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12Tribe Films Foundations Launches Special Project to Help Former Gush Katif Residents Restore Their Dignity


 NEW YORK, NY Jan. 1, 2008:  12Tribe Films Foundations is now launching Operation Rebuild to help raise funds to rebuild the community of Netzer Hazani documented in the movie “Home Game”. 12Tribe Films Foundation is a “For Impact” not for-profit organization dedicated to creating awareness and raising funds by promoting creative projects about the Jewish people and the land of Israel that connect, entertain, and inspire.  

More than 2 years have passed since the former residents of Gush Katif were removed from their homes, yet they still live in temporary caravans not knowing when they will move into their new homes that have yet to be built.

Last week the Gush Katif Residents Committee released its latest report on the state of the families removed from their homes during the Disengagement of 2005. The starkest finding: 85% of the expellees are still, 28 months later, living in temporary quarters.
MK Ze’ev Elkin (Kadima) proposed legislation in July 2007 that would require the government to speed up the process and complete all preparations for permanent housing within a year.  He proposed the bill, Elkin explained, “in light of the government forecast that at this rate, 75% of the expellees will move into their new homes within 2.5 years from now, or 4.5 years from the expulsion.  This is of course unacceptable.” 

Elkin’s bill was jointly sponsored with MKs Yuli Edelstein (Likud), Zevulun Orlev (Ichud Leumi), Amira Dotan (Kadima) and others, and was supported by no fewer than 65 Knesset Members.

Almost a half a year has passed and still little work has been done.

The community of Netzer Hazani, the first civilian town established in Gush Katif in 1976, is currently living in the interim small caravan site of Ein Tzurim, just south of Kiryat Malachi, after first spending 11 months in temporary hotels and youth hostels. 

Still today the farmers of Netzer Hazani have not received land to rebuild their homes or reestablish their agricultural businesses. Some of the farmers, most of whom have not yet received full compensation, have in the interim taken on minimal paying jobs while others are still unemployed.  

“All we want to do is go on with our lives, move into real homes and return to being productive citizens” said Anita Tucker, spokeswomen for the community and also known as the famous Gush Katif celery farmer. “We just want our dignity returned to us. The most important thing to spearhead this process is the rebuilding of our community.” 

According to an official Israel Government decision the community of Netzer Hazani is to be relocated and built anew in a permanent community site adjacent to Moshav Yesodot, part of the Nachal Sorek Regional Council. The rebuilding project of their new community costs a total of $32 million and so far $30 million has been allocated – $15 million from the government and $15 million from the Netzer Hazani residents’ compensation funds. $2 million still remains to be raised in order for the government to sign the agreement to begin the rebuilding project for the Netzer Hazani community.

“Operation Rebuild” is a special project where community centers, synagogues, schools or even individuals can organize special screenings of “Home Game” the movie as fundraising events to help raise the money necessary for the community of Netzer Hazani to receive the government approval necessary to rebuild. In this way every synagogue, school or individual can have a part in helping rebuild a community in Israel as well as help former residents of Gush Katif have their dignity restored. 

The Netzer Hazani community was a farming community. Their farmers were a staple of the 350 family agricultural industry in Gush Katif that represented some 10% of all agricultural produce raised in Israel; accounting for 65% of Israel’s organic export industry; 90% of Israel’s bug-free leafy vegetables; 45% of tomato exports and 95% of Israel’s cherry tomato exports and 60% of Israel’s herb exports.  

Gush Katif farmers employed 5,000 Jews and 5,000 Palestinians; Gush Katif hot houses covered an estimated 900-1,000 acres and were estimated to be worth over $80 million with total annual revenues around $60-70 million. (Statistics taken from the Jewish Agency website). To this day only a handful of the 350 farming families have been able to return to be productive farmers. 

Taking part in Operation Rebuild is a chesed (charity) project worthy of every community since it gives once productive members of Israeli society the ability to re-establish themselves and become active contributing members once again.  

“Home Game” has become known throughout the Jewish world as a captivating new film that encapsulates the surreal story of normal teenagers trying to continue an annual basketball tournament during a very abnormal summer in Israel – the summer of 2005 during the disengagement from Gaza.  This powerful film emphasizes the journey of these teenagers and their determination to win against all odds, both on and off the court. 

To see the Home Game trailer see our website: http://www.12tribefilms.org/project.php?id=1  

For additional information about taking part in “Operation Rebuild” or inquiries about donating towards this effort please send an email to avi@12tribefilms.org 

ABOUT 12TRIBE FILMS FOUNDATION:  12Tribe Films Foundation (“12Tribe Films”) is a “For Impact” not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting creative projects about the Jewish people and the land of Israel that connect, entertain, and inspire.  While the projects of 12Tribe Films address religious, political, sociological, and current events effecting Israel and the Jewish people, our goal is to be an informative and educational resource that focuses on the underlying Jewish values and human experiences beneath the issues. 


Contact:Avi Abelow

12Tribe Films Foundation


Website:  www.12tribefilms.org

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Filed under home game, israel, movie, news release, operation rebuild, screenings, special event

American stars rally at L.A. benefit concert for Sderot

“What Can I do”?

1. Help create awareness – Send us the details of your Synagogue, School, Hillel Campus, Organization so we can contact them about organizing one of these solidarity events for your community or organization http://12tribefilms.org/SderotPrograms/

2. Help the people in and around Sderot – We will then send them information on ways the community/school/Hillel/Organization can help –

Contact us with the information today – info@12tribefilms.org

Join our Facebook Page to help spread the message: http://www.facebook.com/pages/12Tribe-Films-Foundation/6197893450

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Thirty Years in Thirty Minutes – The Story of Netzer Hazani as Written by Anita Tucker

Constructing  a community ,a public building, a home  all demand defining goals, identifying a location ,planning , permits, financial backing ,building  , then planning  and filling the structures  with functional and aesthetic furnishings.

Netzer Hazani Video Clip

Most important and most difficult is filling it with people, content, meaning, then evaluating its success in meeting the original goals.  

It is a big team effort that can take years. Destroying it all takes only minutes.  

I lived in Netzer Hazani for thirty years –we built this town on bare sand dunes that were not inhabited since Abraham and Isaac, our forefathers, who lived there. 

We built from scratch. We built synagogues, mikvahs, schools, community centers, youth centers, homes, businesses, playgrounds sports fields and swimming pools, agro -businesses, community based businesses, light industry.  

Most important and challenging, we succeeded in filling them all with meaningful contents.  

These communities became known as Gush Katif.

 When it was decided by the Knesset of Israel that bulldozers would destroy it all, piles of rubble remained of the flourishing community.   

Soon the shifting winds of the renewed desert-like area again covered the rubble with sand. This once blossoming oasis is again empty sand dunes as they were after our patriarchs moved. 

We were careful to take out with us the Torah scrolls and the pictures and writings of our Rabbi, the renowned scholar Rabbi Yitzhak Arama, murdered by Arab terrorists two years prior.  

Our youth carried out the heavy Torah scrolls that sat safely in the sanctuary read and reread year after year, generation after generation   .

Many of the scrolls were covered by the traditional Sephardic wood and metal coverings , our youth hugging them with great love, aware that this was what they still  had  left of the town where they were born, grew up ,loved and had hoped to live. 

The traditions, the spirit, the learning, the vision that are the contents of those beloved Torah scrolls hugged and protected our families as they left Gush Katif . We struggled to look forward, yet we could not easily forget the pain of destruction. 

The families wondered from tents to hotel rooms to interim caravan type living quarters, struggling for survival as humans, as families as communities, as Jews at home in the State if Israel, as soldiers in our Israel Defense Force.

All this interim period, we were, as well, dealing with the drawn out bureaucratic procedure and negotiations to try and receive appropriate compensation for our businesses and homes. This has been a very very trying and frustrating challenge and in most cases is not yet near completion as appeals are yet in procedure. 

The communities were spread out in every direction.

However each community made super human efforts to keep together. Our community leadership wisely utilized those eternal values and spirit carried out of Gush Katif to give strength to the community. The community in turn gave strength to the families and the families to their members.   

With the eternal Torah values and spirit keeping the community together we hoped and expected to build anew as a community as defined by the Disengagement –Compensation Law.

 Two and a half years later, having easily defined our goals we suddenly discovered how much more difficult was to be identifying locations, planning, applying for approvals, etc.

However, my community has accomplished this in cooperation with the Government Ministries.  We now seek to define our financial backing which, not by chance, connects with our long-term goals.  

For my town, Netzer Hazani, the first town built in Gush Katif in 1976, we will be receiving a government budget for building anew and we will invest all our compensations and additional loans we will have to take, in building anew.  Yet still we can’t begin construction in lieu of destruction as we had so hoped!   

According to the latest adjusted government figures required for payment prior to signing contract there are still some gaps in the financing. Our experiences have taught us to seek the solution in the challenge.  

Our big challenge today in building a new town in Israel is how to connect to Am Yisrael, the People of Israel.  

There was a terrible lack of dialogue, a lack of identification, a lack of brotherhood between Jews of different thinking and background during and after the disengagement-expulsion from Gush Katif, Gaza.  

The position of Jewry around the world, the position of Jewry in Israel all point to a screaming need for dialogue and rallying around the eternal Jewish values of those Torah scrolls that our youth hugged, as carrying them out of the ruins of our communities.  

Our beloved Jerusalem, more than ever, prays to us for unity around these values and spirit. I feel this intensely each time I pray at the Kotel, in Jerusalem, each time I word Jerusalem in my prayers. I am certain you feel this with me.  

In building these communities anew, those that rally with us around these values will surely choose to enable construction in lieu of destruction, filling the structures with the meaningful content of these values and this spirit of the People of the Torah through the generations.

We yearn that Am Yisrael will connect and partner with us in our efforts to build anew.  

Anita Tucker Netzer Hazani (May it be rebuilt), temporarily in Ein Tzurim 972-547775268   


(My grandchildren, who were born in Netzer Hazani, carried a sign as they left home that read “The Tucker family, Thirty years, three generations, this music will continue.”)

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An Entertaining and Meaningful Synagogue Program

This winter you have the opportunity to provide your community with an entertaining program that can also make a huge impact on the former residents of the Gush Katif community of Netzer Hazani.    

Operation Rebuild – Rebuilding Homes and Lives

12Tribe Films Foundation – will be launching “Operation Rebuild”, which is dedicated to raising funds to help rebuild the Gush Katif community of Netzer Hazani, documented in the movie “Home Game”.

Over two years after being removed from their homes, the former residents from Gush Katif are still living in temporary caravan homes. Unfortunately, much money is needed in order for them to even receive the government approval to begin to rebuild.

As you might know, finally beginning to build their permanent homes and restart their agricultural businesses will not only improve their lives but also help restore their dignity and assist their process of returning to their prior selves as contributing members to Israeli society and Am Yisrael. 

Have Your Synagogue or Organization Join

You can take part in Operation Rebuild by organizing a screening of the important film “Home Game” in your community.

You will not only be offering your community members the important opportunity to see this meaningful and important film (“Fabulous and Powerful Movie” – Prof. Yisrael Aumann, Nobel Prize Laureate”) but you will also allow them to take part in donating towards the rebuilding of a community in Israel and more importantly take part in the process of restoring fellow Jews’ dignity.  

Take a Peak at Home Game

We welcome you to view the Home Game trailer online and read some of the press coverage by clicking here.

Contact Us

Please contact us to find out how your community or organization can take part in Operation Rebuild or how you can donate towards this important project. I will be pleased to respond to any and all inquiries and can be contacted by email: avi@12tribefilms.org 

Avi Abelow

Founder and CEO12Tribe Films Foundation



Realizing that the media coverage of the disengagement focused solely on the political and sociological issues, “Home Game” was produced to give a voice to the little known human story of the former residents of Gush Katif also giving context to their situation today 2 years later. The film presents people the opportunity to connect to their Israeli counterparts through an experience that few even know occurred. “Home Game” is a captivating film about the surreal story of normal teenagers from the community of Netzer Hazani trying to continue an annual basketball tournament during a very abnormal summer in Israel – the summer of 2005 during the disengagement from Gaza.  This powerful docu-drama emphasizes the journey of these teenagers and their determination, emunah and heroism to win against all odds, both on and off the court. 


12Tribe Films Foundation (“12Tribe Films”) is a “For Impact” not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting creative projects about the Jewish people and the land of Israel that connect, entertain, and inspire.  While the projects of 12Tribe Films address religious, political, sociological, and current events effecting Israel and the Jewish people, our goal is to be an informative and educational resource that focuses on the underlying Jewish values and human experiences beneath the issues. The proceeds from 12Tribe Film Foundation programs go towards the causes they represent.  

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“Home Game” the Movie is Now Available Online For All To See. Watch it Today…

Click here to see the movie online (http://12tribefilms.org/player.php)

See the movie, forward it on to friends and family, post the movie link on your blogs, community lists etc.

Allow everyone you know the opportunity to see this inspiring and important movie to better understand who the people of Gush Katif are, what they went through then and empathize with their predicament today.  While the government of Israel is beginning to talk about possibly uprooting more Jews from Judea and Samaria, it is important that people know all about the people of Gush Katif, then and now.

“Fabulous and Powerful Movie” – Prof. Yisrael Aumann, Nobel Prize LaureateNow they can see it from their own homes and begin to understand.  Click the “Rent” button on the movie webpage and follow the steps to see the movie.  

The movie can be viewed online for a 3 day rental period for $4.99. 

For any technical questions or issues see this link (http://studio.brightcove.com/library/faq/viewing_video_faq.cfm) and if necessary, contact the website platform company hosting the movie. Please do not contact me since I do not know the technical information.

Anyone on Facebook can assist in spreading the word by joining the 12Tribe Films Foundation Facebook group here: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6197893450 

To arrange a screening in shules, schools or organizations please contact screenings@12tribefilms.org   

Stay Tuned for Programs on Sderot…  

Help us make this all happen. Forward the movie link to everyone you know. Sign up for our newsletters from our website www.12tribefilms.org .

Contact us to organize a community screening. Spread the Word. 

See Home Game the movie online here today!

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