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November 22, 1991 - Image 73

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-11-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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members
who
were
themselves raised in collec-
tive children's houses, began
pressing to have their own
children live at home. As a
result, tremendous sums were
invested in enlarging the
members' homes and
building additional rooms for
the children. This change
came at a time when many
kibbutzim were already deep
in debt, due to reduced prices
for agricultural produce and
the debts incurred by their
own floundering industries.
As the kibbutzim began to
search for additional income,
it inevitably brought them in
much closer contact with the
outside world. Ma'ayan Zvi, at
the doorstep of Zichron
Ya'akov, began accepting the
town's children into its
nursery and kindergarten.
Visiting groups of volunteers
from archaeological excava-
tions in the region were also
offered room and board. The
possibility of renting out the
kibbutz dining hall for wed-
dings is also being discussed.
All these changes are
creating unforseen problems.
The kibbutznik who works a
minimum number of hours in
a simple job, for example,
receives the same benefits as
a factory manager who works
long hours, has tremendous
responsibility and travels ex-
tensively. Many within the
kibbutz are in favor of offer-
ing extra pay for overtime,
but this is being met with
heavy resistance, especially
by the older members. The
kibbutz founders feel helpless
in the face of the changes and
have little say in how things
are presently being run.
David, however, refuses to
retire, working part time in
the kibbutz central office. He
is very proud that his three
daughters have chosen to re-
main on kibbutzim.
Ruth, a former teacher, is
now preparing a scrapbook
depicting the history of
Ma'ayan Zvi. "It was our
values which kept us going in
the beginning," she explains.
"We built a Jewish settle-
ment in what was once a
swamp, living in tents, some-
times going hungry, giving
the maximum and foregoing
material comfort for the sake
of the community."
The Rabans now live in a
modest apartment, affluent
by kibbutz standards, with
four rooms, utilitarian fur-
niture, a stereo tape deck, col-
or TV and, of course, a VCR.
But as we leaf through the
albums, Ruth comes to a pic-
ture of herself and David
taken almost half a century
ago. Her eyes cloud over as
she lingers over the photo of
the two radiant pioneers. ❑

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

73

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