From the Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism program students at the International Center of Photography in New York.
Earth Day Feature: Falling In Love Under The Great Oaks
The early ’50 were the days of the Kibbutz Movement. Fifteen families from Alonim left to create an alternative community near Kiryat Tiv’on, a town in the Haifa District of Israel. They built fifteen houses that were identical to each other and established the Shikun-Ella neighbourhood. Small farms, spacious backyards, children in donkey-drawn-carts headed to school and parents rearing cattle were the most common sights.
Most of my memories as a teenager are of my family and friends on the farm. I remember walking under the hills, where the statue of Alexander Zaid, one of the prominent leaders of the Second Aliyah, sat upright on his horse and saluted the people. I remember the path I took to school which led me through the valley and under the great oaks, where I fell in love, searched for solitude and learned to photograph.
I carried my camera everywhere so as to not miss a moment on the farm. I bore witness to time as people got older, trees gave way to saplings and my friends moved on from toys to beers. It has been years since I’ve returned but no matter where I go, I always carry with me Shikun-Ella.