Kibbutz villages of Israel | Sunday Observer

Kibbutz villages of Israel

14 May, 2023

Israel’s Kibbutz villages are distinctly different from other villages in the world. Kibbutz means community, group, and the people of these villages live together, with a unique way of life. The first Kibbutz was established in 1909 in the then Ottoman-ruled Palestine, near the Sea of Galilee, in the area called Degania.

There were some small groups in Palestine called Kevuẓot, and they gradually evolved into larger and collective groups called Kibbutz. These Kibbutz played a major role in pioneering new Jewish settlements in Palestine. And their democratic and egalitarian characteristics strongly influenced early Israeli society.

Although they were very few in number in the beginning, the population has grown over time. Today, this population is approximately 130,000, which is about 2.5 percent of the total population of the country.

Being a rural society with unique characteristics, they are governed by many standard concepts of superiority. Accordingly, mutual help and social justice are highly regarded in this society. Here the socio-economic system is completed through the shared ownership of property, equality and cooperation in production, consumption and education and the idea of “according to each other’s abilities and each other’s needs”. Thus, people live here with a unique social contract.


Most of them are organised according to a similar plan. The residential area has members’ houses and gardens, children’s houses and common facilities like playgrounds and libraries for all age groups, swimming pools, dining halls, tennis courts, medical clinics, grocery stores and so on. Electric carts have been provided for the elderly and differnently-abled.

The functions of Kibbutz run under direct democratic features. In the General Conference, the members make laws, appoint officers, get authority for the budget report, and approve new members. It is not only a body that makes laws but also a place where members present their ideas and opinions. Day-to-day affairs are managed by appointed committees. They deal with areas such as housing, finance, product planning, health and culture.

Kibbutz farmers make wasteland flourish. Orchards, field crops, dairy farms, poultry and fish industries are carried out. Recently, organic agriculture has become their main economic support. Due to diligence and the use of advanced agricultural methods, this group has achieved excellent results. Production activities are organised in various independent branches. While most of the people are engaged in agricultural activities, nowadays they have spread to various types of industries.

Work is valued and professional ethics plays a special role in Kibbutz. Each economic branch is headed by an appointed administrator, and officers are re-appointed for those positions every two to three years. Kibbutz members are mostly engaged in agriculture and fishing (24 percent) and industry (24 percent).

Apart from this, services are also provided in tourism, commerce and finance, transport, and communication sectors. Children sleep at their parents’ homes until they reach high school age. All age groups are catered for and parents are more involved in their children’s activities. The family unit has a special place in the Kibbutz society.


A Kibbutz is not only a settlement and a way of life, but an essential part of Israeli society. Apart from actively participating in the country’s political affairs, they have also contributed to various national functions over the years. Traditional Jewish festivals and national holidays are also celebrated with unique twists. Private events such as weddings, anniversary celebrations and agricultural aspects are also celebrated.