Sunday, March 5, 2017

70-year-old Kibbutz Hatzerim is thriving

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Our monthly Shishi Zioni (Zionism Friday) study day took us to Kibbutz Hatzerim in the northwest Negev. 


On the walking tour our group was lucky to see the nursery school children going outside to enjoy the warm winter day. 
The kids are so cute!
And they have such a good life--well, at least they do when rockets are not being fired at them from the nearby Gaza Strip, as happened in 2014 during the 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas.


Behind the olive trees you see some of the simple older housing for the kibbutzniks. 
Hatzerim was begun from nothing, from barren desert, on October 6, 1946.  
So as a 70-year-old kibbutz, its population is multi-generational.
The 18-year-old Scouts, 5 girls and 30 boys, who were sent here in '46 as a pioneering group persevered through very hard conditions and are today the grandparents of a highly successful kibbutz. 
Living here are 470 members (chaverim) and 300 children (up to age 18). 
And so many of the post-army sons and daughters want to return that there is a waiting list for new houses being built. 

Hatzerim is one of the few kibbutzim that has resisted privatization; life is still communal, egalitarian, and democratic.  And with lots of idealism. 
They still eat all meals together in the big dining room.
There is a big dairy cow shed and also falcha (field crops), but the really huge success stories are the Netafim drip irrigation factory and the jojoba plantation that produces quality oil for cosmetics.
More about those two in the coming blog posts. 
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Their website has a page in English with good information and vintage photos. 
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7 comments:

William Kendall said...

It seems quite peaceful at present.

Dina said...

William, we have had several rockets fired from Gaza into the Negev and from Sinai into the city of Eilat over the past month.

Hels said...

Love the trees. They offer shade of course but they also soften the look.

Alice said...

Be safe Dina
A nice place for the children , our future.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

The children really are a delight to see Dina, I can't imagine what it must be like living with the possibility of air strikes! Really interesting link.. I think during the 70's and 80's the lure of the lifestyle in a kibbutz was strong for young adults from all over the world.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Dina I meant to say before that yes it is just Perth and Sydney that hold the Sculpture by the Sea annual event.. we're pretty lucky aren't we :)

bettyl-NZ said...

It's amazing what you can do to survive when you have no choice. Those original children are some tough cookies!