The Israeli Council of Communities for Social Action

Categories: Israel

The first experiments of the new generation of intentional, activist communities in Israel can be traced back to as early as 1968. In that year, Garin Sha’al began building a prototype Urban Kibbutz in Carmiel, whilst the founders of the first Garin Torani began establishing themselves in Kiryat Shmona. These new social action oriented communities were from very different backgrounds, politically, ideologically and sociologically. Garin Sha’al founders were graduates of the Socialist Zionist youth movement Habonim Dror from North America, whilst the founders of the Garin Torani in Kiryat Shmona were from Orthodox National Religious backgrounds, including Bnei Akiva and Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav. Several similar Urban Kibbutzim and Garinim Toraniim were established during the late 1970’s and 1980’s but then in the 1990’s they began blossoming in more significant numbers all over Israel, as a variety of networks and movements were by then focused on actively creating such intentional communities.

For the past three decades, the contact between these communities was rare and usually confrontational – based on political and ideological antagonism and rivalry, as these socialist and religious communities and movements competed and fought to influence and lead Israel in opposing directions with regard to many key issues. In recent years however, social and political developments such as the struggle against the privatization of the land of Israel and the growing poverty gap have brought the various community movements and networks together, putting aside some of their differences in order to work together towards mutual aims such as democratic Zionism, social solidarity, social action and community building. By the time that the massive socio-economic protests swept Israel in 2011, there were already at least 14 different community movements and networks representing, networking, and creating social action oriented communities across Israel. They can be roughly described according to four general characteristics, although in reality there are many more overlaps and differences between them all, so this terminology can be misleading: Local residents (immigrants and minorities); Religious (modern Orthodox and Charedi); Educational/Cooperative and Secular/Pluralist.

 

1.    Local Residents’ Community Networks: There are three networks of immigrant activist communities, based primarily upon local young adult leadership groups taking responsibility for their own community’s neighborhoods and thereby improving Israeli society at large. Hineini and Chaverim B’Teva are networks of Ethiopian immigrant communities and M’Dor L’Dor is a network of Caucasian (ie from the Caucasus region) immigrant communities. In terms of the process of forming the communities and their social action projects, the Druze network Ofakim L’Atid is similar to the immigrant networks, in that the community members are also local groups of young adults who are coming together in order to improve their wider communities and Israeli society.
The other twelve community building organizations are different in that they typically involve people deliberately moving their residential locations in order to form their communities and their social action projects in neighborhoods which they identify as relevant, often due to their socio-economic and/or geographic marginalization.

2.    Religious Community Networks: There are three networks of religious ‘Garin Torani’ communities, including two which are ‘Modern Orthodox’ / ‘National Religious’ – the Bnei Akiva youth movement (which historically built many religious ‘traditional’ kibbutzim) graduate movement and the huge Keren Kehillot community network – and also the Nettiot network which includes Ultra Orthodox and ‘Baal Teshuva’ (‘returning to the religion’) communities. There are also other similar religious activist community networks who have not joined the Council.

3.    Cooperative Educator Kibbutzim Movements: Four of the ‘classic’ Pioneering Socialist Zionist youth movements which historically built most of the ‘traditional’ kibbutzim have developed graduate movements of ‘Educator Kibbutzim’. Both located in urban and rural settings, their communities are generally composed of smaller ‘intimate kvutza’ groups which have a highly collective communal life as well as a very high proportion of members working together daily in cooperative educational projects. In addition to Kvutzot Am (Habonim Dror graduates), Kvutzot HaBechira (HaMachanot HaOlim graduates), Hashomer Hatzair graduates and Dror Israel (Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed graduates), there is a newer fifth similar movement – Tarbut – of cultural activist communities, focusing on music, drama and the arts as their medium of social change.

4.    Secular/Pluralist: Both ‘Maagal HaKvutzot’ and ‘The Community Incubator’ are networks of independent secular/pluralist urban communities and kibbutzim. Some of these communities define themselves as an ‘urban/city kibbutz’ and include various degrees of collective consumption and cooperative production.
The first difficult discussions about working together for the greater good of Israeli society during 2011 resulted in the establishment of a democratic, representative umbrella body in 2012. Together, the Israeli Council of Communities for Social Action today includes 14 different movements and networks, representing 270 communities nationwide, with some 8000 adult community members who are running social action enterprises which positively affect approximately 350,000 Israelis. Our work is just beginning…

This article was originally written for C.A.L.L. #38 of the International Communes Desk.

About James Grant-Rosenhead

James Grant-Rosenhead, Kibbutz Mishol, Kvutzot HaBechira of HaMachanot Ha'Olim
This entry was posted in Israel. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Israeli Council of Communities for Social Action

  1. 于昔川面 says:

    杭州东方魅力官方博客http://donfangmeili.qzone.qq.com

    欢迎大家积极光顾

    杭州东方魅力官方网址:http://www.dongfangmeili.cn
    http://www.dongfangmeili.com.cn

  2. 汪才仙卯 says:

    杭州东方魅力官方博客http://donfangmeili.qzone.qq.com

    欢迎大家积极光顾

    杭州东方魅力官方网址:http://www.dongfangmeili.cn
    http://www.dongfangmeili.com.cn

  3. 马曲贝枚 says:

    杭州最好的夜场是杭州东方魅力www.dongfangmeili.cn
    杭州最好的ktv是哪儿?是杭州东方魅力www.dongfangmeili.cn

    杭州夜场招聘首选杭州东方魅力www.dongfangmeili.cn

    杭州最好的夜总会是杭州东方魅力www.dongfangmeili.cn

    杭州东方魅力官方网站欢迎你 联系电话:13666653761 官方微信:dongfangmeili
    杭州最好的ktv是www.dongfangmeili..com.cn
    杭州夜场招聘杭州夜场招聘www.dongfangmeili.cn

  4. Respect to op, some fantastic entropy.

  5. Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  6. tempat abors says:

    I love your writing style genuinely loving this website .

  7. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  8. whoah this blog is magnificent i love reading your posts. Stay up the great paintings! You know, many people are searching round for this info, you can aid them greatly.

  9. Amazing! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Great choice of colors!

  10. Saved as a favorite, I really like your blog!

  11. Concha says:

    Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any points for inexperienced blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  12. Very efficiently written information. It will be supportive to everyone who usess it, as well as me. Keep up the good work – i will definitely read more posts.