About Eyal's Farm
Eyal's Farm is an ecological learning center built in memory of Eyal Yoel, a young man born and raised on Kibbutz Ramat Rachel who was killed as an I.D.F. reserve soldier in the 2002 Defense Shield Operation. The farm is a joint initiative of the Yoel Family and the kibbutz. Eyal loved animals and nature, and preserving the environment was one of his prime concerns. At the time of his death, he was working on the final project for his bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering at Ben-Gurion University. He planned to go on to earn a master's degree and work in the field of environmental quality and nature preservation. The farm was created as a way of continuing Eyal's intended path in life.
The farm's staff raises and cares for a variety of domestic animals, tends a vegetable garden and fruit tree orchard, manufactures organic compost, and builds structures using environmentally friendly methods. The farm also conducts a range of activities for children and adults. It hosts classes of children with special needs, some of them wheelchair-restricted, as well as classes from state-sponsored religious schools. There are afternoon activity programs, summer and Passover holiday camps, and birthday celebrations as well. Members of the staff provide weekly tours and demonstrations for children in the kibbutz preschools and after-school programs, and for the elderly residents of its nursing home.
All visitors are treated to a tour of the farm, including an up-close look at its flora and fauna. With advance notice, the staff also arranges for creative activities using natural materials—recycled paper constructions, herbal sachets, outdoor-baked pitas, mud sculptures, and the like—as well as tours focused on particular animals or plants.
Eyal's Farm also provides animal-assisted psychotherapy for children and adults with disabilities. The farm's pleasant, pastoral atmosphere offers ideal conditions for treatment; it reduces initial resistance and allows caregivers to establish a more sensitive, secure, and accepting relationship with the people they are assisting. The staff invites anyone interested in this type of treatment to arrange for a visit to receive more information.