Kibbutz Kfar Masaryk
Kibbutz Kfar Masaryk

A kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. The first kibbutz, established in 1909, was Degania. Today, farming has been partly supplanted by other economic branches, including industrial plants and high-tech enterprises. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism and Zionism. In recent decades, some kibbutzim have been privatized and changes have been made in the communal lifestyle. A member of a kibbutz is called a kibbutznik.

In 2010, there were 270 kibbutzim in Israel. Their factories and farms account for 9% of Israel’s industrial output, worth US$8 billion, and 40% of its agricultural output, worth over $1.7 billion. Some Kibbutzim had also developed substantial high-tech and military industries. For example, in 2010, Kibbutz Sasa, containing some 200 members, generated $850 million in annual revenue from its military-plastics industry.

The first kibbutzim

Second Aliyah workers eating lunch in the fields of Migdal.
The kibbutzim were founded by members of the Bilu movement who emigrated to Palestine. Like the members of the First Aliyah who came before them, most members of the Second Aliya wanted to be farmers. Joseph Baratz, one of the pioneers of the kibbutz movement, wrote a book about his experiences.
“We were happy enough working on the land, but we knew more and more certainly that the ways of the old settlements were not for us. This was not the way we hoped to settle the country—this old way with Jews on top and Arabs working for them; anyway, we thought that there shouldn’t be employers and employed at all. There must be a better way.”

Though Baratz and others wanted to farm the land themselves, becoming independent farmers was not a realistic option in 1909. As Arthur Ruppin, a proponent of Jewish agricultural colonization of the Trans-Jordan would later say, “The question was not whether group settlement was preferable to individual settlement; it was rather one of either group settlement or no settlement at all.”

Development of kibbutz movements

In 1927, the United Kibbutz Movement (HaqKibbutz HamMeuhad) was established. Several HaShomer Hatzair kibbutzim banded together to form HaKibbutz HaArtzi. In 1936,Socialist League of Palestine was founded, and served as an urban ally of HaKibbutz HaArtzi. In 1946, HaKibbutz HaArtzi and the Socialist League combined to form theHashomer Hatzair Workers Party of Palestine which in 1948, merged with Ahdut HaAvoda-Poalei Zion to form the left-wing Mapam party.

First building in Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim, a dairy barn

 In 1928, Degania and other small kibbutzim formed “Hever Hakvutzot” (“association of kvutzot”). Kvutzot were deliberately small, not exceeding 200 members, in the belief that this was imperative for maintaining trust. Kvutzot did not have youth-group affiliations in Europe. Kibbutzim affiliated with Hakibbutz Hameuhad took in as many members as they could. Givat Brenner eventually came to have more than 1,500 members. Artzi kibbutzim were also more devoted to equality of the sexes than other kibbutzim. Women called their husbands ishi (“my man”) rather than the customary Hebrew word for husband ba’ali (lit. “my owner”). The children slept in children’s houses and visited their parents only a few hours a day.

Types of kibbutzim

There are three kibbutz movements:

  1. The Kibbutz Movement, which constitutes an umbrella organization of two separate movements and ideologies: the United Kibbutz Movement, founded in 1979 as a merger of two older movements: the United Kibbutz and Union of Kvutzot and Kibbutzim, and Kibbutz Artzi Hashomer Hatzair
  2. Religious Kibbutz Movement Hapoel HaMizrachi,
  3. Poalei Agudat Yisrael

Many kibbutzim were initially established by Nahal groups affiliated with Israeli youth movements, among them HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed, Hashomer Hatzair and HaMachanot HaOlim.

Following many changes the kibbutzim went through during the years and following the appeal made to Israeli High Court of Justice by the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow Coalitionin 2001 in which the state was required to redefine the exact definition of a kibbutz in order to define the rightful benefits the kibbutzim members should be granted by law. The reactivated legal definition was given to the Industry, Trade and Labour Minister of Israel on the December 15, 2005. According to this classification there are three types of kibbutzim:

  1. Kibbutz Shitufi: a kibbutz still preserving a cooperative system.
  2. Kibbutz MitChadesh: a community with a number of cooperative systems in its intentions (guaranteed minimal income within the community, partnership in the ownership of the production means, partnership in the ownership of the lands, etc.).
  3. Urban kibbutz: a community existing within an existing settlement (city). Since the 1970s around 100 urban kibbutzim have been founded within existing Israeli cities. They have no enterprises of their own and all of their members work in the non-kibbutz sector. Examples include Tamuz in Beit Shemesh (near Jerusalem); Horesh in Kiryat Yovel, Jerusalem; Beit Yisrael in Gilo, Jerusalem and Migvan in Sderot.

Kibbutzim in the Kibbutz Movement

As of 2010, there was a total of 270 kibbutzim in Israel; circa 100,000 inhabitants lived in them. Few is from the list of kibbutzim in Israel:

Ami’ad is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located near Safed, it falls under the jurisdiction of Upper Galilee Regional Council. In 2014 it had a population of 420


In addition to agriculture (avocado, banana and olive plantations; poultry and cattle), kibbutz Ami’ad has a successful factory that manufactures water filtration solutions. The company, Amiad Water Systems Ltd. (previously Amiad Filtration Systems Ltd.) is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has operations in Europe, the United States, Brazil, India, China and Australia.


Contact Details:

Amiad Filtration Systems India Pvt Ltd
305 Sai Commercial Building Govandi Stn Rd, Govandi
Mumbai 400 088
91 22-67997813/14
91 22-67997814

Beit HaShita is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located between Afula and Beit She’an, it falls under the jurisdiction of Gilboa Regional Council. In it had a population of 1,201.


The built-up area of Beit Hashita ranges from sea level to 70 meters below.


Ottoman era

During the Ottoman era, a village named Shutta was located at the site of the kibbutz. It has been suggested that Shutta was marked on the map Pierre Jacotin compiled in 1799, misnamed as Naim.

While travelling in the region in 1838, Edward Robinson noted Shutta as a village in the general area of Tamra, while during his travels in 1852 he noted it as being a village north of the Jalud.

When Victor Guérin visited in 1870, he found here “a good many silos cut in the ground and serving as underground granaries to the families of the village”, and “The women have to go for water to the canal of ´Ain Jalud – marked on the map as the Wady Jalud.”

In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund’s Survey of Western Palestine described Shutta as a small adobe village on rising ground, surrounded by hedges of prickly pear and plough-land.

British Mandate era

In the 1922 census of Palestine, Shutta had a population of 280; 277 Muslims and 3 Orthodox Christians, decreasing in the 1931 census to 255; 2 Jews, 3 Christians and 250 Muslims, in a total of 85 houses.

The kibbutz traces its origin to a group meeting held in Hadera in 1928, by “Kvuzat HaHugim” of the HaMahanot HaOlim movement from Haifa and Jerusalem. The first members lived at nearby Ein Harod until 1934, when establishment of the kibbutz began at its present location about 1km east of the depopulated village of Shatta.

The land of the kibbutz, part of the village land of Shutta including the village itself, was purchased by the Palestine Land Development Company from its Arab owners in 1931. The tenants contested the purchase, claiming to be the rightful owners, but the Beisan Civil Court ruled against them. The fate of the tenants and workers, numbering more than 200, became a matter of dispute between the government, the sellers, and the buyers. The Jewish Agency maintained that the terms of sale were for the land to be delivered free of residents, while the main seller Raja Ra’is apparently made use of loopholes in the law to provide the tenants with compensation below that to which they were entitled. The case led to a 1932 amendment of the law to better protect evicted tenants. In 2015, a grandchild of kibbutz residents, Jasmine Donahaye, published a book “Losing Israel” in which she expressed her disillusionment on learning of the eviction of Arabs on the founding of the kibbutz.

The kibbutz was later named after the biblical town Beit Hashita, where the Midianites fled after being beaten by Gideon (Judges 7:22), thought to be located where Shatta was. It falls under the jurisdiction of Gilboa Regional Council.

In 1945, Beit hash Shitta had 590 inhabitants, all Jews. It was noted that Shatta was an alternative name.


In 1948, Beit HaShita took over 5,400 dunams of land from the newly depopulated Arab villages of Yubla and Al-Murassas.

Eleven kibbutz members fell during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the largest number as a percentage of the population than any other town in Israel.

Na’an is a kibbutz near the city of Rehovot in Israel. Located within the Central District, it falls under the jurisdiction of Gezer Regional Council and borders the villages of Ganei Hadar, Ramot Meir and Sitria. Founded in 1930, it is the first kibbutz established by Jews born in Eretz Israel.


The kibbutz was founded in September 1930 by 42 members of the Noar HaOved youth group, on lands purchased from the Arab village of Al-Na’ani. The name of the village and the kibbutz derives probably from the Biblical town of Na’amah (Joshua 15:41). This is the first kibbutz founded by members of Noar HaOved, as well as the first kibbutz established by Jews born in Eretz Israel.

Before the establishment of the state of Israel, the people of Na’an were active in both the British Jewish Brigade (two members of the kibbutz died in service during WWII) and the Haganah. Prominent Haganah leader and later Israeli parliament member Yisrael Galili was a member of the kibbutz and a large Haganah weapon cache was hidden in a hidden cellar under one of the kibbutz houses. That cache was the largest cache not caught by the British Mandatory forces during Operation Agatha and kibbutz elders claim that Yisrael Galili (who evaded capture by the British) was spirited out of the kibbutz in the guise of a pregnant woman set to give birth.

In 1948, Na’an became the newly formed IDF’s headquarters for the operation to free Jerusalem and the elders of the then-Arab city Ramla signed the formal surrender of the city on the kibbutz grounds.

Phone: 04-9442827

HagoshrimHaGoshrim is a kibbutz in the Galilee Panhandle in northern Israel, 5 km east of Kiryat Shmona. The kibbutz is adjacent to the Hurshat Tal National Park and bisected by tributaries of the Jordan River, the Hatsbani, Dan and Banias.


Kibbutz HaGoshrim was founded in 1948 mostly by Jewish immigrants from Turkey. It is under the jurisdiction of Upper Galilee Regional Council. The kibbutz was established partly on the Palestinian village lands of al-Khisas, The kibbutz opened a hotel in the manor house of Emir Faour, chief of the al-Fadel tribe, for whom the villagers worked as tenant farmers.


The chief economic branches are agriculture and tourism. The kibbutz also owns Mepro, which manufactures carpenters’ levels and military optics, and the Epilady company, established in 1986. Epilady is a hand-held device developed by two Israeli engineers that revolutionized hair removal.

Address: Kibbutz Hagoshrim HaGosherim – 12225 , Israel

Kfar HaHoresh is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located near Nazareth, it falls under the jurisdiction of Jezreel Valley Regional Council. In 2006 Kfar HaHoresh had a population of 423.

The kibbutz was established in 1933 by members of the Gordonia youth movement who had previously been living in Ness Ziona. The land had been bought by the Jewish National Fund in 1930.

An important Pre-Pottery Neolithic B site in the vicinity of the kibbutz is under excavation since early 1990s by an expedition of Hebrew University of Jerusalem directed by Professor Nigel Goring-Morris. According to the excavator, the site represents a regional funerary center. The site is associated with the Neolithic transition.

The kibbutz fielded a football team, which competed in the second division in 1949–50. The team finished eighth in the league’s North division.

Today the kibbutz has been privatized. The Arabic-language radio station Radio A-Shams broadcasts from the kibbutz.

Phone: 04-9838104
Fax: 04-9839138

Ma’agan Michael is a kibbutz in Israel. It is the largest kibbutz in the country, with a population of over 1,400 residents (not including external workers), and falls under the jurisdiction of Hof HaCarmel Regional Council.


Nahal Taninim

The kibbutz is located 30 km south of Haifa and 70 km north of Tel Aviv and lies near the edge of the Mediterranean Sea west of Mount Carmel, south of bordering kibbutz Ma’ayan Zvi, and north of the Taninim Stream. It is north of a large Arab village, Jisr az-Zarqa.

The original site was a windswept, treeless sandstone (Eolianite) hill. Some of this land was reclaimed from Kabarra swamp. The nearby Timsah Springs, which originates from the Taninim Stream, is one of the local sources of brackish water for the kibbutz’ numerous fishponds, which total 1,600 dunams (1.6 km²) in surface area. The Nahal Taninim nature reserve lies south of the kibbutz and is the site of an ancient Roman dam and aqueduct, which have been restored by the Department of Antiquities, the Drainage Authorities, and Nature and Parks Authorities.


Ma’agan Michael was founded on 25 August 1949 by a group consisting of 154 members and 44 children who had joined together in 1942, most of whom were members of the Hebrew Scouts. It was named Ma’agan (anchorage) due to the intent of its first settlers of using the land to make a living from the sea, and Michael in honour of Michael Polak, who donated money to the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (PICA).


Tel: +972(0)73 2414430
Mobile: +972(0)52 3784550
Fax: +972 (0)4 6398776


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