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Old 05-01-2005, 06:41 AM   #1
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I'm kind of fascinated by the idea, I've started doing some reasearch of my own, but I thought I would turn to the good people at travelpunk for some advice. Done it? Liked it? What to expect? How do I get into it? Do I surf and sign up or do I buy a one way ticket to the Holy Land and see what turns up? How long/short is the commitment? Cheers guys!
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Old 05-01-2005, 01:31 PM   #2
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Sorry....whats Kibbutz?
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Old 05-01-2005, 02:44 PM   #3
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A kibbutz (Hebrew: קיבוץ; plural: kibbutzim: (gathering\" or \"together\") is an Israeli collective community. Although other countries have had communal enterprises, in no other country have voluntary collective communities played as important a role as kibbutzim have played in Israel, indeed, kibbutzim played an essential role in the creation of Israel.

Combining Socialism and Zionism in a form of practical Labor Zionism, kibbutzim is a unique Israeli experiment, and part of the largest secular communal movement in history. Kibbutzim were founded in a time when independent farming was not practical. Forced by necessity into communal life, and inspired by their own socialist ideology, kibbutz members developed a pure communal mode of living that attracted interest from the entire world. While kibbutzim lasted for several generations as utopian communities, today kibbutzim are scarcely different from the capitalist enterprises and regular towns to which kibbutzim were originally supposed to be alternatives.

Kibbutzim have given Israel a wildly disproportionate share of its military leaders, intellectuals, and politicians. The kibbutz movement, though it never accounted for more than 7 percent of the Israeli population, did more to shape the image Israelis have of their country, and the image of foreigners have of Israel, than any other Israeli institution.
from wikipedia.org

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Old 05-01-2005, 07:43 PM   #4
 
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For sometime in the future, I have the same questions as bellelass!
Anyone able to offer advice and answer those questions?
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:15 AM   #5
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i think worldwidemike has said once that hed done it for like 6 months?
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Old 05-03-2005, 08:19 AM   #6
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Yes, I lived on a kibbutz for a number of months (not quite six, but it was a good chunk of time). Anyway, I'd read up on them before I left for traveling after graduating from high school in 1981 (yes, I'm THAT old...). Back then, there were four separate organizations of kibbutzim -- each kibbutz was "affiliated" with one or the other. I copied down the addresses of three of them before leaving (one was a religious one and I'm not Jewish).

Anyway, when I it started to get cold in Europe that Fall, I flew to Israel to begin my stay. I simply went to the closest one of the three organizations (no appointment), walked in and told them I wanted to live on a kibbutz. They interviewed me first, asked me some questions, etc. I just gave them the same BS you would on a job interview: "I've always admired the Israeli people's drive to reclaim the desert, yada, yada." And within a couple hours, I was on a bus (they paid) heading towards Kibbutz Shoval.

Shoval is located not too far from Beersheba, on the edge of the Negev Desert. I told the driver to yell when we got there, which he did, I hopped off the bus, walked up to the gate and showed them my papers. The Kibbutz resident who was the foreign volunteer coordinator showed me where I'd be living, where the central dining facility was, introduced me to my Austrian roommate, and so on.

At dinner that evening, the Danish guy, Yorck, who was the foreign volunteer in charge of assigning us our duties, told me where to go and who to meet in the morning. As foreign volunteers, we worked 6 hour days, 6 days a week. Saturday was our day off, and each month you got two extra floating days off. We'd usually sandwich them around a Saturday for a long weekend. On my weekends, I went to Jerusalem, the Red Sea for snorkeling, and so on. My job was a great one. I assisted the guy who ran the General Store, and drove a tractor that picked up and delivered the laundry.

The volunteers were a really tight-nit and partying community. We ate for free at the central dining facility, had our laundry done free, were given toiletries and work clothes and even a small stipend (which we usually spent on beer). The vols were from all over the world, about half and half on men and women. We had a group arrive from Finland at one point, and all of us guys were excited about all the Scandinavian chicks descending on the kibbutz. The young men of the kibbutz were too, and while it was fairly common for a volunteer woman to date a male kibbutznik, it was almost unheard of for a male volunteer to date a female kibbutznik. Religious differences, or frowned upon by the community -- I'm not sure.

Anyway, during the end of 1981 and beginning of 1982 while I was there, Britain's job market was in the dumps. We had a trio of Brit ladies that had been there for years. It was a very comfortable lifestyle. It was easy to sit back and "tune out" of the rest of the world, working your hours, doing some sightseeing in Israel, enjoying the warm climate. The kibbutz treated us well, even piling all of us volunteers onto a bus and taking us for weekend trips every couple months. It would be very easy to spend months, even years, there.

I think, besides the sightseeing, what I enjoyed most of my time on the kibbutz was the international community of the volunteers. We got along with each other well, and I have to admit I would love to see some of the folks again. Last summer, Yorck flew through Columbus and paid me a visit at the airport where I work. We shared memories, talked about how the area has changed so much in the two decades since our time there, and indulged in nostalgia.

So, would I recommend staying on a kibbutz for other travelers? One hundred percent, whole-heartedly. It was a central time in my growing experience...

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Old 05-06-2005, 10:59 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing that, Mike!

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Old 06-06-2005, 11:52 PM   #8
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this may be kinda a late reply... but i sort of grew up on a kibbutz and have volunteered for over 6 months on one in the north of israel close to haifa (port city)
living and working on a kibbutz is awesome... you meet the craziest and by far most interesting people in a laid back atmosphere. sure the work can range from gardening to milking cows to picking fruit and veggies. i'm actually planning on headed back within the next year probably to the south of israel (in the negev desert) for some peace of mind. if anyone wants info and stories, i got plenty, and i know what kibbutziem are the best or most fun and which ones the volunteers are treated nicely on.
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Old 06-07-2005, 02:54 AM   #9
 
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שלום
מה נשמע?

נעים מאוד

I've added you to my MSN...

I hope to use your knowledge in the future! Working on a kibbutz sounds like a wonderful way to see and visit Israel. By the way, I don't actually know how to write Hebrew (I cut and pasted that, if it shows up)...but I do know how to *say* the things I wrote! I worked with a number of Israelis at one point and they piqued my interest about visiting Israel.

Cheers,
Matthew...aka Matan
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Old 06-07-2005, 02:55 AM   #10
 
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OK, since it didn't show up...I said...
Shalom...Ma nishma? Na'im me'od!

-Matan
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Old 06-07-2005, 12:49 PM   #11
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Ahalan Matan!!! Ha Kol B'seder. Gam Ata Niem Ma'od!...
Israel is a great place, and rarely what you see or read in biased news since i've been there at both times of peace and times of tension. all we have to do is get the settlers off the land they don't belong and things will cool down, with hope.

l'hitraot- S.

p.s now your on my msn messenger.
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:00 PM   #12
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I wish I could read hebrew without the vowels. But, im not that good! lol.
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