If you’re planning a trip to Israel, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of a little thing called Kibbutz. These communes were the original way Jews settled in Israel. Groups would form a Kibbutz, which would center around few particular jobs (usually agriculture based). This started way back in 1910 with the OG Kibbutz Deganya Alef. These collective communities were purely communist – no possession, no money – only work and a sense of liberating the land. Today, on a few “true” kibbutz’s remain (while the others transformed into more of villages). Not only can you tour them, but some will let you stay the night.
Staying in a Kibbutz is not only recommended for tourists. Many Israelis go to a kibbutz on vacation, especially on big holidays like passover or Rosh-Hashana. The reason is the unique atmosphere you’ll find there. It’s super quite, pastoral and laid-back. the buildings are humble and far apart and there’s an incredible sense of community (even if you’re normally not a part of it). You’ll even have your meals in the communal dining room with all the other locals. As a bonus, these places are usually built on or next to the most beautiful places in Israel, so discovering them is very recommended.
Where To Go?
Deganya Alef – The first Kibbutz in Israel, today this historic place houses over 500 people who work in small factories and farms. There are also a few museums here, that can show you Israel before it was even officially established.
Ein Gedi – This Kibbutz is familiar to many Israelis because it’s one of the dominant producers of mineral water in the country. It’s located by the dead sea, close to amazing hiking trails (especially if you’re coming in the spring). The Kibbutz also has a nice pool that most places will grant you access to.
Ein Gev – On the shore of the Sea of Galilee, you’ll find Israel’s largest Kibbutz. It’s very diverse (with fruit plantations, dairy farming and other industries), and you can book a 30 minute tour for about 5 USD to get to know this interesting place. There’s a local resort, right on the water, or you can find local hospitality on airBNB.
Hagoshrim – If you’re planning to come in the spring or beginning of winter, you should check out this place. It’s in the north of Israel, close to the Hermon mountain (The only place that’s usually snowed in the winter) and to a few lovely, green hiking trails. There are a lot of attractions nearby (Kayaking, hot air balloon, romantic restaurants, ATVs and more), so this is a great place to come with the entire family.
More Info About Kibbutz Volunteers Program Center