For those members unfamiliar with Kibbutz Neot Semadar, I would like to point out that this unique kibbutz in the southern Arava is very isolated from urban settlement.
Its solitude has created excellent astronomical conditions for the establishment of the largest scientific Telescopic Center in Israel, built by the Weizmann Institute. It comprises a total of 48 huge telescopes with exceptionally high scientific capabilities.
Next to this Telescopic Center, an ICA House for Astronomy is being built. It will host a public telescope that will serve the general public, students and guests. Guests will visit mainly at night, so there will be an added economic advantage of room rentals in Neot Semadar and in the surrounding vicinity.
Moreover, I have suggested that the Ma’ale Shaharut high school pupils in Kibbutz Yotvata can benefit by doing their final matriculation paper at the Telescope Center. The principal accepted this idea willingly. I also proposed the construction of a nano-satellite, equipped with a special camera that will photograph deep space and not our globe. The Weizmann Institute is prepared to help and the school principal was quite excited about its possibility, which might lead to an ICA project proposal next year…
P.S. ICA established a similar telescope at Kinneret College and, hopefully, we will be able to visit it on our upcoming tour.