Communitarian Artists’ Agro/Biodynamic Non-Sectarian Village producing quality wine and Olive Oil to finance Stage and Screen production, study, etc…
KEREM BNEI SHLOMO
by Eliahu Gal-Or, AKA the Pizza Rebbe
For those curious about my title:
The first reason for it is that I was born and raised in Napoli, Italy, where pizza was invented.
The second is that I already was a filmmaker when films were literally shot on film, those big spools were called pizzas; in Italy a “pizza” film means a love comedy, like an Israeli “bureka” film, nothing to do with “spaghetti” westerns.
The third is that when I had a lot of Army Reserve duty and could not co
nvince my (now ex-) wife to learn computers, I taught her to make pizza and started in Me’Or Modiim “Luciano’s Hostaria Napolitana” which she still runs very successfully now, using my recipes.
The fourth and last is that I run in Jerusalem “AMEN, Association to Empower the Needy” to continue the work of my teacher Reb Shlomo Carlebach ZTz”L, and I use pizza and wine as tools to facilitate communications to deal with personal crises.
If you can think of a fifth reason please inform me.
A new cooperative vineyard is being created in the Modiin Hills in central Israel, and working partners or investors are sought anywhere in the world; unique grape strains and innovative techniques are going to be used, and in three years the winery will also get started, to produce high quality vintages from the fifth year on.
To make it all happen I just founded a new social justice and civil rights political party: “PIPE” which stands for Peace Initiative for Prosperity and Environment.
(English subtitles by clicking the bottom right tab) to see why.. The party is modeled on Adriano Olivetti’s OBM Italian Communitarian Party of the ’60s (a documentary on him, “The Future is in Me” by Michele Fasano is absolutely worth the time to see it, especially together with a debate on Intentional Communities) in which I was a teenage militant. I am one of the founders of such a communitarian village, Mevo Modiin (see Wikipedia) and I am now creating this new one, Kerem Bnei Shlomo meant for the screen and stage artists’community.
The vineyard will also function as an agritourism center, featuring a youth hostel to provide, besides more employment, hospitality for tourists, volunteers and enrollees in therapeutic programs, plus an academy and production facilities.
NOTE: if you consider part of what I say below not directly related to wine as a subject of this blog, please accept, along with my apologies to you, my disagreement; this is all about making wine by planting and growing grapes, hence about finding the people who will come together to do it, and just like when buying shoes, size is more essential than the looks, as much as they matter too, so please bear with me as I post this time what will decide who answers to me. Within decent limits, I look forward to publicize, just as cheerfully, supporting and dissenting opinions, to answer questions and to create events where we shall meet in person, and share the creation of a new community.
Kerem is the Hebrew word for vineyard, and this group is dedicated to the sharing of information and connections among those who have, or would like to have, hopefully the organic way, a vineyard in Israel and/or make wine; it is really enough to start by planting one vine and getting to know it when you taste its wine. Finding and obtaining the land is another story, but now that Israeli wines are adding to our reputation in the world, it should get easier to actually get the assistance every citizen of Israel is entitled to, in order to get started into one of the healthiest, most rewarding and passionate activities. We can get together to form a Small Vintners’ Association and advance the use of local denomination control trademarks, build clout which translates into collective buying, selling and equipment sharing, make and publish our own news in the world’s media, offer training and experience to the next generation, and last but not least: enjoy the reward of our feet’s labor together, in joyous song and dance at its appointed time.
And for those who choose to still live abroad: it is a mitzva to plant and own a vine in the land of Israel, so starting from Modiin Vineyards and welcoming those who offer a similar program to non residents, we propose you the ownership of one or more individual vines hosted here under our careful management.
Each vine, or share in the rest of the vineyard and ancillary facilities, will entitle its owner to the dividend of a yearly bottle of wine, which in the Shemita year will be replaced by a bottle of Grappa or Brandy made with wine from the year before.
The first seven applicants to the position of Founding Members will obtain its benefits and all its publication and events at no fee for as long as they are in office; I will accept all proposals and suggestions for the articles of incorporation.
Lehaim Tovim uleShalom,
Will there be secular members in our group?
Certainly; only missionaries for ANY religion, the most fanatical of which I consider to be Atheism, will not be welcome; I believe that religion is a private matter between (wo)man and Creat-r, and no one should be judged by another based on belief instead of his/her own actual actions.
Regardless of how “religious” or “secular” you consider yourself, what is essential is to accept and welcome those of a different persuasion or degree of observance, down to zero, perhaps remembering, in case you are “religious” how much more or less so you have been in the
past, and whether in your personal growth as an observant person you have updated or replaced any minhagim that you had believed valid until you had learned more about their purpose, reason and/or source; obviously, if you are not observant the question is how committed you are to your perceived ( by self and others) identity and whether you rule out in principle any change or personal growth in a different direction, but in a neutral key my position is as follows:
To be slightly more precise: if we fear that a challenge to our own belief system endangers it, or us, we are failing to realize how much we need each other to be in the world, and that without each other there is no world; a mother is not squeamish about changing diapers, so why should we be afraid of someone who is more, or less, “religious” than we fool ourselves into thinking that we are? Given that no matter how much, or little, “religious” we are there will always be someone who is more, or less, so.
Religion (a generic brand, no registered trademarks implied) is a stairway, or elevator, or escalator, and if we are to remain in the same place while on it, is useless; and if one is not prepared to give a hand to those who are climbing on it more slowly, it is an abomination instead of a vehicle for evolution, which sometime in order to sprint ahead requires some backup space as dictated by circumstance; the angels on Jacob’s ladder were going up and down without ceasing to be angels, and even the Evil one is part of the G-dhead and has a purpose which for excellent reasons is hidden from us while we are in this world.
What I am saying here is that I welcome tolerant people but prefer not to live with bigots if I can help it, simply because I don’t want to waste my life in sterile arguments. Personally, I am committed to full Torah and Mitzvot observance, including kiruv by example, but not by stuffing my level and minhagim down someone else’s throat, because I realize that that person’s position on the ladder is not permanent, and my Ls&Ms don’t have to apply there.
Having said that, the last item is that on Friday Night the choice between Synagogue/Shabbat Table and Disco is a personal one and no stigma belongs to either.
I am looking for Artists and people who believe in Art and want to live by their Art; my chosen one is film, I practice more disciplines too, creating a community where we can make movies, and of course TV or whatever else we call our Art, Crafts of course are included as equals in the new Holywood (one “L” intended).
I am a Carlebach Hasid, one of the founders of Me’Or Modiim and I am creating a new village in Israel, to honor my Rebbe ZTz”l’s memory and provide a place in the sunshine for my neighbors’ children and mine.
Kerem Bnei Shlomo, the Children of Solomon Vineyard, is an Organic and Biodynamic Cooperative being formed in Israel, within the Green Line, across Highway 443 from Me’Or Modiim, the original Carlebach Moshav, which is located in the beautiful Ben Shemen forest, 4 miles from Ben Gurion Airport and (soon) a 20 minute train ride to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
It is only one mile from the new city of Modiin, which has reached 100.000 souls, and four miles from Kiriat Sefer, which numbers about 120.000.
There will be 150 plots of approximately 15.000 square meters each, of which 80% will be planted with 5.000 vines or 2.500 olive trees of your chosen variety, 10% set aside to eventually build a home and 10% reserved for future infrastructure.
After four years from planting the estimated production of each plot is of at least 5.000 bottles of either wine or olive oil of the highest quality, and by the tenth year of at least twice these figures; the workload required is one and a half to two months a year, which leaves the rest of the year free to make movies or whatever else you want, as long as it is legal and not a hassle on the neighbors. Owning a vineyard or Olive grove does not obligate to work it personally; any arrangement is possible, although ideally priority in hiring should be given to other members of the community if available, and in the end all the automatable work will be done this way. Partial shading of the vines will be provided by photovoltaic panels, with the obvious advantage of more income per square meter of land, besides energetic self-sufficiency (think electric vehicles, etc…).
The wine and oil production plant will be cooperative, with individual tanks for each plot lessee (in Israel land is owned by the state and it is leased for 99 (in this case the lease is for 62 years, which is what is left of the original 99 signed in 1976 by Moshav Modiin which is being liquidated, however it is entered at practically 1976 prices, a very substantial incentive) years at a price which, for agriculture amounts to a fraction of the subsidies the state pays for the time land is being worked but there is no harvest yet, whereas for urban development zones the lease price is probably close to one hundred times that of agriculturally zoned land).
Eventually a studio/theatre/cinematheque/Modern Art Museum complex, to produce, teach and perform, will be built along with a hotel, youth hostel, and a satellite dish farm, plus wind and solar energy supply for the whole project.
I have chosen to make it first as a purely working agricultural cooperative, in order to not waste the ten years it would probably take to get approval as housing development, because the city of Modiin, whose plans I had seen in 1976 when I was still living in S.Francisco, had its first stone laid by Itzhak Rabin Z”L in 1995 and the first inhabitants moved in in 1999. The population forecast had it at 13.000 by 2009 whereas it has already reached 100.000 and shows no sign of letting down.
I also foresee a massive North American Aliyah wave, enough to make the memory of the Russian wave of the Eighties pale in comparison; I expect around a million new Anglo olim by 2013, which will drive Real Estate prices heavenward until the industry catches up.
Once land is obtained, there are subsidies from the Agriculture Ministry to help plant and maintain the trees until they give fruit, and the development grants alone amount to about twice the amount paid for the land lease, plus loans are available at very favorable conditions, and I am also pursuing outside investment for the communal bottling plants and facilities.
Besides wine and oil there shall be facilities such as hotel, cultural spaces and if possible a golf course, with options for any suitable productive activities; a huge industrial area is 2 miles away on the opposite side of Highway 443 and in the beginning the best option is to just rent apartments in the city of Modiin.
Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are both 20 minutes away by train or car in non-peak traffic hours, thus an easy commute, and Ben Gurion Airport is 7 minutes away, served by train too.
I am planning the cooperative for 150 units, with the provision that couples get two units, one in the name of each, and should G-d forbid a divorce happen each one is left with his and her own fair and equal share; this rule is a consequence of my own divorce experience and will not be changed, but naturally, the two lots will not be contiguous to start with.
I will answer any further specific questions you wish to send me, but to answer a probable one: it is too early a stage to establish any structures for collective financing packages, but that time will come too.
Contact me at [email protected] and +972586272388
Eliahu Gal-Or – The Pizza Rebbe – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjD1zsvCH64
Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=33831270184&ref=ts