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Arugot Habosem, Netivot

Meet Itay ad Esther Lachman, a young couple living in the western Negev, not far from the Israel-Gaza border. Together, they run “Arugot HaBosem,” producing natural, organic cosmetics from wildflowers and herbs they grow right in their own garden. All of their products are handmade and contain pure aromatherapy extracts and cold-pressed organic oils. As true, modern-day pioneers of the Negev, the Lachman family are committed to living and cultivating this arid land, despite its many difficulties and challenges. Esther is a graduate of Reidman International College of Contemporary and Integrative Medicine, specialising in herbs and aroma.

In addition to making some of the most beautifully scented and carefully crafted cosmetics in Israel, she frequently gives lectures, teaches courses, and runs workshops focused on Judaism and Ecology. She works closely with Teva Ivri, a nonprofit organisation promoting Jewish environmental responsibility whose goal is to expand the identities of Jews to include an obligation to sustainable living. Despite being a small, family-run business with its own share of challenges, Arugot maintains an impressive culture of giving back, donating to a local women’s empowerment project called “Mercaz Tair,” which provides assistance for victims of sexual assault and runs a rape crisis centre. Arugot itself employs women in need of work, including high school dropouts and young mothers.