Carmit, also Karmit (Hebrew: כרמית‎), is a new community currently under construction in the heart of the Negev, just 15 kilometers northeast of Beersheba and next to the Shoket Junction and kibbutz Kramim.

Envisioned through a partnership between the Or Movement, JNF, the Israel Land Administration (ILA), Jewish Agency, and the Chicago Israel Philanthropic Fund, and a central component of the Blueprint Negev, Karmit aims to be a modern, actively pluralistic, and diverse neighborhood complete with an array of housing options, upscale amenities and state-of-the-art recreational facilities. Once completed, Karmit will be home to approximately 2,600 families that reflect the diversity spectrum of Israeli society-economic, demographic, and religious. Both native Israelis and immigrants from around the world will find their home in Carmit. The first phase is planned for 200 homes in the summer of 2012.


Carmit is located at the intersection of Route 60 and Route 31, just off of the Shocket minutes from Rte. 6, less than 15 minutes from Beersheba, and less than 1 hour from Tel Aviv. In addition to its proximity to Beersheba and Tel Aviv, Carmit is minutes away from a network of growing communities like Meitar, Lehavim, Giv'ot Bar and Omer. These communities are helping to redefine and develop the Negev into a modern, prosperous and dynamic region.

Carmit is easily accessible via major highways such as Highway 40 and Highway 60, as well as the Israel Railways line via the new Lehavim Rahat Railway Station opened in June 2007.

Carmit will reflect the growing Israeli interest in community living and diversity. Carmit will be defined as the new model of quality living in the Negev.[1] Plans for Carmit include a community center with various amenities such as an Olympic size pool and gym facilities. Carmit will also be home to a beautiful synagogue that will maintain a pluralistic, modern approach to Judaism with Rabbi Asher Lopatin as its spiritual leader. Future plans for Carmit also include retail facilities and an amphitheatre, as well as other opportunities for business and commerce.

Chicago Israel Philanthropic Fund is now reaching out to anglos interested in an innovative and pluralistic community in the Negev. [2] You can read an article about it in Ha'aretz. In addition to the efforts by Chicago Israel Philanthropic Fund to recruit North Americans, the organization is also in touch with French, British, South Africans, and Israelis.


The development of Carmit will be funded primarily through a partnership between the Jewish Agency, Israel Land Authority, Or Movement, JNF and the Chicago Israel Philanthropic Fund.

Chicago Israel Philanthropic Fund (CIPF)

The Chicago Israel Philanthropic Fund (CIPF) is a not for profit organization dedicated to building a pluralistic community in Carmit. The Chicago Israel Philanthropic Fund was started in 2008 by Rabbi Asher Lopatin and Daniel and Rosie Mattio as the North American partner to the Israeli OR Movement, with the mission of developing Carmit, a new community in the Negev. CIPF’s objective is to market this community and bring 200 North American families to live in Carmit in its initial stages of development. In addition to bringing families to Carmit, CIPF will devote its initial funds to building a synagogue, with Rabbi Lopatin as its spiritual leader to fulfill his vision of a pluralistic community to southern Israel.[3]


  • [1], by Raphael Ahren, August 2009, Ha'aretz
  • [2], by Jacob Kanter, December 2009, Jerusalem Post



  1. JNF hopes to refashion Negev lifestyles to lure newcomers, Jerusalem Post, TALYA HALKIN, Jul 11, 2006

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