Next Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Jewish communities will celebrate 100 years of the Kibbutz movement. It provides a great opportunity to visit some of the kibbutzim on the way.
With the need for a sustainable environment uppermost in our minds, let’s look at the shining example of Kibbutz Lotan in the Southern Arava desert, beginning with its Centre for Creative Ecology – which features a live-in Green apprenticeship program.
The program includes practical instruction in Alternative Building with Geodesic Domes. Also organic gardening and creative recycling is taught. The Kibbutz participates in a sustainable waste management program in a joint European Union venture.
Kibbutz Lotan is a member of the European branch of the Global Ecovillage Network and in 2006 received the organization’s award for Ecovillage Excellence in recognition of its work in promoting ecological building, waste management and environmental education, and also for promoting sustainability through the building of bridges between different ethnic groups in Israel. You can learn more about the Kibbutz through the video below – and also its community ethos here. The site also provides some insight into Kibbutz ideology.
– “For Martin Buber the collective commune based on mutual responsibility between its members, a strong striving for an egalitarian economic ethic, and the conscious commitment to create Jewish community, made it a potential framework for the achievement of dialogue, of the “I-Thou” relationship within a contemporary Jewish setting. Buber asserted in his “Paths to Utopia” that the kibbutz was an experiment that had not yet failed, i.e. the kibbutz had not succeeded in realizing its utopian aims, but it was still, in spite of the exigencies of every day life, concerned with striving towards this goal. More recently, another kibbutz member, Muki Tsur, has put it succinctly: “The kibbutz is not an ideal society, but it is a society built on ideals.
“ From Michael Livni (Lotan member), ” Reform Kibbutz and Religious Pioneering”
Kibbutz Lotan provides a guide to an ecologically friendly future that is very relevant for Australia and elsewhere.