Jezreetl Valley kibbutz
Jezreetl Valley kibbutzIsrael news photo: Flash 90

The Kibbutz Movement is marking this month’s 100th anniversary of the establishment of the first Kibbutz,  in Israel – Kibbutz Degania, just off the southwestern tip of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). A kibbutz is a collective settlements that was a unique innovation in the early days of the return to Zion, in which everyone contributes to the general welfare and has the same living conditions,  

A reenactment of the first hut to be built in Degania will be dedicated in a festive ceremony this afternoon, in the presence of President Shimon Peres, government ministers and other public figures.

The widespread common perception is that the various Kibbutz movements - which once numbered hundreds of socialist collective communities “with no exploiters or exploited” - are essentially at the end of their rope. Many kibbutzim have become privatized or capitalized in recent years, new ones are not being established, and old ones are barely growing, if at all.

The Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria sent the Kibbutz Movement the following birthday message: "We congratulate you on your holiday for your decisive part in Zionist activity in settling throughout the Land of Israel for these past 100 years. The Kibbutz Movement was among the settlement leaders in establishing Kibbutzim and outposts in outlying areas at the time, and thus made a great contribution to the setting and expansion of Israel’s borders. The Yesha Council wishes you many more years of settlement activity.”