JERUSALEM (Jan. 13)
The kibbutz way of life is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain.
Witness the decision by Kibbutz Kfar Ruppin in northern Israel’s Beit She’an Valley, which this week sold off its assets to its members.
As a result, the kibbutz has been officially redesignated a moshav, an agricultural system in which members have individual ownership of their land.
The move is believed to mark the first time that a kibbutz has given up its official identity as a collective entity in order to continue to function.
With their socialist ideals of ownership and shared work, kibbutzim were once the romantic hallmark of life in Israel. But in recent years, kibbutzim have found it harder to keep members and compete financially in Israel’s increasingly technological society.
Throughout Israel, kibbutzim have found it necessary to adopt new measures, including the introduction of competitive salaries, in order to offer members an attractive lifestyle.
Founded in 1938, Kfar Ruppin has been making internal changes in its financial structure for the past two years.
The changeover to individual ownership was nothing short of a necessity if the kibbutz hoped to survive, according to its general manager.
“Looking toward the future, we decided to make an organization change in order to ensure the continuing existence of the kibbutz, to guarantee that it can flourish in the future,” said Yoram Karin.