Kibbutz

Kibbutz

Overview
A kibbutz is a collective community
Intentional community
An intentional community is a planned residential community designed to have a much higher degree of teamwork than other communities. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They...

 in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 that was traditionally based on agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

. Today, farming has been partly supplanted by other economic branches, including industrial plants
Factory
A factory or manufacturing plant is an industrial building where laborers manufacture goods or supervise machines processing one product into another. Most modern factories have large warehouses or warehouse-like facilities that contain heavy equipment used for assembly line production...

 and high-tech enterprises
Business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 and Zionism
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

. In recent decades, some kibbutzim have been privatized and changes have been made in the communal lifestyle. A member of a kibbutz is called a kibbutznik .

In 2010, there were 270 kibbutzim in Israel.
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Encyclopedia
A kibbutz is a collective community
Intentional community
An intentional community is a planned residential community designed to have a much higher degree of teamwork than other communities. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They...

 in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 that was traditionally based on agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

. Today, farming has been partly supplanted by other economic branches, including industrial plants
Factory
A factory or manufacturing plant is an industrial building where laborers manufacture goods or supervise machines processing one product into another. Most modern factories have large warehouses or warehouse-like facilities that contain heavy equipment used for assembly line production...

 and high-tech enterprises
Business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 and Zionism
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

. In recent decades, some kibbutzim have been privatized and changes have been made in the communal lifestyle. A member of a kibbutz is called a kibbutznik .

In 2010, there were 270 kibbutzim in Israel. Their factories and farms account for 9% of Israel’s industrial output, worth US$8 billion, and 40% of its agricultural output, worth over $1.7 billion.

The first kibbutzim


Bilu'im
Bilu
Bilu was a movement whose goal was the agricultural settlement of the Land of Israel. "Bilu" is an acronym based on a verse from the Book of Isaiah "בית יעקב לכו ונלכה" Beit Ya'akov Lekhu Venelkha...

, forerunners of thhirants went to the United States, but a minority went to Palestine. It was this generation that would include founders of the kibbutzim.

Like the members of the First Aliya who came before them, most members of the Second Aliya wanted to be farmers. Joseph Baratz, one of the pioneers of the kibbutz movement, wrote a book about his experiences.
We were happy enough working on the land, but we knew more and more certainly that the ways of the old settlements were not for us. This was not the way we hoped to settle the country—this old way with Jews on top and Arabs working for them; anyway, we thought that there shouldn't be employers and employed at all. There must be a better way.


Though Baratz and others wanted to farm the land themselves, becoming independent farmers was not a realistic option in 1909. As Arthur Ruppin
Arthur Ruppin
Arthur Ruppin was a Zionist thinker and leader. He was also one of the founders of the city of Tel Aviv, and a pioneering sociologist credited as being "The Father Of Jewish Sociology", directing Berlin's Bureau for Jewish Statistics and Demography from 1902 to 1907...

, a proponent of Jewish agricultural colonization of the Trans-Jordan would later say, "The question was not whether group settlement was preferable to individual settlement; it was rather one of either group settlement or no settlement at all."

Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 Palestine was a harsh environment. The Galilee was swampy, the Judean Hills rocky, and the south of the country, the Negev
Negev
The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The Arabs, including the native Bedouin population of the region, refer to the desert as al-Naqab. The origin of the word Neghebh is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'...

, was a desert. To make things more challenging, most of the settlers had no prior farming experience. The sanitary conditions were also poor. Malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

, typhus
Typhus
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters...

 and cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 were rampant. Nomad
Nomad
Nomadic people , commonly known as itinerants in modern-day contexts, are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but...

ic Bedouins would raid farms and settled areas. Sabotage of irrigation canals and burning of crops were also common. Living collectively was simply the most logical way to be secure in an unwelcoming land. On top of safety considerations, establishing a farm was a capital-intensive project; collectively the founders of the kibbutzim had the resources to establish something lasting, while independently they did not.

Finally, the land had been purchased by the greater Jewish community. From around the world, Jews dropped coins into JNF "Blue Boxes" for land purchases in Palestine. In 1909, Baratz, nine other men, and two women established themselves at the southern end of the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

 near the Arab village of Umm Juni. These teenagers had hitherto worked as day laborers draining swamps, as masons, or as hands at the older Jewish settlements. Their dream was now to work for themselves, building up the land. They called their community "Kvutza
Kvutza
Kvutza or kevutza can be used as:*A definition of an organized group of children consisting of boys and girls graded by age, as used in modern Israel.*It can also refer to any other type of group of individuals...

t Degania
Degania
-Further reading:* Gavron, Daniel. The Kibbutz: Awakening from Utopia. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000.-External links:* *, from the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive internet site...

" (lit. "wheat of God").

The founders of Degania endured backbreaking labor: "The body is crushed, the legs fail, the head hurts, the sun burns and weakens," wrote one of the pioneers. At times half of the kibbutz members could not report for work and many left. Despite the difficulties, by 1914, Degania had fifty members. Other kibbutzim were founded around the Sea of Galilee and the nearby Jezreel Valley
Jezreel Valley
-Etymology:The Jezreel Valley takes its name from the ancient city of Jezreel which was located on a low hill overlooking the southern edge of the valley, though some scholars think that the name of the city originates from the name of the clan which founded it, and whose existence is mentioned in...

.

During the British Mandate



The fall of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 at the end of World War I, followed by the arrival of the British, brought with it benefits for the Jewish community of Palestine and its kibbutzim. The Ottoman authorities had made immigration to Palestine difficult and restricted land purchases. Rising anti-semitism forced many Jews to flee Eastern Europe. To escape the pogroms, tens of thousands of Russian Jews immigrated to Palestine in the early 1920s, in a wave of immigration that was called the "Third Aliyah
Third Aliyah
The third Aliyah refers to the third wave of the Jewish immigration to Israel from Europe who came inspired by Zionist motives between the years 1919 and 1923 . A symbol of the start of the third immigration wave is the arrival of the boat "Roselan" in the Jaffa Port on December 19, 1919...

."

Zionist Jewish youth movements flourished in the 1920s, from right-wing movements like Betar to left-wing socialist groups such as Dror, Brit Haolim, Kadima, Habonim (now Habonim Dror
Habonim Dror
Habonim Dror is a Jewish Labour Zionist youth movement formed by the merger in 1982 of the Habonim and Dror youth movements. Habonim Dror's sister movement in Israel is Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed, the Working and Studying Youth.-Ideology:...

), and Hashomer Hatzair
Hashomer Hatzair
Hashomer Hatzair is a Socialist–Zionist youth movement founded in 1913 in Galicia, Austria-Hungary, and was also the name of the group's political party in the Yishuv in the pre-1948 British Mandate of Palestine...

. In contrast to those who came as part of the Second Aliyah
Second Aliyah
The Second Aliyah was an important and highly influential aliyah that took place between 1904 and 1914, during which approximately 40,000 Jews immigrated into Ottoman Palestine, mostly from the Russian Empire, some from Yemen....

, these youth group members had some agricultural training before embarking. Members of the Second Aliyah and Third Aliyah were also less likely to be Russian, since emigration from Russia was closed off after the Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

. European Jews who settled on kibbutzim between the World Wars were from other countries in Eastern Europe, including Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

.

In the early days, communal meetings were limited to practical matters, but in the 1920s and 1930s, they became more informal. Instead of meeting in the dining room, the group would sit around a campfire. Rather than reading minutes, the session would begin with a group dance. Remembering her youth on a kibbutz on the shores of the Kinneret
Kinneret
Kinneret or Kineret may refer to:* Sea of Galilee, Israel's largest freshwater lake** Kinneret, Israel, village southwest of the lake** Kvutzat Kinneret, kibbutz southwest of the lake** Kinneret College, college south of the lake...

, one woman said: "Oh, how beautiful it was when we all took part in the discussions, [they were] nights of searching for one another—that is what I call those hallowed nights. During the moments of silence, it seemed to me that from each heart a spark would burst forth, and the sparks would unite in one great flame penetrating the heavens…. At the center of our camp a fire burns, and under the weight of the hora
Hora
Hora is a type of circle dance originating in the Balkans but also found in other countries. The name is cognate to the Greek χορός : 'dance' which is cognate with the ancient Greek art form of χορεία; see Chorea. The original meaning of the Greek word χορός may have been 'circle'...

 the earth groans a rhythmic groan, accompanied by wild songs."

Kibbutzim founded in the 1920s tended to be larger than the kibbutzim like Degania which were founded prior to World War I. Degania had had twelve members at its founding. Ein Harod, founded only a decade later, began with 215 members.

Kibbutzim grew and flourished in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1922 there were 700 people living on kibbutzim in Palestine. By 1927, the number had risen to 2,000. When World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 erupted, 24,105 people were living on 79 kibbutzim, comprising 5% of the Jewish population of Mandate Palestine. In 1950, the figures went up to 65,000, accounting for 7.5% of the population. In 1989, the kibbutz population peaked at 129,000. By 2010 the number decreased to circa 100,000; the number of kibbutzim in Israel was 270.

Development of kibbutz movements


In 1927, the United Kibbutz Movement (HaKibbutz Hameuhad) was established. Several HaShomer Hatzair
Hashomer Hatzair
Hashomer Hatzair is a Socialist–Zionist youth movement founded in 1913 in Galicia, Austria-Hungary, and was also the name of the group's political party in the Yishuv in the pre-1948 British Mandate of Palestine...

 kibbutzim banded together to form HaKibbutz HaArtzi. In 1936, HaKibbutz HaArtzi founded its own political party, the Socialist League of Palestine, commonly referred to as Hashomer Hatzair.

In 1928, Degania and other small kibbutzim formed "Hever Hakvutzot" ("association of kvutzot"). Kvutzot were deliberately small, not exceeding 200 members, in the belief that this was imperative for maintaining trust. Kvutzot did not have youth-group affiliations in Europe. Kibbutzim affiliated with Hakibbutz Hameuhad took in as many members as they could. Givat Brenner eventually came to have more than 1,500 members. Artzi kibbutzim were also more devoted to equality of the sexes than other kibbutzim. Women called their husbands ishi ("my man") rather than the customary Hebrew word for husband ba'ali (lit. "my owner"). The children slept in children's houses and visited their parents only a few hours a day.

There were also differences in religion. Kibbutz Artzi and Kibbutz HaMeuhad kibbutzim were secular, even staunchly atheistic, proudly trying to be "monasteries without God". Most mainstream kibbutzim also disdained the Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism , is the approach to Judaism which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and...

 of their parents, but they wanted their new communities to have Jewish characteristics nonetheless. Friday nights were still "Shabbat
Shabbat
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

" with a white tablecloth and fine food, and work was not done on Saturday if it could be avoided. Only late some kibbutzim adopted Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur , also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest and most solemn day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue...

 as the day to discuss fears for the future of the kibbutz. Kibbutzim also had collective bar mitzvahs for their children.

If kibbutzniks did not pray several times a day, kibbutzniks marked holidays like Shavuot
Shavuot
The festival of is a Jewish holiday that occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan ....

, Sukkot
Sukkot
Sukkot is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei . It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.The holiday lasts seven days...

, and Passover
Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

 with dances, meals, and celebrations. One Jewish holiday, Tu B'shvat, the "birthday of the trees" was substantially revived by kibbutzim. All in all, holidays with some kind of natural component, like Passover and Sukkoth, were the most significant for kibbutzim.

Religious kibbutzim were established in clusters before the establishment of the State, creating the Religious Kibbutz Movement
Religious Kibbutz Movement
The Religious Kibbutz Movement is an organizational framework for Orthodox kibbutzim in Israel. Its membership includes 19 communities, 16 of them traditional kibbutzim, and two others in the category of moshav shitufi , meaning that they have no communal dining hall or children's house but...

. The first religious kibbutz was Ein Tzurim
Ein Tzurim
Ein Tzurim is a religious kibbutz in southern Israel. Located south of Kiryat Malakhi, it falls under the jurisdiction of Shafir Regional Council, and is a member of the Religious Kibbutz Movement. In 2007 it had a population of 1,100.-Original kibbutz:...

, founded in 1946.

Statebuilding


Arab opposition increased as the Balfour Declaration and the wave of Jewish aliyah to Palestine began to tilt the demographic balance of the area. There were bloody anti-Arab and anti-Jewish riots in Jerusalem in 1921 and in Hebron in 1929. In the late 1930s Arab-Jewish violence became virtually constant, a period known as the Great Uprising
Great Uprising
The 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine or Great Arab Revolt was a nationalist uprising by Palestinian Arabs in Mandate Palestine against British colonial rule and mass Jewish immigration.The revolt consisted of two distinct phases...

 in Palestinian historiography.

Kibbutzim began to assume a more prominent military role. Rifles were purchased or manufactured and kibbutz members drilled and practiced shooting. Yigal Allon
Yigal Allon
Yigal Allon was an Israeli politician, a commander of the Palmach, and a general in the IDF. He served as one of the leaders of Ahdut HaAvoda party and the Israeli Labor party, and acting Prime Minister of Israel, and was a member of the Knesset and government minister from the 10th through the...

, an Israeli soldier and statesman, explained the role of kibbutzim in the military activities of the Yishuv.
The planning and development of pioneering Zionist were from the start at least partly determined by politico-strategic needs. The choice of the location of the settlements, for instance, was influenced not only by considerations of economic viability but also and even chiefly by the needs of local defense, overall settlement strategy, and by the role such blocks of settlements might play in some future, perhaps decisive all out struggle. Accordingly, land was purchased, or more often reclaimed, in remote parts of the country.


Kibbutzim also played a role in defining the borders of the Jewish state-to-be. By the late 1930s when it appeared that Palestine would be partition
Partition (politics)
In politics, a partition is a change of political borders cutting through at least one territory considered a homeland by some community. That change is done primarily by diplomatic means, and use of military force is negligible....

ed between Arabs and Jews, kibbutzim were established in outlying areas to insure that the land would be incorporated into the Jewish state. In 1946, on the day after Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur , also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest and most solemn day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue...

, eleven new "Tower and Stockade" kibbutzim
11 points in the Negev
11 points in the Negev refers to a Jewish Agency plan for establishing eleven settlements in the Negev in 1946, prior to the establishment of the State of Israel.-History:...

 were hurriedly established in the northern part of the Negev to give Israel a better claim to this arid, but strategically important, region. The Marxist
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 faction of the kibbutz movement, Kibbutz Artzi, favored a binational state over partition, but advocated free Jewish immigration, which the Arabs opposed.

Kibbutzniks fought in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

, emerging from the conflict with enhanced prestige in the nascent State of Israel. Members of Kibbutz Degania were instrumental in stopping the Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n tank advance into the Galilee with homemade gasoline bombs. Maagan Michael manufactured the bullets for the Sten guns that won the war. Maagan Michael's clandestine ammunition
Ammunition
Ammunition is a generic term derived from the French language la munition which embraced all material used for war , but which in time came to refer specifically to gunpowder and artillery. The collective term for all types of ammunition is munitions...

 factory was later separated from the kibbutz and grew into TAAS (Israel Military Industries
Israel Military Industries
Israel Weapons Industries , formerly the "Magen" division of the Israel Military Industries Ltd. is an Israeli firearms manufacturer. In 2005, the Small Arms Division of IMI was privatized....

).

After the establishment of the state



The establishment of Israel and flood of Jewish refugees from Europe and the Arab world presented challenges and opportunities for kibbutzim. The immigrant tide offered kibbutzim a chance to expand through new members and inexpensive labor, but it also meant that Ashkenazi kibbutzim would have to adapt to Jews whose background was far different from their own. Until the 1950s, nearly all kibbutzniks were from Eastern Europe, culturally different from the Jews of Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

, and Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. Many kibbutzim hired Mizrahim as laborers but were less inclined to grant them membership.

Ideological disputes were also widespread. Israel had been initially recognized by both the USA
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. For the first three years of its existence, Israel was in the Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

, but David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
' was the first Prime Minister of Israel.Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946...

 gradually began to take sides with the West
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

. The question of which side of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 Israel should choose created fissures in the kibbutz movement. Dining halls segregated according to politics and a few kibbutzim even had Marxist members leave. The disillusionment particularly set in after the Prague Trials in which an envoy of Hashomer Hatzair in Prague was tried.

Another controversy involved Holocaust reparations from West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

. Should kibbutz members turn over income that was the product of a very personal loss? If Holocaust survivors were allowed to keep their reparation money, what would that mean for the principle of equality? Eventually, many kibbutzim made this one concession to inequality by letting Holocaust survivors keep all or a percentage of their reparations. Reparations that were turned over to the collective were used for building expansion and even recreational activities.

Kibbutzniks enjoyed a steady and gradual improvement in their standard of living in the first few decades after independence. In the 1960s, the kibbutzim standard of living improved faster than Israel's general population. Most kibbutz swimming pools date from the good decade of the 1960s.

Kibbutzim also continued to play an outsize role in Israel's defense apparatus. In the 1950s and 1960s many kibbutzim were in fact founded by an Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 group called Nahal
Nahal
Nahal is an Israel Defense Forces infantry brigade. Historically, it refers to a program that combines military service and establishment of new agricultural settlements, often in outlying areas...

. Many of these 1950s and 1960s Nahal kibbutzim were founded on the precarious and porous borders of the state. In the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

, when Israel lost 800 soldiers, 200 of them were from kibbutzim. The prestige that kibbutzniks enjoyed in Israel in the 1960s was reflected in the Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

. When only 4% of Israelis were kibbutzniks, kibbutzniks made up 15% of Israel's parliament.

As late as the 1970s, kibbutzim seemed to be thriving in every way. Kibbutzniks performed working class, or even peasant class, occupations, yet enjoyed a middle class lifestyle.

Decline and restructuring



With time, the kibbutz members’ sense of identification with the kibbutz and its goals decreased. This process originated both from personal frustrations among the kibbutz members as a result of internal processes and from the growing stratification and inequality due to the growth of capitalistic practices. Over the years, some kibbutz members established professional careers outside the kibbutz, accumulating power, privileges and prestige. The balance between individual values and values of the kibbutz began to tip, and work motivation was affected. An emphasis was placed on social compensation to encourage productivity. These processes occurred in parallel with a severe economic crisis
Kibbutz crisis
The Kibbutz crisis was an acute economic crisis many of the kibbutzim in Israel experienced during the 1980s and that many still experience today. The crisis began in the early 1980s and intensified after the Israeli economic stabilization program of 1985 during which the inflation stopped, and...

.
  • The privatization
    Privatization in Israel
    The privatization in Israel refers to the transferring or selling of a service or property owned by the Israeli government or any public organization to private ownership...

     processes and the adoption of non-cooperative beliefs in all of the Israeli society, affected the moral and structural support of kibbutzim, and with the years penetrated the new generations of the kibbutzim.
  • The kibbutzim were built on the attempt to create a permanent and institutionalized framework, which would be able to set a pattern of conduct which would successfully handle the implementation of shared values. The attempt to place such a regular pattern required creativity in the adoption of kibbutz practices to its growth and changing kibbutz system and encompassing society, but kibbutz leadership suppressed innovators and critical thinkers, causing either failures to deal with changes or adoption of capitalist solutions that negated kibbutz basic principles.
  • The kibbutzim had a rural
    Rural
    Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

     patterns of settlements, while over the years the Israeli society began adopting urban
    Urban area
    An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

     patterns of settlements. The lack of match between the patterns of the kibbutz society and the majority of the Israeli society, appealed the strong linkage between the kibbutzim with the entire Israeli society, a principle which did not allow the continuation of the collaborative model (because of the internal weakening and the loss of the all-Israeli legitimacy).
  • The kibbutzim were established during the pioneer period and were the fulfillment of the Zionist vision, during that period of time every member was required to give the maximum from himself for the good of the collective: the kibbutz and the state. In addition, as a group it was easier to deal with the common problems of the individuals – which allowed the recruitment of a large number of people for maintaining the safety of the community at that time, and therefore this way of life was suited for the Zionist goals more than other forms of life at that time.
  • The original concept of the kibbutzim was based to a large extent on self-sacrifice of its members for the sake of abstract foundations and not on the cancellation of work, and therefore after the pioneer period the linkage between the kibbutz members decreased, due to the decline in the pioneering spirit and the decline in the importance of the self-sacrifice values.
  • When the kibbutz was perceived as an initiator for values national objectives, it was very much appreciated in the Israeli society and it was easier for the members to identify themselves with the kibbutz, its function and it’s significantly. With the decrease of its appreciation and the minimizing of the social significances in the Israeli society, the kibbutz identity weakened.
  • The kibbutzim were not capable of dealing with the increase in the standard of living in order to keep the communal values relevant, which eventually led to the changes in patterns of life of many members which harmed the relevancy of the communal framework which was not adapted to this.
  • The globalization
    Globalization
    Globalization refers to the increasingly global relationships of culture, people and economic activity. Most often, it refers to economics: the global distribution of the production of goods and services, through reduction of barriers to international trade such as tariffs, export fees, and import...

     processes and the kibbutz failure to block them exposed the kibbutz society to a different type of culture. For example, after kibbutz members were allowed to have Television sets in their own homes, the kibbutz members were exposed to “the good life” in which people were compensated for their work and could buy themselves different luxurious items. The kibbutzim were not capable of dealing with these processes.
  • The collapse of the Communist block resulted in the weakening of Socialist beliefs around the world, including in the kibbutz society.


During the 1980s, following the peak of the kibbutzim crisis, many people started leaving their kibbutzim, and there was considerable tension due to the economic situation. In order to cope with the situation, some kibbutzim began to change in various ways.

The changes which occurred could be divided into three main types:
  • Extensive privatization of the kibbutz services - in fact, such privatization had been introduced over the past two decades in many kibbutzim. Most of these privatization processes, however, were made in matters which were considered relatively minor. Currently, many kibbutzim which have privatized (some of them with subsidies) have also privatized the education
    Education
    Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

     and health systems, which were once considered untouchable.
  • "Differential wage" - one famous characteristic of the kibbutzim was that each kibbutz member received an equal budget according to his or her needs, regardless of what job they held. In many kibbutzim, members are now paid differentially based on the work they do.
  • "Association of properties" - refers to the transfer of some of the properties which belong to the kibbutz, in its capacity as a cooperative commonality, to the ownership of individual kibbutz members. This is actually true privatization (unlike the services privatization). These assets include the homes where the members live and a sort of a "stock" in the manufacturing component of the kibbutz. This change allows kibbutz members to sell and bequeath both types of properties, within certain limitations.


Since the mid 1990s, the number of kibbutzim making significant changes in their lifestyle continued to grow, while the resistance to these changes gradually decreased, with only a few dozen kibbutzim still functioning under more traditional models. It is important to note, however, that each kibbutz has undergone different processes of change. There are many people, outside and inside the kibbutzim, who claim these changes bring to an end the kibbutz concept. Among the communities which had recently ceased being kibbutzim (officially): are Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley, HaGoshrim in the Upper Galilee, Beit Nir in the Negev, etc.

These processes have created the "renewing kibbutz" (הקיבוץ המתחדש ) – a kibbutz settlement pattern which is not fully based on the original values of the kibbutz. Kibbutzim continuing under the original kibbutz values are associated with the "collaborative model" (הזרם השיתופי).

New compensation models
There are now three kibbutz compensation models. 1) The traditional collective kibbutz/kibbutz shitufi, in which members are compensated equally, regardless of what work each member does; 2) the mixed model kibbutz/kibbutz meshulav, in which each member is given a small percentage of his salary along with a basic component given equally to all kibbutz members; and 3) the renewing kibbutz/kibbutz mithadesh, in which a member’s income consists solely of his individual income from his work and sometimes includes income from other kibbutz sources.

According to a survey conducted by the University of Haifa
University of Haifa
The University of Haifa is a university in Haifa, Israel.The University of Haifa was founded in 1963 by Haifa mayor Abba Hushi, to operate under the academic auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem....

 188 of all kibbutzim (72%) are now converted to the "renewing kibbutz" model, which could be described as capitalist kibbutz. Dr. Shlomo Getz, head of the Institute for the Research of the Kibbutz and the Cooperative Idea believes that by the end of 2012, there will be more kibbutzim switching to some alternative model.

Ideology of the kibbutz movement



First Aliyah
First Aliyah
The First Aliyah was the first modern widespread wave of Zionist aliyah. Jews who migrated to Palestine in this wave came mostly from Eastern Europe and from Yemen. This wave of aliyah began in 1881–82 and lasted until 1903. An estimated 25,000–35,000 Jews immigrated to Ottoman Syria during the...

 immigrants were largely religious, but those of the Second Aliyah
Second Aliyah
The Second Aliyah was an important and highly influential aliyah that took place between 1904 and 1914, during which approximately 40,000 Jews immigrated into Ottoman Palestine, mostly from the Russian Empire, some from Yemen....

 were mainly secular. A Jewish work ethic thus replaced religious practice. Berl Katznelson
Berl Katznelson
Berl Katznelson was one the intellectual founders of Labor Zionism, instrumental to the establishment of the modern State of Israel, and the editor of Davar, the first daily newspaper of the workers' movement.-Biography:...

, a Labor Zionist leader articulated this when he said "Everywhere the Jewish laborer goes, the divine presence goes with him.".
In the contemporary Yiddish anti-Zionist
Anti-Zionism
Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionistic views or opposition to the state of Israel. The term is used to describe various religious, moral and political points of view in opposition to these, but their diversity of motivation and expression is sufficiently different that "anti-Zionism" cannot be...

 literature that was circulating around Eastern Europe, Palestine was mocked as dos gepeigerte land, "the country that had died." Kibbutz members found immense gratification in bringing the land back to life by planting trees, draining swamps, and countless other hard-graft activities to make the land (invariably wetlands) productive. In soliciting donations, kibbutzim and other Zionist settlement activities presented themselves as "making the desert bloom."

The first kibbutzim were founded in the upper Jordan Valley
Jordan Valley (Middle East)
The Jordan Valley forms part of the larger Jordan Rift Valley. It is 120 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide, where it runs from Lake Tiberias in the north to northern Dead Sea in the south. It runs for an additional 155 kilometer south of the Dead Sea to Aqaba, an area also known as Wadi...

, the Jezreel Valley
Jezreel Valley
-Etymology:The Jezreel Valley takes its name from the ancient city of Jezreel which was located on a low hill overlooking the southern edge of the valley, though some scholars think that the name of the city originates from the name of the clan which founded it, and whose existence is mentioned in...

 and the Sharon
Sharon
Sharon can be a female name which can be spelled with one "r" or two . It also refers to several places in the world.It derives from a Israelite place name meaning "forest" in Hebrew, referring to a fertile plain near the coast of Israel. This gives its name to a type of flowering shrub, the rose...

 coastal plain
Coastal plain
A coastal plain is an area of flat, low-lying land adjacent to a seacoast and separated from the interior by other features. One of the world's longest coastal plains is located in eastern South America. The southwestern coastal plain of North America is notable for its species diversity...

. The land was available for purchase because it was marshy and malaria-infested. The Zionists believed that the Arab population would be grateful for the economic benefits that developing the land would bring. Their approach was that the enemies of the Arab peasants were the Arab landowners (called effendi
Effendi
Effendi, Effendy or Efendi is a title of nobility meaning a lord or master.It is a title of respect or courtesy, equivalent to the English Sir, which was used in Ottoman Empire...

s
), not fellow Jewish farmers. The first kibbutzniks hoped to be more than farmers. They sought to create a new type of society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

 where all would be equal and free from exploitation.

Kibbutz members were not classic Marxists
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 though their system partially resembled Communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

. Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 and Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

 both shared a disdain for conventional formulations of the nation-state
Nation-state
The nation state is a state that self-identifies as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign entity for a nation as a sovereign territorial unit. The state is a political and geopolitical entity; the nation is a cultural and/or ethnic entity...

 and Leninists
Leninism
In Marxist philosophy, Leninism is the body of political theory for the democratic organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party, and the achievement of a direct-democracy dictatorship of the proletariat, as political prelude to the establishment of socialism...

 were hostile to Zionism. Nevertheless, in the late 1930s, two kibbutz leaders, Tabenkin and Yaari, initially attracted to anarchist ideas, pushed their movements leftward to reverence of Stalin's dictatorship. Soon Stalin became hostile to Israel as it served Soviet diplomatic and military interests in the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

. This caused major crises and mass exit in both Kibbutz Meuchad and Kibbutz Artzi kibbutzim, especially after the 1953 Doctors' Plot
Doctors' plot
The Doctors' plot was the most dramatic anti-Jewish episode in the Soviet Union during Joseph Stalin's regime, involving the "unmasking" of a group of prominent Moscow doctors, predominantly Jews, as conspiratorial assassins of Soviet leaders...

 in Moscow and the Prague showcase Trials. Kibbutzim were run as collective enterprises within a free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

 system. Kibbutzim also practiced active democracy, with elections held for kibbutz functions and full participation in national elections.

Kibbutzim were not the only contemporary communal enterprises: pre-war Palestine also saw the development of communal villages called moshav
Moshav
Moshav is a type of Israeli town or settlement, in particular a type of cooperative agricultural community of individual farms pioneered by the Labour Zionists during the second aliyah...

im (singular moshav). In a moshav, marketing and major farm purchases were collective, but other aspects of life were private.

In 2009, most votes from kibbutzim went to Kadima
Kadima
Kadima is a centrist and liberal political party in Israel. It was established on 24 November 2005 by moderates from Likud largely to support the issue of Ariel Sharon's unilateral disengagement plan, and was soon joined by like-minded Labor politicians...

, Labor, and Meretz.

Communal life


The principle of equality was taken extremely seriously up until the 1970s. Kibbutzniks did not individually own tools, or even clothing. Gifts and income received from outside were turned over to the common treasury. If a member received a gift in services—like a visit to a relative who was a dentist or a trip abroad paid for by a parent—there could be arguments at members' meetings about the propriety of accepting such a gift.

Children



The arrival of children at a new kibbutz inevitably posed an ethical dilemma. If everything was held in common, then who was in charge of the children? This question was answered by regarding the children as belonging to all, even to the point of kibbutz mothers breastfeeding babies who were not their own. For most kibbutzim, the arrival of children was a sobering experience: "When we saw our first children in the playpen, hitting one another, or grabbing toys just for themselves, we were overcome with anxiety. What did it mean that even an education in communal life couldn't uproot these egotistical tendencies? The utopia of our initial social conception was slowly, slowly destroyed."

In the 1920s kibbutzim introduced communal children's homes. The theory was that trained nurses and teachers would be better care-providers than parents. Relationships would also be better because parents would not have to be disciplinarians. Another goal was to liberate mothers and promote gender equality: Instead of spending many hours a day on child care, women would be free to work and have more leisure time.

Child rearing



From their establishment until the 1970s, most kibbutzim had a system whereby the children would sleep in communal children's homes, called 'Beit Yeladim' (בית ילדים), instead of in their parents' apartments.

In addition to reports by individual journalists or reporters, there is a large body of empirical research dealing with child rearing in kibbutzim. Such research has been critical of this method of raising children.

In a 1977 study, Fox compared the separation effects experienced by kibbutz children when removed from their mother, compared with removal from their caregiver
Caregiver
Caregiver may refer to:* Caregiver or carer - an unpaid person who cares for someone requiring support due to a disability, frailty, mental health problem, learning disability or old age...

 (called a metapelet in Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

). He found that the child showed separation distress in both situations, but when reunited children were significantly more attached to their mothers than to the metapelet. The children protested subsequent separation from their mothers when the metapelet was reintroduced to them. However, kibbutzim children shared high bonding with their parents as compared to those who were sent to boarding school
Boarding school
A boarding school is a school where some or all pupils study and live during the school year with their fellow students and possibly teachers and/or administrators. The word 'boarding' is used in the sense of "bed and board," i.e., lodging and meals...

s, because children in a kibbutz spent three hours with their parents every day.

In another study by Scharf, the group brought up in a communal environment within a kibbutz showed less ability in coping with imagined situations of separation than those who were brought up with their families. This has far reaching implications for child attachment adaptability and therefore institutions like kibbutzim. These interesting kibbutz techniques are controversial with or without these studies.

Gender roles



In the early days of the kibbutz movement, kibbutzim tended to be male-dominated with significantly more male members. Nevertheless, women performed many of the same tasks as men. They worked in the fields and performed guard duty, but also filled traditional female roles, such as cooking, sewing, and cleaning. The desire to liberate women from traditional maternal duties was another ideological underpinning of the Children's Society system. Interestingly, women born on kibbutzim were much less reluctant to perform traditional female roles. It was the generation of women born on kibbutzim that eventually ended the Societies of Children. Also, although there was a "masculinization of women", there was no corresponding "feminization
Feminization (sociology)
In sociology, feminization is the shift in gender roles and sex roles in a society, group, or organization towards a focus upon the feminine. This is the opposite of a cultural focus upon masculinity....

" of men. Women may have worked the fields, but men did not work in childcare
Childcare
Child care means caring for and supervising child/children usually from 0–13 years of age. In the United States child care is increasingly referred to as early childhood education due to the understanding of the impact of early experiences of the developing child...

.

Social life


Social lives were held in common as well, not only property. As an example, most kibbutz dining halls exclusively utilized benches, not as an issue of cost or convenience, but because benches were construed as another way of expressing communal values. At some kibbutzim husbands and wives were discouraged from sitting together, as marriage was an expressed form of exclusivity. In The Kibbutz Community and Nation Building, Paula Rayman reports that Kibbutz Har refused to buy teakettles for its members in the 1950s; the issue being not the cost but that couples owning teakettles would mean more time spent together in their apartments, rather than with the community in the dining hall.

Communal life proved hard for some. Every kibbutz saw new members quit after a few years. Since kibbutzniks had no individual bank accounts, any purchase not made at the kibbutz canteen had to be approved by a committee, a potentially humiliating and time-wasting experience. Kibbutzim also had their share of members who were not hard workers, or who abused common property; there would always be resentment against these "parasites." Finally, kibbutzim, as small, isolated communities, tended to be places of gossip, exacerbated by lack of privacy and the regimented work and leisure schedules.

Although major decisions about the future of the kibbutz were made by consensus or by voting, day-to-day decisions about where people would work were made by elected leaders. Typically, kibbutzniks would learn their assignments by consulting the duty sheet at the dining hall.

Kibbutz memoirs from the Pioneer era report that kibbutz meetings varied from heated arguments to free-flowing philosophical discussions, whereas memoirs and accounts from kibbutz observers from the 1950s and 1960s report that kibbutz meetings were businesslike but poorly attended.

Kibbutzim attempted to rotate people into different jobs. One week a person might work in planting, the next with livestock, the week after in the kibbutz factory and the following week in the laundry. Even managers would have to work in menial jobs. Through rotation, people took part in every kind of work, but it interfered with any process of specialization.

Children's Societies were one of the features of kibbutz life that most interested outsiders. In the heyday of Children's Societies, parents would only spend two hours a day, typically in the afternoon, with their children. In Kibbutz Artzi parents were explicitly forbidden to put their children to bed at night. As children got older, parents could go for days on end without seeing their offspring, other than through chance encounters somewhere in the grounds.

Some children who went through Children's Societies said they loved the experience, others remain ambivalent. One vocal group maintains that growing up without one's parents was very difficult. Years later, a kibbutz member described her childhood in a Children's Society:

"Allowed to suckle every four hours, left to cry and develop our lungs, we grew up without the basic security needed for survival. Sitting on the potty at regular intervals next to other children doing the same, we were educated to be the same; but we were, for all that, different… At night the grownups leave and turn off all the lights. You know you will wet the bed because it is too frightening to go to the lavatory."


Aversion to sex was not part of the kibbutz ideology; to this end, teenagers were not segregated at night in Children's Societies, yet many visitors to kibbutzim were astonished at how conservative the communities tended to be. In Children of the Dream, Bruno Bettelheim
Bruno Bettelheim
Bruno Bettelheim was an Austrian-born American child psychologist and writer. He gained an international reputation for his work on Freud, psychoanalysis, and emotionally disturbed children.-Background:...

 quoted a kibbutz friend, "at a time when the American girls preen themselves, and try to show off as much as possible sexually, our girls cover themselves up and refuse to wear clothing that might show their breasts or in any other fashion be revealing." Kibbutz divorce rates were and are extremely low. Unfortunately, from the point of view of the adults in the community, marriage rates among communally raised children were equally low. This conservatism on the part of kibbutz children has been attributed to the Westermarck effect
Westermarck effect
The Westermarck effect, or reverse sexual imprinting, is a hypothetical psychological effect through which people who live in close domestic proximity during the first few years of their lives become desensitized to later sexual attraction. This phenomenon was first hypothesized by Finnish...

—a form of reverse sexual imprinting that causes children raised together from an early age to reject each other as potential partners, even where they are not blood relatives.

From the beginning, Kibbutzim had a reputation as culture-friendly and nurturing of the arts. Many kibbutzniks were and are writers, actors, or artists. Kibbutzim typically offer theater companies, choirs, orchestras, athletic leagues, and special-interest classes. In 1953 Givat Brenner staged the play My Glorious Brothers, about the Maccabee revolt, building a real village on a hilltop as a set, planting real trees, and performing for 40,000 people. Like all kibbutz work products at the time, all the actors were members of the kibbutz, and all were ordered to perform as part of their work assignments.

Psychological aspects


The era of independent Israel kibbutzim attracted interest from sociologists and psychologist
Psychologist
Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...

s who attempted to answer the question: What are the effects of life without private property
Private property
Private property is the right of persons and firms to obtain, own, control, employ, dispose of, and bequeath land, capital, and other forms of property. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which refers to assets owned by a state, community or government rather than by...

? What are the effects of life being brought up apart from one's parents?

Three researchers who wrote about psychological life on kibbutzim were Melford E. Spiro (1958), Bruno Bettelheim
Bruno Bettelheim
Bruno Bettelheim was an Austrian-born American child psychologist and writer. He gained an international reputation for his work on Freud, psychoanalysis, and emotionally disturbed children.-Background:...

 (1969) and Michael Baizerman (1963). All concluded that a kibbutz upbringing led to individuals' having greater difficulty in making strong emotional commitments thereafter, such as falling in love
Falling in love
In romantic relationships, "falling in love" is mainly a Western term used to describe the process of moving from a feeling of neutrality towards a person to one of love...

 or forming a lasting friendship. On the other hand, they appear to find it easier to have a large number of less-involved friendships, and a more active social life
Social life
Social life may refer to:* an individual's Interpersonal relationships* Social relation * Social Life, an album by Koufax* Social Life, the indie/punk band from Greensboro, North Carolina....

.

Bettelheim suggested that the lack of private property was the cause of the lack of emotions in kibbutzniks. He wrote, "nowhere more than in the kibbutz did I realize the degree to which private property, in the deep layers of the mind, relates to private emotion
Emotion
Emotion is a complex psychophysiological experience of an individual's state of mind as interacting with biochemical and environmental influences. In humans, emotion fundamentally involves "physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience." Emotion is associated with mood,...

s. If one is absent, the other tends to be absent as well". (See primitivism
Primitivism
Primitivism is a Western art movement that borrows visual forms from non-Western or prehistoric peoples, such as Paul Gauguin's inclusion of Tahitian motifs in paintings and ceramics...

 and primitive communism
Primitive communism
Primitive communism is a term used by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to describe what they interpreted as early forms of communism: As a model, primitive communism is usually used to describe early hunter-gatherer societies, that had no hierarchical social class structures or capital accumulation...

 for a general discussion of these concepts).

Other researchers came to a conclusion that children growing up in these tightly knit communities tended to see the other children around them as ersatz
Ersatz
Ersatz means 'substituting for, and typically inferior in quality to', e.g. 'chicory is ersatz coffee'. It is a German word literally meaning substitute or replacement...

 siblings and preferred to seek mates outside the community
Exogamy
Exogamy is a social arrangement where marriage is allowed only outside of a social group. The social groups define the scope and extent of exogamy, and the rules and enforcement mechanisms that ensure its continuity. In social studies, exogamy is viewed as a combination of two related aspects:...

 when they reached maturity. Some theorize that living amongst one another on a daily basis virtually from birth on produced an extreme version of the Westermarck effect, which diminished teenage kibbutzniks' sexual attraction to one another. Partly as a result of not finding a mate from within the kibbutz, youth often abandon kibbutz life as adults.

It is a subject of debate within the kibbutz movement as to how successful kibbutz education was in developing the talents of gifted children. Several kibbutz-raised children look back and say that the communal system stifled ambition; others say that bright children were nonetheless encouraged. Bruno Bettelheim had predicted that kibbutz education would yield mediocrity: "[kibbutz children] will not be leaders or philosophers, will not achieve anything in science or art." However, it has been noted that although kibbutzim comprise only 5% of the Israeli population, surprisingly large numbers of kibbutzniks become teachers, lawyers, doctors, and political leaders.

Bettelheim's prediction was certainly wrong about the specific children he met at "Kibbutz Atid." In the 1990s, a journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

 tracked down the children Bettelheim had interviewed back in the 1960s at what was actually Kibbutz Ramat Yohanan. The journalist found that the children were highly accomplished in academia
Academia
Academia is the community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research.-Etymology:The word comes from the akademeia in ancient Greece. Outside the city walls of Athens, the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning...

, business
Business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

, music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, and the military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

. "Bettelheim got it totally wrong."

Economics


Kibbutzim in the early days tried to be self-sufficient in all agricultural goods, from eggs to dairy to fruits to meats, but realized this was not possible. Land was generally provided by the Jewish National Fund
Jewish National Fund
The Jewish National Fund was founded in 1901 to buy and develop land in Ottoman Palestine for Jewish settlement. The JNF is a quasi-governmental, non-profit organisation...

. Later, they became dependent on government subsidies.

Even before the establishment of the State of Israel, kibbutzim began to branch out from agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 into manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

. Kibbutz Degania
Degania
-Further reading:* Gavron, Daniel. The Kibbutz: Awakening from Utopia. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000.-External links:* *, from the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive internet site...

 opened a factory for diamond cutting
Diamond cutting
Diamond cutting is the art, skill and, increasingly, science of changing a diamond from a rough stone into a faceted gem. Cutting diamond requires specialized knowledge, tools, equipment, and techniques because of its extreme difficulty....

 tools that now grosses several million dollars a year. Kibbutz Hatzerim
Hatzerim
Hatzerim is a kibbutz located 8 kilometers west of Beersheba in the Negev desert in Israel. It is named after the Bible , mentionning a site nearby: "the Avvites who lived in farmyards as far as Gaza".-History:...

 has a factory for drip irrigation
Drip irrigation
Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation or microirrigation or localized irrigation , is an irrigation method which saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone, through a network of valves,...

 equipment. Netafim
Netafim
Netafim is a company in the field of irrigation for agriculture and landscaping. The company focuses on crops in the area of drip irrigation, greenhouse turnkey projects, and biofuel energy crops...

 is a multinational corporation that grosses over $300 million a year. Maagan Michael branched out from making bullets to making plastics and medical tools, and running an ulpan
Ulpan
An ulpan is an institute or school for the intensive study of Hebrew. Ulpan is a Hebrew word meaning basically studio or teaching, instruction....

. These enterprises bring in over $100 million a year. A great wave of kibbutz industrialization came in the 1960s, and today only 15% of kibbutz members work in agriculture.

Hiring seasonal workers was always a point of controversy in the kibbutz movement. During harvest time, when hands were needed, manpower was sought outside the kibbutz. The founders of the kibbutz movement wanted to redeem the Jewish nation through manual labor, and hiring non-Jews to do hard tasks was not consistent with that idea. In the 1910s Kibbutz Degania vainly searched for Jewish masons to build their homes. Only when they could not find Jewish masons did they hire Arabs.

In the 1970s, kibbutzim frequently hired Arab laborers. Since the 1990s, teams of foreign workers have been brought in, many from Thailand and China.

Kibbutzim have branched out into tourism, among them Kiryat Anavim, Lavi
Lavi
Lavi is a kibbutz in the Lower Galilee area of Israel. It is a member of the Religious Kibbutz Movement.Located 310 meters above sea level and 10 minutes from Tiberias, it falls under the jurisdiction of Lower Galilee Regional Council.-History:...

 and Nahsholim
Nahsholim
Nahsholim is a kibbutz and beach resort in northern Israel. Located near Zikhron Ya'akov, it falls under the jurisdiction of Hof HaCarmel Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 399....

. Many kibbutzim rent out homes or run guesthouses. Several kibbutzim, such as Kibbutz Lotan
Lotan
Lotan or Lawtan is the seven-headed sea serpent or dragon of Ugaritic myths. He is either a pet of the god Yamm or an aspect of Yamm himself; the cosmic ocean of myth is often known as a great stream. In the Hebrew analogue Lotan is who was also known as Yam the Leviathan. He represents the mass...

 and Kfar Ruppin
Kfar Ruppin
Kfar Ruppin is a kibbutz in the Beit She'an Valley about southeast of Beit She'an in northern Israel. A member of the Kibbutz Movement, it falls under the jurisdiction of Valley of Springs Regional Council.-History:...

, operate bird-watching vacations.

Types of kibbutzim


There are three kibbutz movements:
  1. The Kibbutz Movement
    Kibbutz Movement
    The Kibbutz Movement is the largest settlement movement for kibbutzim in Israel. It was formed in 1999 by a partial merger of the United Kibbutz Movement and Kibbutz Artzi.-United Kibbutz Movement:...

    , which constitutes as a roof-organization of two separate movements and ideologies: the United Kibbutz Movement, founded in 1979 as a merger of two older movements: the United Kibbutz and Union of Kvutzot and Kibbutzim, and Kibbutz Artzi Hashomer Hatzair
    Hashomer Hatzair
    Hashomer Hatzair is a Socialist–Zionist youth movement founded in 1913 in Galicia, Austria-Hungary, and was also the name of the group's political party in the Yishuv in the pre-1948 British Mandate of Palestine...

  2. Religious Kibbutz Movement
    Religious Kibbutz Movement
    The Religious Kibbutz Movement is an organizational framework for Orthodox kibbutzim in Israel. Its membership includes 19 communities, 16 of them traditional kibbutzim, and two others in the category of moshav shitufi , meaning that they have no communal dining hall or children's house but...

     Hapoel HaMizrachi
    Hapoel HaMizrachi
    Hapoel HaMizrachi |Mizrachi]] Workers) was a political party and settlement movement in Israel and is one of the predecessors of the National Religious Party.-History:...

    ,
  3. Agudat Israel Workers
    Agudat Israel Workers
    Poalei Agudat Yisrael was a political party in Poland, and is a minor political party and settlement movement in Israel. It is also known as PAI or PAGI, its Hebrew acronym .-History:...



Many kibbutzim were initially established by Nahal
Nahal
Nahal is an Israel Defense Forces infantry brigade. Historically, it refers to a program that combines military service and establishment of new agricultural settlements, often in outlying areas...

 groups affiliated with Israeli youth movements, among them HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed
Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed
Histadrut HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed , sometimes abbreiviated to No'al is an Israeli youth movement, a sister movement of Habonim Dror, the Labor Zionist movement....

, Hashomer Hatzair
Hashomer Hatzair
Hashomer Hatzair is a Socialist–Zionist youth movement founded in 1913 in Galicia, Austria-Hungary, and was also the name of the group's political party in the Yishuv in the pre-1948 British Mandate of Palestine...

 and HaMachanot HaOlim.

Following many changes which the kibbutzim over went through the years and following the appeal made to Israeli High Court of Justice by the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow Coalition in 2001 in which the state was required to redefine the exact definition of a kibbutz in order to define the rightful benefits which the kibbutzim members should be granted by law. The reactivated legal definition was given to the Industry, Trade and Labour Minister of Israel
Industry, Trade and Labour Minister of Israel
The Industry, Trade and Labour Minister of Israel is the political head of the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour and a position in the Israeli cabinet....

 on the December 15, 2005 (תקנות סיווג הקיבוצים). According to this classification there are three types of kibbutzim:
  1. Kibbutz Shitufi (קיבוץ שיתופי): a kibbutz which still preserves a cooperative system.
  2. Kibbutz Mitchadesh (קיבוץ מתחדש): a community which has a number of cooperative systems in its intentions (guaranteed minimal income within the community, partnership in the ownership of the production means, partnership in the ownership of the lands, etc.).
  3. Urban kibbutz
    Urban kibbutz
    An urban kibbutz is a form of kibbutz which is located within an existing city. There are currently just over 100 in Israel, totalling around 2,000 members....

    (קיבוץ עירוני): a community which exists within an existing settlement (city). Since the 1970s around 100 urban kibbutz
    Urban kibbutz
    An urban kibbutz is a form of kibbutz which is located within an existing city. There are currently just over 100 in Israel, totalling around 2,000 members....

    im have been founded within existing Israeli cities. They have no enterprises of their own and all of their members work in the non-kibbutz sector. Examples include Tamuz in Beit Shemesh (near Jerusalem), Horesh in Kiryat Yovel
    Kiryat Yovel
    Kiryat HaYovel is a neighborhood in southwestern Jerusalem on Mount Herzl. It was built in the early 1950s to house new immigrants...

    , Jerusalem, or Migvan
    Migvan
    Migvan is a small urban kibbutz located in the city of Sderot in the northwestern Negev desert in Israel.The kibbutz was founded in 1987, and the original six members of the group have expanded to 60 members. It is a mixed model of the urban kibbutz with private homes-Further reading:*Daniel Gavron...

     in Sderot
    Sderot
    Sderot is a western Negev city in the Southern District of Israel. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , at the end of 2009 the city had a total population of 20,700. The city has been an ongoing target of Qassam rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip...

    .

Legal issues


Some kibbutzim have been involved in legal actions related to their status as kibbutzim. Kibbutz Glil Yam
Glil Yam
Glil Yam is a kibbutz in central Israel. Located in the Sharon plain between Ramat HaSharon and Herzliya, it falls under the jurisdiction of Hof HaSharon Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 327....

, near Herzliya, petitioned the court regarding privatization. In 1999, 8 members of kibbutz Beit Oren
Beit Oren
Beit Oren is a kibbutz in northern Israel. It falls under the jurisdiction of Hof HaCarmel Regional Council.-Geography:Kibbutz Beit Oren is located in the heart of Carmel mountain range, right next to the Carmel Nature Reserve national park, an area often called "little Switzerland".-History:In...

, applied to the High Court of Justice, to order the registrar of cooperative societies, to declassify Beit Oren as a kibbutz and reclassify it as a different kind of cooperative society. The petitioners argued that the Kibbutz had dramatically changed its life style, having implemented differential salaries, closing the communal dining room, and privatizing the educational system and other services. These changes did not fit the legal definition of a kibbutz, and in particular, the principle of equality in consumption. Consequently, the registrar of cooperative societies, who has the authority to register and classify cooperative societies, should change the classification of kibbutz Beit Oren. The kibbutz responded that it still maintained the basic principles of a kibbutz, but the changes made were vital to prevent a financial collapse and to improve the economic situation.

This case resulted in the Government establishing a committee to recommend a new legal definitions that will suit the development of the kibbutz, and to submit an opinion on the allocation of apartments to kibbutz members. The committee submitted a detailed report with two new legal classifications to the settlements known today as kibbutzim. The first classification was named 'communal kibbutz' which was identical to the traditional definition of a kibbutz. The second classification, was called the 'renewing kibbutz', which included developments and changes in lifestyle, provided that the basic principles of mutual guarantee and equality are preserved. In light of the above, the committee recommended that instead of the current legal definition of kibbutz, two different determinations will be created, as follows, a) communal kibbutz: a society for settlement, being a separate settlement, organized on the basis of collective ownership of possession, of self employment, and of equality and cooperation in production, consumption and education, b) renewing kibbutz: a society for settlement, being a separate settlement, organized on the basis of collective partnership in possession, of self employment, and of equality and cooperation in production, consumption and education, that maintains mutual guarantee among its members, and its articles of association includes, some or all of the following:
  1. relative wages according to the individual contribution or to seniority allocation of apartments
  2. allocation of productive means to its members, excluding land, water
  3. productive quotas, provided that the cooperative society will maintain control over the productive means and that the articles of association restrict the negotiability of allocated productive means.

Legacy


In his history of Palestine under the British Mandate, One Palestine, Complete, "New Historian" Tom Segev
Tom Segev
Tom Segev is an Israeli historian, author and journalist. He is associated with Israel's so-called New Historians, a group challenging many of the country's traditional narratives.-Early life:Segev was born in Jerusalem in 1945...

 wrote of the kibbutz movement:
The kibbutz was an original social creation, yet always a marginal phenomenon. By the end of the 1920s no more than 4,000 people, children included, lived on some thirty kibbutzim, and they amounted to a mere 2.5% of Palestine’s Jewish population. The most important service the kibbutzim provided to the Jewish national struggle was military, not economic or social. They were guardians of Zionist land, and their patterns of settlement would to a great extent determine the country’s borders. The kibbutzim also had a powerful effect on the Zionist self-image.


As against this characterization, numerous students found kibbutzim played major role in agricultural innovation that advanced the Israeli agriculture to leading the world in some sectors, for instance irrigation. In later era many of their factories led Israeli efforts to gain economic independence by production for export, while their political involvement was of major importance up to 1948. The Kibbutz Meuchad and Kibbutz Artzi manaced Ben-Gurion's dominance of Yishuv politics in the 1940s, but they failed gaining wide public support in Israeli elections ever since 1949 because of reverence of Stalin's dictatorship which most Israelis denounced. Kibbutzim have been criticized for falling short of living up to their own ideals. Most kibbutzim are not self-sufficient and have to employ non-kibbutz members as farm workers (or later factory workers). What was particularly controversial was the employment of Arab labourers while excluding them from the possibility of joining the Kibbutz as full members.

Some kibbutzim have been criticized for "abandoning" socialist principles and turning to capitalist
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 projects in order to make the kibbutz more self-sufficient economically. Kibbutz Shamir owns an optical products company that is listed on the NASDAQ
NASDAQ
The NASDAQ Stock Market, also known as the NASDAQ, is an American stock exchange. "NASDAQ" originally stood for "National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations". It is the second-largest stock exchange by market capitalization in the world, after the New York Stock Exchange. As of...

 stock exchange. Numerous kibbutzim have moved away from farming and developed parts of their property for commercial and industrial purposes, building shopping malls and factories on kibbutz land that serve and employ non kibbutz members while the kibbutz retains a profit from land rentals or sales. Conversely, kibbutzim which have not engaged in this sort of development have also been criticized for becoming dependent on state subsidies to survive.

Nonetheless, kibbutzniks played a role in yishuv
Yishuv
The Yishuv or Ha-Yishuv is the term referring to the body of Jewish residents in Palestine before the establishment of the State of Israel...

 society and then Israeli society, far out of proportion to their population, and many kibbutzniks have served Israel in positions of leadership. The Tower and Stockade system by which 52 settlements from 1938 to 1947 largely decided the borders of Israel in the UN 29 November 1947 decision, was invention of kibbutz member Shlomo Gur. The establishment of the Palmach underground army in 1942 which won the yishuv crucial military struggle against Palestinian Arabs from 30 November 1947 up to 15 May 1948 that made possible the establishment of the Israeli state, was due to efforts by Tabenkin and other Kibbutz Meuchad leaders. One of them, Igaal Alon and Kibbutz Artzi member Shimon Avidan were the two most important commanders who won the War of Independence, and numerous kibbutz members were Cabinet Ministers who largely shaped Israeli politics form 1955 to 1977. Kibbutz born Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak is an Israeli politician who served as Prime Minister from 1999 until 2001. He was leader of the Labor Party until January 2011 and holds the posts of Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's government....

 was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2001, and David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
' was the first Prime Minister of Israel.Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946...

 lived most of his life in Tel Aviv, but joined Kibbutz Sde Boker
Sde Boker
Sde Boker is a kibbutz in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Best known as the retirement home of Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, it falls under the jurisdiction of Ramat HaNegev Regional Council.-History:...

 in the Negev after resigning from Prime Minister in 1963.

Kibbutzim also contributed greatly to the growing Hebrew culture movement. The poet Rachel rhapsodized on the landscape from viewpoints from various Galilee kibbutzim in the 1920s and 1930s. The kibbutz dream of "making the desert bloom" became part of the Israeli dream as well.

See also

  • Collective farming
    Collective farming
    Collective farming and communal farming are types of agricultural production in which the holdings of several farmers are run as a joint enterprise...

  • Kibbutz volunteer
    Kibbutz volunteer
    Kibbutz volunteers are mostly young people who come from all over the world to Israel for a period of time to take part in kibbutz life. These volunteers usually arrive in Israel for a short period of time on a volunteer visa, and participate in all of the activities in all the branches of the...

  • List of kibbutzim
  • Hanoar Hatzioni
    Hanoar Hatzioni
    Hanoar Hatzioni is a youth movement established in 1926, with its head offices now in Israel. Its three main pillars are Judaism, Pluralism, and Zionism...

  • Jewish land purchase in Palestine
    Jewish land purchase in Palestine
    Jewish land purchase in Palestine refers to the acquisition of land in Palestine by Jews from the 1840s until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.-Background:The Talmud mentions the religious duty of colonising the Land of Israel...


External links