Saturday, April 3, 2010

More News on the Kibbutz Centenary

A reader and fellow blogger passed along links to two more stories about the centenary celebrations at Degania A that use the occasion to look back at how the kibbutz movement has changed. The Irish Times ran a report that ended with an interview with Israeli journalist Daniel Gavron, whose investigative travelogue The Kibbutz: Awakening from Utopia, while a decade old now, is a must-read for anyone interested in the contemporary history of the kibbutz movement:
"[T]he traditional kibbutz as we know it is coming to an end. Only about 70 of the 268 communities can still be accurately defined as a kibbutz, based on the principle of ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his need’,” Mr Gavron said. “Until the early 1980s, if you said ‘Israel’, the first word popping into people’s heads would have been ‘kibbutz’. Today , it is more likely to be ‘army’, ‘terror’ or ‘conflict’.”
A blog post by Israeli video journalist Yermi Brenner in The Huffington Post also reflects on the changes to the kibbutz system—this time from the perspective of a third-generation kibbutznik. He includes an interesting five-minute video report about the changes on Kibbutz Hatzor (his home, now privatized) and Kibbutz Be'eri (financially successful and still communal) that is well worth watching:

Thanks for the tips to Russell Cohen (aka, "Maskil"), whose excellent blog about "a secure, just Israel and a welcoming, pluralistic Judaism" is now on my radar, too.

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