Merchav Am

To us in Western Australia, Allison Speiser is the face and voice of Merchav Am. It was great to be able to visit her on her territory! She kindly met me at Yad Vashem and drove me the two hours down to the yishuv in the Negev.

Merhav Am – Wikipedia

Merhav Am (Hebrew: מֶרְחַב עַם‎, lit. Nation’s Expanse) is a religious community settlement in southern Israel. Located in the Negev desert between Yeruham and the kibbutz of Sde Boker, it falls under the jurisdiction of Ramat HaNegev Regional Council. In 2015 it had a population of 333.[1]


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Reaching our destination

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The playground,  kindergarten and shul

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The Community Centre

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On the way back to Beersheva

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Merchav Am

It’s been three years since JNF WA began its partnership with Merchav Am. From a dusty desert yishuv with no green spaces, to the signature JNF WA Playground and landscaping and garden areas for the Community and Early Learning Centres, the first phase of our long-term partnership is fully funded and almost complete. This community, deep


Allison Speiser on Merchav Am

Further to my last post, please watch this video of Allison Speiser speaking about her community, Merchav Am in the Negev.

This one of the inspiring presentations given at JNF WA’s Annual Event at the Jewish Centre, Perth on 9 November 2014:

Allison Speiser’s talk about Merchav Am

CHABAD WA hosted a meet and greet as a promo for JNF WA’s main fund raising event which is on Sunday evening 9th November at 6pm at The Jewish Centre, Perth.

JNF WA has adopted and supports the Merchav Am community in the Negev.

In Conversation with … Allison Speiser at the Shul, Garson Court
on Thursday morning 6th November at 11am
Allison gave a most delightful and informative talk and the main JNF event should not to be missed.

About Allison Speiser


Allison Levine Speiser lives in Merchav Am, the southernmost religious yishuv in Israel (population: 60 families). Originally from Highland Park, NJ, she worked in the field of environmental science as well as in Jewish Education before moving to Israel in 2009. Professionally, Allison works at the Ben Gurion Heritage Institute part time, and her husband has a home office working in computer programming. She spends lots of time with her five very energetic kids, adjusting to caravan life, and trying to build a house. This past year she worked with Nefesh B’Nefesh’s “Go South” program as part of their Negev Leadership Circle. Allison feels strongly that the future of Israel is in the Negev, and she is thrilled that she’s able to play a small role in helping others find their way down south, working daily to make the desert bloom and see Ben Gurion’s dream become reality.

About Merchav Am

Merhav Am (Hebrewמֶרְחָב עַםlit. National Expanse) is a religious communal settlement in the Negev desert in Israel. Located between Yeruham and the kibbutz of Sde Boker, it is part of the Ramat HaNegev Regional Council.


It was founded by the Or Movement on 1 November 2001 and has a population of around 60 families, many of them living in caravans.


The original name for the settlement was intended to be Halukim due to its proximity to the Halukim Hills (the nearest road junction is called the Halukim Junction). However, after around a year it was renamed Merhav Am, inspired by the wide open area in which it was to be built, as well as in honour of Rehavam Ze’evi, a former Minister who was assassinated in 2001: In Hebrew Merhav (מרחב – MRHV) means “wide open spaces” whilst Rehavam is spelt using the last three letters of the word plus two more (רחבעם – RHVAM). Combining the two gives Merhav Am (MRHV+AM).

For more info visit:


Merchav Am is 30 min from Mitzpe Ramon

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Here are some of my photos from my trip to Mitzpe Ramon last year with Ronen, Racheli & Kalya