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The Kibbutz in Israel

The kibbutz is a unique social institution in the state of Israel. It is a communal settlement in which the members share in all of the work which needs to be done. In return for their share of the work, the members receive food, housing, and other material goods. The members of the kibbutz also share in the raising and education of their children. Although the kibbutzim engage in some light industry today, they were originally focused on the work of agriculture. The early pioneers who established kibbutzim contributed to the development of Israel by turning the dry and dead land of the area into fertile and prosperous farms.

The first kibbutz was established in 1909, many years before Israel attained statehood in 1948. The founders of the kibbutzim were influenced by the Zionist movement which began in the mid1800's. The purpose of Zionism was to create a Jewish nation in the region of Palestine. In this regard, Zionism represented an effort to overcome the effects of the diaspora. The diaspora was the scattering of the Jews which occurred in 586 B.C., when the Babylonians conquered the kingdom of Judah and destroyed the Temple of Jerusalem. For more than two thousand years, the Jewish people lived in various parts of Europe without a homeland of their own. During that time, many Jews yearned for a chance to return to the land they had been exiled from.

The Zionist movement had its origins in the late eighteenth century, when the Jewish people were emancipated throughout Europe. Prior to that time, most Jews were segregated into "ghettos." Starting in 1791, the Jews were freed from these local neighborhoods and were given the opportunity to assimilate themselves into the mainstream of European society (Lewis, 1990, p. 17). Unfortunately, this liberation created serious problems for the Jews of Europe. Specifically, it encouraged anti-Semitism among many non-Jews. By the mid-nineteenth century, it was recognized...

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The Kibbutz in Israel. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:40, March 22, 2019, from