A new center is helping visitors learn more about Israel’s agricultural success in the desert.

The Vidor Family Visitor’s Center, which was established with help of KKL-JNF’s Friends in Australia offers an interactive experience that introduces guests to desertification, agricultural innovations and the desert’s flora and fauna.

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“Many Israelis don’t know what’s going on in the Arava, and this is an opportunity to show them the wonderful things that are being done here,” said Evin Vidor, who was honored at the recent dedication ceremony for the center. “Being here and seeing everything the residents of the Arava have accomplished is an experience that makes one feel both humble and grateful.”

The center offers a hands-on way for visitors to learn through desert topography through a sand-filled table connected to a computerized projection system that allows guests to build a sand dune, create a valley and experience the desert in a new way.

Videos showing the lives of families who live in and have helped build up the desert are also prominently featured and desert-produced fruits and vegetables are showcased in produce stalls featuring products of the region to help visitors truly experience the agricultural bounty.

Located at the Yair Agricultural Research and Development Station, the new center will also be a place where researchers from around the world can learn about Arava’s agricultural successes.

Mayan Kitron, an agricultural researcher, stressed, “This innovative information center will provide visitors and researchers with information about agriculture in the Arava and about the research and development activities designed to ensure a sustainable future for the region.”

The center will also bring more recognition to a region that truly represents an Israeli success story.

“Despite its harsh climate, the Arava has become the jewel in the crown of Israeli agriculture,” Menachem Leibovic, Vice Chairman of KKL-JNF said. “When one considers the sparse rainfall and the small number of people who live there, it really is a modern miracle.”

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