Gershon Zak, the founder of the village, called it in 1950 "Green Village", without a definite article, with the intention to name it after David Ben-Gurion (1886–1973), whose original name was Gryn or Grün, lit. "green" in Yiddish or German. However, many people did not understand the message contained in the name, and over the years a definite article became added to the institution. Another 20 years later, once the death of Israel's third Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol (1895–1969), occurred before that of the older Ben-Gurion, "the green village" was called after him, becoming since "The Levi Eshkol Green Village".
The village was founded by Gershon Zak in 1950 and originally was an agricultural village for immigrants. In 1986 Zak, together with HaKfar HaYarok, won the prestigious Israel Prize for lifetime achievement to education.
Roughly a quarter of the students at Kfar Hayarok are boarding school students, many of which come from deprived socioeconomic backgrounds. Other students commute from communities across central Israel, attracted by the special study courses offered. Some of these programs include an educational track taught in English, veterinary studies and an arts program.
Today, the village has close to 2,000 students, from ages 12 to 20 (both residential students and external students). Many teachers on the staff make their permanent home on the campus of the village. Each year a group of recent high school graduates doing "Shnat Sherut" volunteer service prior to their IDF induction, come to live in the village as program counselors for the residential students.
HaKfar HaYarok took steps, in 2004, towards becoming an experimental youth village, with the support of the Ministry of Education. This program is based on the educational precepts of humane and democratic education, tolerance, acceptance of the environment, and connection to the land.
Within the village there is an anthroposophical school: the Waldorf Urim school, which houses a teacher training seminary and a kindergarten that operates according to the Waldorf (or Steiner) method.
The college offers one-year and two-year courses.
Junior High School
The Junior High School, which includes 7th, 8th Grade Mofet Science Classes, is intended for highly motivated students with scientific orientation. The program includes classes in mathematics, chemistry or biology, computers, chess, English and Russian or French. The Mofet section prepares students for matriculation exams in the 10th and 11th grades, enabling them to start their higher education during the 11th-12th grades.
The high school offers a unique program called "Manhigut" ("leadership"), that emphasizes the less scientific more humanic classes.
The Junior High School also offers a 7th and 9th Grade Life Science program, which focuses on biology and animal behavior.
The high-school is one of the most advanced of its kind, incorporating advanced teaching methods and following the "22 Project" framework, using demonstrates alternative methods of teaching and student assessment. The school offers various majors in life-sciences, agriculture, music, multimedia, fashion design, computer-aided vehicle diagnostics, electronics, and information systems.
Special program for gifted students
In partnership with the Gifted Students Department of the Ministry of Education, HaKfar HaYarok offers a special program for gifted students. To be accepted, students are first evaluated by the Karni Institute in Kfar Saba.
Eastern Mediterranean International School (EMIS)
The village is home to the Eastern Mediterranean International School, an international boarding school with students from more than 40 countries who take the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. The school was established in 2014 and there are approximately 140 students enrolled in year 1 and year 2 of the programme.
- Yaron London (born 1940), media personality, journalist, actor, and songwriter
- Micha Ullman (born 1939), sculptor and art professor
- Micha Tomkiewicz (born 1939), scientist, writer and professor
- Yisrael Poliakov (1941 - 2007), comedian, singer and actor, member of the "Pale-Face Trackers" (Gashashim) ensemble.
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