The Metamorphosis of the Kibbutz


Volume Editors: Eliezer Ben-Rafael and Orna Shemer
This volume focuses on today’s kibbutz and the metamorphosis which it has undergone. Starting with theoretical considerations and clarifications, it discusses the far-reaching changes recently experienced by this setting. It investigates how those changes re-shaped it from a setting widely viewed as synonymous to utopia, but which has gone in recent years through a genuine transformation. This work questions the stability of that “renewing kibbutz”. It consists of a collective effort of a group of specialized researchers who met for a one-year seminar prolonged by research and writing work. These scholars benefitted from resource field-people who shared with them their knowledge in major aspects of the kibbutz’ transformation. This volume throws a new light on developmental communalism and the transformation of gemeinschaft-like communities to more gesellschaft-like associations.

Contributors are: Havatselet Ariel, Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Miriam Ben-Rafael, Sigal Ben-Rafael Galanti, Yechezkel Dar, Orit Degani Dinisman, Yuval Dror, Sylvie Fogiel-Bijaoui, Alon Gal, Rinat Galily, Shlomo Gans, Sybil Heilbrunn, Michal Hisherik, Meirav Niv, Michal Palgi, Alon Pauker, Abigail Paz-Yeshayahu, Yona Prital, Moshe Schwartz, Orna Shemer, Michael Sofer, Menahem Topel, and Ury Weber.

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Eliezer Ben-Rafael was a member of Kibbutz Hanita for 20 years. He is Professor Emeritus at Tel-Aviv University, and Past-President of the International Institute of Sociology and of the Israeli Association of Sociology. He has also obtained the Landau Prize for Life Achievement in Sociology. His works include Jewish Identities (2001), Is Israel One? (2006), The Kibbutz on Ways Apart (2009), Ethnicity, Religion and Class in Israel (2009/2017), Handbook of Israel: Major Debates (2017), and Multiple Globalizations: Linguistic Landscapes of World-Cities (2018).
 List of Figures, Illustrations and Tables

1 Introduction: the Metamorphosis of a Utopia – What Next?
Eliezer Ben-Rafael

2 Outline of the Book
Orna Shemer

Part 1: Economy, Organization, Employment

3 The New Kibbutz Economy
Eliezer Ben-Rafael with Menahem Topel

4 Changes in Organizational Behaviour – From Traditional to Renewed Kibbutzim
Yechezkel Dar and Shlomo Getz

5 From Work to Income: Employment and Entrepreneurship
Michal Palgi, Michael Sofer and Sibylle Heilbrunn

Part 2: Community

6 Statuses in the Kibbutz
Merav Niv and Rinat Galily

7 Recognition, Redistribution, Representation: Women in the Kibbutz Today
Sylvie Fogiel-Bijaoui and Michal Palgi

8 Education in the Changing Kibbutz
Yuval Dror and Yona Prital

9 The Subjective Experience in the Transition from Crisis to Recovery
Havatzelet Ariel and Orna Shemer

Part 3: Ideology and Politics>

10 Can a New Kibbutz Ideology Emerge in the Twenty-First Century?
Moshe Schwartz, Orit Degani Dinisman and Uri Weber

11 The Post-crisis Kibbutz and Its Relations with the Political Arena
Sigal Ben-Rafael Galanti, Alon Pauker and Michal Hisherik

Part 4: Culture and Language

12 Between a Culture Community and Culture in the Community
Abigail Paz-Yeshayahu

13 Kibbutz: Local, Regional, and Israeli Judaism
Yuval Dror

14 Changing Languages of the Kibbutz Agenda along the Time-Continuum
Alon Gan

15 Linguistic Landscape in Kibbutzim: Speech Acts in Reverse
Eliezer Ben-Rafael and Miriam Ben-Rafael


 Appendix: Selected Facts and Figures (2017)

This volume is a collective endeavour of social scientists and historians of numerous fields. It is relevant to students and scholars in these areas as well to members and residents of communes and cooperative settings. More generally, this book is of interest to anyone interested in utopian studies, social transformation and feasibility of radical social models.