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September 19, 2003 - Image 21

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-19

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

TallfaRCIFF

HONDA

2003
ACCORD EX SEDAN 'stk

Collective
Education

Schools, not farming,
are key for Israel's newest
kibbutzniks.

GIL SEDAN
Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Kibbutz Shoval, Israel
f a host of new collectivist proj-
ects are any indication, the
death of the Israeli kibbutz has
been greatly exaggerated.
Young Israelis fresh out of the army
now are engaged in a revival of that
unique Israeli invention — the collec-
tive farm — almost in the same way as
the first Jewish settlers in Palestine
more than a century ago. Almost.
Unlike the members of the first kib-
butzim, who focused on cultivating
the land as the ultimate expression of
Zionism, the new kibbutzniks empha-
size education.
"They are going out every morning,
not to the chicken coop or the cow
shed, but rather to the schools to teach
a new generation of Israelis," says Yoel
Marshak, head of a special task force
in the Kibbutz Movement. "They are
the new pioneers."
Kibbutz Eshbal in the lower Galilee
is a case in point. The kibbutz was
founded six years ago by a group of
activists from the Hanoar Ha'oved
youth movement who had just com-
pleted their Israeli military service.
Since then, education has become
their primary means of livelihood.
Members of Eshbal operate a board-
ing school for young immigrants from
Ethiopia who have dropped out of the
regular school system. They go out to
neighboring Jewish communities to
offer children after-school activities.
They organize regular meetings
between Jewish and Arab children,
using Arabic and Hebrew interchange-
ably. They even have adopted the chil-
dren of the nearby Bedouin village of
Arab a-Na'im, giving the younger gen-
eration the sort of education their par-
ents never had.
"This is certainly a feeling of a
national mission," says Karmit
Matievitz, who is in charge of the
Bedouin project. "At a time when nei-
ther agriculture nor industry bear solid
economic fruits, educating the
younger generation is certainly the
COLLECTIVE EDUCATION on page 22

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