Cooperation between the Kibbutz Na'an community, NaanDanJain Irrigation Ltd. and Jain Irrigation in India extends beyond economic and commercial issues; it also encompasses social and cultural affairs.
In the interests of enhancing ties, NaanDanJain and Kibbutz Na'an sent a delegation of kibbutz youth to India.
The delegation included ten Year Ten and Year pupils, accompanied by their counsellors and teachers. They were accommodated at a highly prestigious Jain Foundation and Gandhi Peace Foundation boarding school for youth leadership, in the Company's home state of Maharashtra.
Before departure, the young men and women studied Indian culture and religion with emphasis on Jainism, which prescribes, among other things, non violence and vegetarianism, practises that were adopted by Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.
The Na'an youths attended classes and workshops, were guests at a traditional Indian wedding and themselves gave lectures and workshops to the school's 300 pupils on topics such as kibbutz life, Israel, Judaism, and Israeli songs and dances. They also prepared an Israeli evening meal for the school.
They visited Jain factories and the Jain Foundation's Gandhi Peace and Tolerance Museum, also schools including a primary school for children from poor families funded by the Foundation and the ancient Ajanta Caves.
A teacher from India paid a Jain funded visit to Na'an. She taught kibbutz members of all ages Indian drawing, Mandala, Yoga and Meditation. A reciprocal visit is planned for Indian school children to the kibbutz next spring, as well as exchanges of teachers and leaders from both communities, with a view to create and develop joint social and economic initiatives.
Na'an Head of Informal Education Ms. Maya Mendel Shalev, who prepared and headed the delegation, says 'the objective was to send young ambassadors from Na'an and Israel to explain and describe Israel and, upon their return, to serve as ambassadors for Indian youth and culture both to the kibbutz and to other youth organisations in Israel'.
According to NaanDanJain Director and Jain representative in Israel Mr. Amnon Ofan, who also prepared and accompanied the delegation,
'Part of our corporate activities and responsibilities and especially those of our parent company, Jain, are to enhance economic and cultural ties with Israel through a commitment to remain in Israel for many years and to increase investment both in Israel and in Na'an'.