The Lod Project
Lod Student Village Expansion, October 2013
The first expantion of the Lod village took place in October 2013. 700 students joined the Lod Student community to renovate an abandoned school into a multi-functional Student Village/Community Center in the heart of Lod’s distressed city center. David Ben Gurion said that “we can’t afford a desert in Israel”.
We believe that this refers not only to the Negev desert, but to social, cultural and educational desolation as well. This is the case in Lod and, unfortunately, is not an exaggeration of how bad the situation is – the city itself is constantly on the verge of economic collapse and is focused more on balancing the budget than setting long term goals for decades-long problems. The situation in Lod is so dire that anyone who has the means to leave the city does.
In a groundbreaking decision in 2011, Ayalim took up the mantle thrown down by the government to establish a student village in the city of Lod – in the heart of Israel’s urban landscape. Unlike the student villages established in the Negev and the Galilee, this was the first student village established in Israel’s social periphery.
Lod, just a few miles from Tel Aviv, is worlds apart from its cosmopolitan neighbor. It’s fractured landscape and community, high crime and unemployment has made it a place to avoid. Lod is characterized by its heterogeneous population: religious and secular Jews, Christians and Muslim Arabs, new immigrants and veteran residents from various ethnicities.
Ayalim’s passionate college students are starting to breathe new life into the city, basing their community life on cultural tolerance in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence; creating a sense of belonging to the city; the development of Israeli culture; and creating frameworks for fulfillment.
Ayalim took on another larger than life project by expanding the Lod village the second time on 2014. This time, shipping containers were transformed into apartments – which reduced dramatially the budget and time frame from this project.
Lod is a social, educational and economical periphery, despite its 15 minutes drive to Tel-Aviv. We are going to change this reality and make Lod the marvelous city it should be. Join us and support Lod – with you we can made a difference: