Welcome to the Intentional Communities Desk
Welcome to the Commune Where 100 Adults Raise 17 Kids
It’s 8:30 a.m. on a Wednesday and one of the calmest school mornings I’ve ever witnessed: Anya, 6, is practicing the piano with impressive focus. She’s wearing a pink-and-lavender flowered dress and what appears to be an ever-present sparkly black scarf tied around her head (shaved during a recent lice breakout, though she did get her ears pierced out of the bargain). She pecks out a one-fingered version of “Do-Re-Mi” as mom Summer putters around in the adjacent kitchen and calls out instructions — “C! D! E!” — whenever she hears her get stuck.
Welcome to our new website
It doesn't matter who you are, this site has something for you. If you are just plain curious, a whole new world awaits you. If you are a student looking for information about the types of communal living, in Israel and around the world, you will find it here - or details on how to find it. If you are a member of a commune or an intentional community, the vast variety of styles of communal living around the world will give you both inspiration and encouragement.
The common denominators of the communities I visited
The impressions of MICHAEL LIVNI, a member of Kibbutz Lotan, garnered in the summer of 2001 from three conferences: the International Communities Studies Association, the International Community Meeting and the Global Eco-village Network (GEN). Copied from CALL No. 19.
The first common denominator - the experiential dimension for myself. I did not anticipate that I would have such a really good time at all these meetings. I can't recall ever having met so many fascinating people and ever having made so many friends all in one short month.
Most of those present, like myself, had made a very conscious decision to live in a co-operative framework, Their openly stated motive for doing so was that such a framework makes it possible to allocate energy for Tikkun Olam (world-mending). There was a true feeling of togetherness between all of us from all over the world, aged mostly 30-50.
The general atmosphere was such that I felt compelled to teach the Israeli hit-song of 20 years ago "Ani Ve-Ata Neshane et Ha-Olam" (You and I Will Change the World). And so I did, with the help of Sol from Kibbutz Tzora.
Another common denominator was the pleasant, non-aggressive and yet quite determined leadership of the women. Behind that feminine softness - steel-like determination. In most communities this feminine leadership has an ideological rationale behind it - either implied or overtly stated - which has developed beyond the "ad hoc" American approach.
A new kibbutz movement, revisited
An article by JAMES GRANT-ROSENHEAD, a member of Kibbutz Mishol, describing the new communities in Israel that are co-operating to create a new Kibbutz Movement. First written in 2003, and then updated in 2012, here is the all new 2015 version..
A New Kibbutz Movement, Revisited
By James Grant-Rosenhead, February 2015 / Shvat 5775
Every now and again I am surprised to see that the article 'A New Kibbutz Movement', which I wrote way back in 2003, is still online and getting hits. I wrote then about the possibility of the 'Ma'agal HaKvutzot' (Circle of Groups) uniting various new 'kvutzot shitufiot' (cooperative groups) such as urban kibbutzim and 'Tnuot Bogrim' (adult graduates movements) under it's umbrella as some kind of new kibbutz movement.
Looking back now, not only has that article been completely out of date for years, but it was also from the outset overly simplistic regarding the potential of Ma'agal HaKvutzot as a unifying movement. The reality is that whilst that particular umbrella for inter-group contact has indeed grown and developed to become some kind of new kibbutz movement, it is just one small network amongst six new kibbutz movements, all of which are growing in parallel. Furthermore, these six new kibbutz movements exist within a wider context of some eight thousand members of intentional, activist communities from fourteen national movements and networks which together have formed 'M.A.K.O.M.' – the Hebrew acronym for the Israeli Council of Communities for Social Action.
Then and Now (1957-2011)
Exiting the RAMC, in British Army, I was sent to Jerusalem for a year's study at the 'Machon,' the Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad in 1954-55. All the 72 students, from some 10 different countries, contracted to finish the year and then do 2 years Movement Work in the various Zionist Youth Movements around the world. Ours was HaBonim.
We studied hard for six months. Hebrew every day. Jewish History. Geography. The Arab/Israel Conflict. Zionist History. Community Organisation. Scout craft and Camping. And Handicrafts. After six months study we all moved to kibbutzim, all over the country, and spent our time working half days, picking oranges and studying Hebrew in the afternoons. We all came back for the Final Month in Jerusalem, speaking Hebrew fairly fluently.
The girl sitting next to me in class was to become my wife. When we got back to The UK we got married and worked in The Movement for two years, in London and Dublin. We made 'Aliyah' and got back to Kibbutz Amiad in 1957. My wife was seven months pregnant with our first of three sons, Yonatan.