The « rurban » kibbutz

« The rurban kibbutz »

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1. 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. 

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. 

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.

Paris Kibbutz is the first kibbutz defining itself as “rurban”. 

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