Kibbutz Makom: Report from an Israeli Kibbutz

Kibbutz Makom: Report from an Israeli Kibbutz

Kibbutz Makom: Report from an Israeli Kibbutz

Kibbutz Makom: Report from an Israeli Kibbutz

Excerpt

Makom is the pseudonym given to the kibbutz that is the subject of this book. This book is an attempt to present Makom from the perspective of its current and former members. This study, not intended as a precise or objective history, presents in the introduction only minimal facts and descriptive characteristics of the kibbutz. The more complete picture of Makom is left to emerge from the stories of its residents.

Makom sits on the southern slopes of Galilee and faces Mount Gilboa in the fertile Valley of Yizrael, which cuts across the northern part of Israel from east to west. It was founded in 1928 by a group of seventeen young Israelis from Tel Aviv; later, these settlers were followed by others —more Israelis as well as young Jewish pioneers from other countries. In 1931, the young kibbutz joined the Kibbutz Hameuchad Movement, and in 1934, after several moves and a continuous struggle for land, Makom settled into its permanent quarters.

Makom's history can be roughly subdivided into four periods, which are described in detail in the members' accounts. Phase one includes the consolidation of the founding group and its first struggles in the establishment of a kibbutz. A difficult time of both physical and social crisis and hardship, this period is often viewed with nostalgia and admiration today.

The settlement of the kibbutz in its permanent location in 1934, and its early attempts at a livelihood, characterize Makom's second phase. A continuous assimilation of new immigrants from various countries, as well as the active participation of Makom's members in the struggle for free aliya and an independent state, distinguish this time. The end of the second period and the beginning of the third are marked by the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. For the kibbutz, the third period also focuses on the political division that took place in 1952, the defection of about two hundred members to Adama and the transfer to Makom of a roughly equivalent number of kibbutzniks from Molad. Most significantly, this time signals the onset of gradual economic growth, which prevails to this day.

The fourth period, beginning around 1960 with the realization of . . .

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