Israel is made up of many different communities. From the bright lights of the city to the stars in the desert, from the north to the south of the country. One such agricultural community, the Kibbutz, has a unique history and lifestyle.
A Kibbutz is a type of communal living that is unique to Israel! Kibbutz translates to “gathering” which is fitting for a society that values the collective – where each person is responsible for each other. Kibbutzim typically have a shared dining hall, and in the early kibbutzim, children didn't sleep in their parent's homes. Instead, all children bunked together. This is because, in the beginning, they were socialist! In the ’60s, 4% of people in Israel lived in a kibbutz, but clearly, these communities still had a great impact!
Kibbutzim are most often agriculturally based. Many kibbutzim are becoming privatized, resulting in a shift from agriculture to manufacturing. Still, kibbutzim contribute 30% to Israel’s agriculture production!
Members on a kibbutz share their assets, although now less so. The idea is that all money made goes into a "pool" that sustains the kibbutz and provides for them. They all receive the same amount of money to live on.
Kibbutzim are located all over Israel – the north, the south, in the mountains, and in the desert. This is part of what makes them special -- they can vary by size, population, level of religiousness, and ideals. But, they continue to focus on the community aspect of their origins – a safe place to live in Israel.
There are lots of opportunities to visit kibbutzim. If you are looking for an escape from the busy city, and some simplistic living, there are many kibbutz hotels where you can go for some quiet, look out over the Kinneret, or gaze into the desert.