In 2048, Israel's 100th year, we expect that the state of Israel will stand at 15 million people. Given the current situation in which the country's center will be overpopulated, this growth will not be possible without the Negev's development. Construction of housing units, expansion of commerce and the economy, creating workplaces and developing a high-quality education infrastructure of a new order of magnitude. We must ensure that this development will be conducted in an informed manner that  will, on the one hand, enable development. On the other hand, it protects environmental values and our precious desert.

If we want Israel of 2048 to look like the Zionist dream, we should invest in the Negev now! The good news is that we have impressive Negev leaders, a clear vision, and excellent infrastructure to grow.

Ramat HaNegev has the best conditions to grow dramatically. We are relatively close to Be'er Sheva, so people can commute to work. Our communities are pluralistic and tolerant, reflecting Israeli society in all its diversity. The Council offers its residents a high quality of life, an advanced, inclusive, and innovative educational system, a high level of services, community resilience, and a sense of belonging.

Together with our outstanding partners from the US, Europe, and Australia, we are devoted to our mission, as part of our conviction in the National mission, to strengthen our connection, programs, and initiatives. We will continue to strive to enlarge our circle of engagement and cultivate our younger generations with our shared values of volunteerism, "Derech Eretez", instilling the pioneer spirit, "Tikkun Olam," Jewish peoplehood, innovation, and pluralism. Together, we will continue to grow, learn, and evolve together as a strong, united, and dedicated people.

This year we celebrate the State of Israel's 73rd anniversary, and we will continue to look into the future. We cannot take its existence for granted. The revival of the Jewish people in their land is unbelievable, as we are doing it in Ramat HaNegev. The opportunity is real for us to follow the pioneers' footsteps before us: how significant was the role of the pioneers who came here to revive Israel, and how marvelous are the things we do here today. Agriculture, industry, research, education, energy, security – all at the forefront of Israeli achievements – alongside quality community life that continuously draws more families, and there is room for more.

I am honored and humbled to participate in this great endeavor, and together we will continue to create magnificent achievements here in Ramat HaNegev.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

mayor eren doron