Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Kibbutz (plural: kibbutzim) is the Hebrew word for communal settlement, and it refers to a particular type of rural community in Israel. The basic principles on which the kibbutz is based are joint ownership of property, social and economic collectivism, cooperation in production, direct democracy, egalitarianism in work, and voluntarism. While initially agriculturally based, most kibbutzim have expanded into small industries as well (e.g., metal work, plastics, processed foods). Some have also expanded into tourism and recreational facilities. Many kibbutzim run study courses for the integration of new immigrants to Israel, focusing on intensive Hebrew language instruction, lectures on Israeli culture, and tours of the country. Although each kibbutz is an independent entity, national federations have formed to coordinate activities and facilitate cooperation between kibbutzim. The first kibbutz was founded at Deganya, Israel, in 1910, primarily by Russian immigrants. There are fewer than 300 kibbutzim, with most formed prior to ...