The Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev congratulates Dr. Shani Bar-On on her new book, Weaving Community – Labor in Ofakim, published by Magnes Press.
Weaving Community – Labor in Ofakim, 1955-1981 tells the story of the emergence of a new town in the middle of the desert. The book describes encounters between laborers, residents and neighbors; between capitalists and factory owners and laborers; between laborers from Ofakim and laborers from the Gaza Strip; and between various social groups in Ofakim and women. The relationships between these different groups created social boundaries that affected workers in the labor market and beyond, and also enabled the development of a local community. The community's development was often affected by the decisions and actions of the country's leaders and other external bodies, but in the end became a source of pride and gave a sense of belonging to the residents of the city.
This close look at daily life within the community teaches a lot about the development of Israeli society and the shaping of relations between the center and the periphery.