Rabbi Shimon Kalfa
Rabbi Shimon KalfaPhoto: Courtesy of Hemdat Hadarom

Rabbi Shimon Kalfa, who founded the Hemdat Hadarom college in the Negev town of Netivot, has passed away at the age of 84.

Rabbi Kalfa is survived by his ten children, several grandchildren and nieces and nephews .His funeral will be held in Netivot Cemetery and his family will sit shiva in the rabbi’s house in the village of Sharsheret.

His son, former Jewish Home Member of Knesset Zevulun Kalfa, spoke about his father this morning saying, “My father, of blessed memory, was a man of the desert who had a hand in every project. He was a man of education, an activist for education and the father of an extensive family.”

Zvulun praised his father’s legacy and said that “The Negev was an integral part of his life and he devoted so much time and energy into developing the Negev in many different ways, into its education, infrastructure and economy.”

President of Hemdat College said, “Rabbi Shimon Kalfa was a man of the Negev in every way and served on Board of Directors of Hemdat Hadarom College since its inception. Credit for the college’s incredible growth and success can be attributed to Rabbi Kalfa’s work and devotion.”

Professor Avi Levy, past president and co-founder of the college, explained that in order to keep Rabbi Kalfa’s legacy alive, we must continue to invest in the college and ensure its further development. He said that the region is small but has great potential for growth and added that the college has come very far since its inception and will continue to grow and serve the community.