A new movement started in 1987: the urban kibbutz.
The urban kibbutz is a way of life which keeps increasing in Israel. There are more than 220 today.
These kibbutz settle within the city, in the interest of proximity with the surrounding development towns and their problems (promiscuity, poverty, delinquency etc.). Special attention is also given to the aspirations of each of its members, both in terms of training and professional and extra-professional development. Urban kibbutz’s primary goal is the individual’s personal development.
“It is proposing to transform mentalities in the direction of mutual help, sharing and solidarity (…) To that end, it is invested in a concern for justice and the sharing of culture, of any obedience, be it secular, traditionalist or religious. “ Claude Berger
In 2005, there were four urban kibbutz in Israel; there are more than 200 today. The movement has inspired othersin the United States, New York, San Francisco, in England, in France.
«In practice, the initial idea is simple. A group of motivated people pool some or all of their resources and income. They then divide the total according to each individual’s needs, as in the classical kibbutz. The difference is that they come in and out of the kibbutz and that they settle in a socially sensitive neighbourhood. They create a support system for the local population – whose way of life before their arrival was far from the ‘kibbutz way of life’ -, providing mutual aid and assistance. In addition to the small group of founders (…) laymen as well as religious people join in, with an open mind, all together invested in developing mutual aid and the pooling of resources, in raising the educational, the professional, the cultural and the associative level of the population. Gradually, the values of being together appear much more attractive and enriching than the values of the individual ownership, the solitary battle to survive of every man for himself. They also appear to be much better sources of life for the excluded and the deprived than the use of the Welfare State. “ Claude Berger
The urban kibbutz is a possibility of new life, with more social justice and with a brighter future. It is up to those those who adhere to its values and want to promote them to invest in that possibility.
The urban kibbutz, like the classical kibbutz, is not a doctrine, not a revelation, nor a revolutionary solution to the world challenges. They are both possibilities, creative spaces to invest in and that need to be re-invented by each group of haverim, eager for a fairer and happier life.
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The urban kibbutz of Saint Jean d’Acre