Merkaz Hashachar
The Red Tent and Women's Evenings in Ketura                        
January 2016

The Red Tent is a movement of women for women. Women communities exist around
the world, virtual as well as real. The vision is that every woman should be able to find
or create her Red Tent, a place for rest, learning, messages of wisdom, a place of
women and for them.

It was three years ago that I began to dream of a kibbutz Red Tent in Ketura. As a new
member, it took me some time to study and understand the specialness of this place
and to adapt the dream to the community, the desert, and the life of our own private
tribe. As in every tribe, ours is colorful and varied, sometimes simple, and sometimes
complex, but always interesting! It has now been more than two years that the circle of
women of the Red Tent has gathered every month. Every time the mix of participants is
different and about a new subject. Every time we gather together, deepening our
awareness of each other. The same is true of old friends and new women to the Tent,
and no less with ourselves.

We rest together, listen, share, create and learn. Some of the evenings we are involved
in art, work with clay, drawing  giant mendelas, and the art of quilling. We had a
fascinating evening on the works of the artist Nahum Gutman, Indian circle, free-dance  
workshops, a journey inwards by meditation and many other successful ideas.

For the most part the meetings are self-run. Wonderful women from the community
bring and contribute from their personal interest. On occasion we have hosted
professionals from outside the kibbutz who run workshops which are special and serious.

Up until now the evenings have been held in the kibbutz's members' lounge. Recently
we received a permanent location in one of the underground shelters. It is a beautiful
Red Tent, a pleasant and permanent place that will serve us for a long time to come.

In the beginning, the place of the Red Tent demanded getting to know and become  
accustomed to the space. After so many years of being apart, we women forgot how to
spend time together. Today, it is possible to feel that the space is pleasant and relaxed,
free and natural. We are still learning how to behave freely and naturally with our sisters
in the safe space that we have created.

We all hope that we will continue ...We wish to thank from the depth of our heart all who
have contributed and helped this dream come to fruition.

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