Paris kibbutz Project 2019/2020

Association Loi 1901

Paris kibbutz project 2019/2020

Léa Schwartz

(Click on the blue links to access explanations)


Introduction : How did it all begin?

It all started around a table, with a depressed Jewish mother telling about her years spent at the kibbutz, the only happy years of her life. I waited for my 18 years to go live where happiness was possible. 1983. The life I discover at the kibbutz is beyond my dreams. Of course, not everything is perfect but I tell myself that from this way of life, most problematic thinks are perfectible.

My private life brings me back to France against all odds. I leave Israël but not the kibbutz and defend to those who listen to me the idea that this way of life is exportable, that it is a solution for countries in the process of development like for the so-called « developed countries » confronted with great general and human ecological difficulties.

Since 1995, I worked as a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist in private practice but also in the associative framework.Invested in the field of sociopsychoanalysis, I developed ways of working with children and adults in difficulty, inspired by professional experiences in the field of psychopedagogy in which I had the chance to work in Israel when I was student. These programs that I now propose in the psychosocio-educational framework of Paris Kibbutz already had the « kibbutzic » particularity to be as useful to the one who benefits from it as to the one who invested himself professionally there. The main aim of these programs is to fight against the stigmatization of people with psychosocial difficulties, categorized in our « modern » society as « problem » people. They open a field of therapeutic help that defends and updates another mode of relationship between humans, another mode of relation to learning, more broadly, to the life. Already there, my final project in sociopsychoanalysis was looming : founding a community where the life will be enough healthy and human for its members, so that the most important of psychosocial and economic suffering could be avoid. For me, such a way of life, of course, joined that of the kibbutz.

In 2017, I meet Claude Berger who for 20 years, in his publications and conferences, defends the idea that there are urban kibbutz in Israël that work for a more just and fulfilling society for its members and for its close environment.I told him: « You present this way of life in its historical, philosophical, political, psychosocial, and Jewish perspectives, and you make it known.Thank you very much, we only have to realize it now! »

With his help and that of some friends, I found in january 2018 « Paris Kibbutz », a non-profit association whose goal is to promote a lifestyle inspired by the classical kibbutz and the urban kibbutz: the « rurban kibbutz ».A first “rurban kibbutz” is founded in mars 2018. It bears the name of the association he inaugurated the first action.

1.Paris kibbutz is a « rurban kibbutz ». What is a rurban kibbutz ?

A “rurban kibbutz”, as its name suggests, is a geographically dispersed community: some of its members live in rural areas while the other part lives in urban areas. Thus, the rurban kibbutz concentrates and proposes to its ‘haverim  the advantages of both the rural kibbutz and the urban kibbutz.

1.1 The advantages of the rural kibbutz :

1.1.1 Territoriality :

The rurbain kibbutz has a territoriality, which is a collective life, in the countryside, like the classic kibbutz in Israël. For Paris kibbutz, this territoriality is located in the countryside, 30 minutes east of Paris, in a small village. For another rurban Kibbutz, this territoriality could be founded in a city, in a building or neighborhood.

1.1.2  Maintain contact with the nature.

With a place in the countryside, the rurban kibbutz allows for experiences close to nature, whether it’s during daily life, weekends, or punctual hollidays. In the rurban kibbutz, we upkeep our houses, our gardens, our grounds. We build, repair, plant, harvest etc. In doing so, the rurban kibbutz pursues the Jewish ideals defended by many of its thinkers, working for a life close to nature, to the land – not just the Land of Israel. This proximity contributes to the good flourishing of Jewish identity in mirror of the celebration of all that has been « divinely » created. By proposing these times of life in the countryside, the rurban kibbutz maintains the contact of its ‘haverim with nature, which, from the point of view of psychic health is primordial.

2. The advantages of the urban kibbutz (the urban kibbutz as we understood it and we act with) :

2.1 A limited number of ‘haverim.

The urban kibbutz gathers approximately between 10 and 150 people. This limited number of members is a way to preserve within the kibbutz a proximity, the sensitive attention toward each other, a conviviality, a friendliness, an effective mutual help.

2.2 Compatibility between individual desires and collective obligations

Each urban kibbutz chooses its own terms and modalities of what members will manage together in terms of work, lifestyle and its humanitarian and/or socio-educational internal and external actions. Because of the limited number of members, each collective established its daily life and network projects, easily corresponds to the project desired by everyone.Thus, each kibbutznik lives satisfied and fulfilled, in as much as that is possible.

2.3 The power of sharing, semi-nomadism, internationalism, mutual aid against economic modern difficulties and mutual aid against anti-Judaism. With Hebrew, as a common language for communication.

The urban kibbutz is a network of shared resources and socio-educational and/or humanitarian actions. Thus, 10 people in Haifa, 15 in Tel Aviv, 10 in Paris and  3 in London etc. can state that they belong to the same urban kibbutz because :

2.3.1 they work together in the same place for some of them and/or on the internet or otherwise for others

2.3.2 they put a portion of their salary or all their salary in a shared bank account

2.3.3 they spend time as much as possible together, daily or or occasionally (weekend, hollydays, stays) During this periods, ‘haverim share the organization and the tasks.

2.3.4 they daily cooperate on social and educational and/or humanitarian action projects.

It is also possible to imagine a pooling of territoriality and potentialities for action, between two or more urban, rural and / or classical kibbutz. An « associated » territoriality between kibbutz offers more economic power to found or maintain a new kibbutz, without donations that created an often unhealthy dependence, with the moderate monetary participation of each ‘haver’ who can do it, thus actor of the project until these financial point. Paris kibbutz wishes to create in the year 2020 a territoriality in Israel, in such cooperation, with an Israeli kibbutz.

In addition, the international nature of the rurban Kibbutz network opens up more opportunities for sharing and action, depending on each kibbutz’s ability to establish fellowships with other kibbutz, one or more twinnings. Kibbutz Paris is already in action with an Israeli humanitarian association (Fédération of black Jews) and in talks with a kibbutz in Israel to help disadvantaged youths and adults benefit from their psychosocio-educational supports. (Cf. ).

In such a setting, inter-kibbutz international hosting (as help for a stay during an exploration trip or the time to set foot in a new country favors semi-nomadism (example of semi-nomadism : live 3 years in Israël, then 5 years in Brazil, then 10 in the United States, then return to Israël etc.), modern very enriching way of life.It also promotes the propagation, maintenance and enrichment of Hebrew of all ‘haverim, as an international language of communication. For example, welcoming an Israeli or being hosted in a kibbutz in Israël is like a free Ulpan.

In such a setting also, the Jew is no longer at the mercy of the country where he lives. It belongs to a network of international kibbutz. He can flee at any time without ever being a refugee. Welcomed in a kibbutz of his network out of his country in crisis, he quickly regains his marks, gets help of his inter-kibbutz network (accommodation, financial punctual assistance etc.) otherwise pursues his professional activity as if nothing happened, if it woks with the interkibbutz network or by nature, is not localized.

3.Paris kibboutz, a rurban kibbutz. Where are we after a year of work?

The website to be realized took a lot of time. It was our priority because it allowed us to conceptualize our project and create a precise communication interface for a subject that easily generates phantasm (the kibbutz welcomes everyone anytime, an unconditional nourisher breast !) otherwise controversial and contempt (your project is from another era, the ideas of collective life belong to the past !)

In the same time, since its understanding of the urban kibbutz and its proposal of « rurban » kibbutz, Paris Kibbutz, since 2018, plans to feed « his chutaf » (sharing of means, actions, knowledge, know-how etc.) with existing kibbutz in France (one since 1950), kibbutz in the process of being founded (Marseille), kibbutz abroad such as the one near London or in Belgium, etc., kibbutz in Israël.Since our meeting in Yad Tabenkyn in July 2019, we will develop relations with other kibbutz around the world, according to the list proposed by the website of this organization:  Whether these twinning, like for the constitution of our community of life in the countryside in our village close to Paris, we do not seek the number but links of friendship, of affective and ethic proximities.

Paris Kibbutz also works tirelessly to develop its inter-kibbutz hosting project,psycho-socio-educationaland humanitarian actionstwinning actions with kibbutz in Israel and diaspora, partnerships with other associations , a lucrative

project. It organizes events (workshops- brunch / dinnercelebrationskibbutz fashion holidaystripsworkshops and open days) to make known, share his way of life, thought and actions. To understand more precisely its actions, its website is available in French and English, soon in Hebrew.

In September 2019, Paris kibbutz will begin to co-opt its ‘haverim among people of all ages, French or from Israel, Africa and elsewhere, who will show strength of proposal andwishing to participate in the economic and social development of the kibbutz community life in our countryside.
This can also be done through the volunteerism of people who have studied in a mechina like the one led by the kibbutz Beit Ysrael. It is already possible to send us a presentation letter. (

After a year of work, Paris Kibbutz has about 200 sympathizers, 20 active members and 6 people ready to live in a near time at the kibbutz as community of life in its countryside. 4 people live there already.

The main house of the kibbutz is an old guest house where stayed the painter Toulouse Lautrec.

Paris kibbutz is located in a small village of painters, 30 minutes from Paris.

To sum up, participating in the foundation of a kibbutz in the diaspora is not only an investment for better daily life, for « Tikun Olam », in a fraternity with other peoples and for fighting by acting againt antijudaïsm. Paris Kibbutz, in this respect, has non-Jewish friends, who are precious in the psycho-socio-economic project as well as in the difficult fight against anti-judaïsm. This investment also allows a « semi-nomadic » way of life, that is to say, exchanges that enrich, offer to treak a step back, a reflection nourished by diversified experiences, as it happens, to the jewish Israeli collective as diasporic. In addition, it concretely secures every Jew – who is no longer an isolated citizen, through effective inter-kibbutz help – struggling with challenges of the modern world and the threats that never stop and reach the Jewish people, because of its singular ethical position among nations, for a few more years.  This is a way of life, solidarity and sharing that can inspire our non jewish friends, with us or next to us, our « indifferents”, and our enemies, for a more ecological and happier world to come.


The 4 slogans of Paris kibbutz:

« The kibbutz is not a way of life that suits everyone. But if it suits you, then look for your kibbutz and join the ‘Haverim!  » 

« The kibbutz is an instrument for a change in people’s way of thinking « 

« No need to agree on everything to lead together beautiful actions »

« The rurban kibbutz is Judaism in action. It’s not a project, it’s a reality! « 


Our charter is also important for who wishes to advance with us:

“I’m where I said I’ll be. “

“I’m doing what I’m committed to doing. “

“I’m learning where I do not know, doing where I’m not used to, where the kibbutz needs my participation.”

“I do not wait for someone to do for me; I think, I invent, I dare, I propose. “

“I do not disengage with an SMS at the last moment; I think of the human who receives it, assumes in my place, feels a disappointment. “

“I am reactive to proposals because I have in mind the complexity of the task for those who organize. “

“I listen to the speaker, avoiding talking with him at the same time. “

“I give of myself. “

These fundamental principles must be respected if Paris kibbutz is to remain and for a long time a space of sharing, culture and fruitful social realization.


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