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  • Traditions

  • Kibbutz Culture Changes — and Kids Come Back

    Good-Bye Collective Farms. Hello Community Living



    By Yermi Brenner for The Jewish Daily Forward



    Return to KibbutzRavid Brosh and Noa Tzur-Brosh woke up one morning in their peaceful suburban home in Rockville, Md., and found that after a long period of discussion, both had reached the same decision: to return to the kibbutz.

    Not that life was bad — the couple had relocated to the United States from Israel five years earlier, and they were about to receive the much-coveted green card that would allow them to stay as permanent residents. He had a well-paying job, and she was studying photography. Both their children spoke English fluently; their daughter, Romy, excelled in a public school, their son, Ivri, in a Jewish kindergarten. They had a comfortable life, according to Tzur-Brosh.

    But by 2008 they felt that the best place for them and for their children was Hatzor, the kibbutz where Tzur-Brosh, now 41, was born and raised.

    The Brosh family’s personal decision is part of a wider trend. After years of decline or stagnation, the population of kibbutzim is now on the rise. In 2001 there were about 115,700 residents in 268 kibbutzim in Israel, according to the government’s Central Bureau of Statistics. Today there are 155,455 people living in kibbutzim. Seventy-five percent of this population growth has occurred since 2008.

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