The kibbutz movement represents one of most iconic movements of modern Israel’s history. There is an aura of spiritual authenticity that still pervades over the kibbutz image. We check out the most groundbreaking kibbutzim.
Founded in 1909 during the Ottoman Empire period, Degania Alef started with a population of 12: 10 men and two women. Some of the most important figures of Israel’s history were born or lived here, including such heroic personalities such as Joseph Trumpeldor or Moshe Dayan. Degania Alef successfully privatized in 2007, a decision that changed the face of the kibbutz forever. However,it maintains a social safety net for its inhabitants. Many other kibbutz followed its example during the same period. Degania is also the protagonist of a documentary by Yitzhak Rubin, entitled Degania: The First Kibbutz Fights Its Last Battle, which ignited debate around privatization within the Israeli society. With its long history and a future that seems secure, Degania deserves a visit as a milestone in the kibbutz centennial experience.
Degania, Jordan Valley, Israel, + 972-(0)4-6608101
Ein Harod was founded in 1921, but split into two different kibbutzim in 1952, following an intense political feud among its inhabitants. Through the split created by differences in vision, Ein Harod (Meuhad) and Ein Harod (Ihud) were born. Those differences blurred as time passed, and now the two kibbutzim belong to the same network and underwent privatization together in 2009. Ein Harod is now an eco-friendly, super-luxury, full-option hotel, a paradise in the green and rolling Jezreel Valley in the Lower Galilee region. Bird watching, canoeing, paragliding and hot-air balloons, all in breathtaking scenery, are some of the activities and diversions that the kibbutz has to offer to its guests. Ein Harod offers its best to couples looking for a romantic vacation with all the comforts. What about a Jacuzzi, a bottle of top-quality wine and an ardent, dying sun behind the gorgeous Galilean hills?
Kibbutz Ein Harod Ihud, Israel +972-4-6486083
Balfouria was the first village to be founded after the Balfour Declaration and is not a kibbutz, but rather what is termed a moshav. In these communities, industrial production is handled collectively, but the basic unit of these settlements are the household farms. It’s not unusual to find open-door hospitality among these hard-working families. Slightly northeast of this Jezerel Valley moshav, lies an ancient hill, springs and remnants of the valley’s swamps. This area was declared a nature reserve in 1979 and is worth a visit as well. Several organizations exist that help kibbutz volunteers and visitors find their most appropriate base. WWOOF is one of the most popular ways for tourists to find their perfect agricultural match.
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