Page 17 - C.A.L.L. #29 - Winter 2007
P. 17

Welcome  to  “Kibbutz  Shorts”,

                                                                where  we  discover  what’s  new
                                                                on  the  Kibbutz  in  an  update
              KIBBUTZ SHORTS                                    from around Israel.

                                                                Compiled mainly from the
                                                                Kibbutz weeklies by Yoel Darom,

                                                                Kibbutz Kfar Menachem

             Searching for kibbutz values

             "Ten years ago”, said Avi, “I left my former Kibbutz, not only because they were in the
             process of changing to a fully privatized society, but a majority of opponents made life
             sour and the impasse created an impossible social situation for all. So I joined this one,
             and in the course of time my new community also started to take the path of paying
             "differential wages". But there is a huge difference: my ‘new’ Kibbutz sticks to the former
             key principle of ‘mutual responsibility’ and keeps under its control large sums of money -
             mostly from progressive taxes on members' salaries - to guarantee the continuation of the
             many communal services for all."

             "But a second reason for my staying here with my family, rather happily, is the way our
             Kibbutz approached the whole issue. The ‘new order’ was carefully mapped, worked out
             and decided upon step by step, so that at every stage a large majority was well
             persuaded and voted step by step in favour of the proposed changes."

             Avi went out to study and now fills the central role of the farm manager. He manages to
             find the right way of combining economic efficiency with the old Kibbutz values.

             Israel absorbs refugees

             Even before its independence, the State of Israel took in thousands of Jewish refugees. It
             absorbed millions during and after the holocaust. Now a new refugee problem has
             appeared: people fleeing Darfur, the genocide-ridden district in Sudan, infiltrate into
             Israel. Many of them are being accepted, even if only temporarily, and are trying to find
             work and shelter. Quite a few Kibbutzim have taken in a number of Sudanese as a
             humanitarian gesture.

             Teachers approved by pupils

             One of the Kibbutz-based High Schools in the Galilee,
             introduced a new, probably  unprecedented interpretation of
             "democracy at School": the students have to approve of each
             teacher. This includes not only the well-known teachers of the
             last years, even the newcomers to the teaching body will be
             interviewed by students before the students' delegates give
             their O.K. Some teachers gave their blessing to this new venture, others rejected it right
             away and refused to co-operate, seeing it as a kind of insult and an unfair infringement
             on their authority.

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