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September 04 , 2010

One Hundred Years of Kibbutz Life

A Century of Crises and Reinvention


One Hundred Years of Kibbutz Life shows that the kibbutz thrives and describes changes that have occurred within Israel’s kibbutz community. The kibbutz population has increased in terms of demography and capital, a point frequently overlooked in debates regarding viability. Like the kibbutz founders who established a society grounded in certain principles and meeting certain goals, kibbutz newcomers seek to build an idealistic society with specific social and economic arrangements.

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The years 1909-2009 marked a century of kibbutz life—one hundred years of achievements, challenges, and creative changes. The impact of kibbutzim on Israeli society has been substantial but is now waning. While kibbutzim have become less relevant in Israeli policy and politics, they are increasingly engaged in questions of environmentalism, education, and profitable industries.

Contributors discuss the hopes, goals, frustrations, and disappointments of the kibbutz movement. They also examine reform efforts intended to revitalize the institution and reinforce fading kibbutz ideals. Such solutions are not always popular among kibbutz members, but they demonstrate that the kibbutz is an adaptive and flexible social organization. The various studies presented in this book clarify the dynamism of the kibbutz institution and raises questions about the ways in which residential arrangements throughout the world manage change.

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