 Yosef Abramowitz, a lifelong Judaean and member of Ketura, has consistenly landed the kibbutz in the headlines since 2006 through his work with the Arava Power Company, of which he is a co-founder. Most recently, Abramowitz announced that his companies Gigawatt Global and Energiya Global have secured $23 million in financial support to build Africa’s first utility-scale solar field in Rwanda, on land owned by the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village. ASYV was the creation of the late Anne Heyman, philanthropist, activist and Young Judaean. The solar field in Rwanda will reflect the same research and design that went into Ketura Sun, Israel’s first commercial solar field designed and built by Arava Power Company in 2011 in – you guessed it – Kibbutz Ketura.

Not only Has Ketura been at the forefront of green technology and entrepreneurship, but the kibbutz also houses the Arava Institute of Environmental Studies, which brings together Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian students for environmental study and research in one of the top programs in the Middle East. Students research water management, sustainable agriculture and development and energy conservation. One of the institute’s most noteworthy and publicized accomplishments was the recent germination of a Judaean date palm using a seed from roughly 2000 years ago, found at Masada. Long considered extinct, the tree itself now grows at Kibbutz Ketura and stands as a living testament to the survival and regeneration of Israel itself.

Ketura is also home to a large facility of Algatech, the world’s leading supplier of astaxanthin, a red micro-algae said to benefit human health and fight diseases like cancer and immune disorders. The facility has been commercially producing the algae since 2003, and Kibbutz Ketura’s sunny, desert location ensures year-round production.

As part of their ongoing anniversary celebration, Ketura will be holding an open day at the Kibbutz Friday, May 2. For more information and to RSVP, click here.