Here we are today with Arlene, who is a long time member of Gal-Ed Kibbutz (קיבוץ) in the North of Israel. Arlene and her husband Ed came to Israel in 1975, they first moved to Haifa because Ed was a Professor at the Haifa Technion. They lived in Haifa for two and a half years and then decided to move to the Kibbutz for a number of reasons.
Why did you want to move to a Kibbutz?
I liked the beauty of the kibbutz, and the fact that everyone knows each other. The Kibbutz is a close-knit community where people really care for one another. We also wanted our children (ילדים) to grow up more Israeli. (ישראלי) When we were in Haifa, we mostly were in contact with other American families and we didn’t really get to know Israeli culture (תרבות). When we moved to Gal-Ed, we were mostly with Israelis.
What do you do on the Kibbutz?
I worked in many different jobs on the Kibbutz. I worked in the dairy, (מחלבה) taking care of the cows, teaching flute twice a week, the dining room (חדר אוכל) , and worked in the nursing home. There are lots of different jobs on the kibbutz and you get experience (נסיון) doing lots of different things. It is with people who you know so you feel like it is one big family.
Do your children live on the Kibbutz?
Many children of kibbutz members who have left to study at University or go traveling are now coming back to live on the Kibbutz, this is a trend that we welcome. Children of Kibbutz member are given priority to become members.
What is the future of the Kibbutz?
I don’t really know, but agriculture (חקלאות) will always be an important part of the Kibbutz businesses. We have a plastics factory, ( בית חרושת) and a beef herd, as well as a dairy. Many people work outside the Kibbutz, and come home every day.
I suggest that if you are going to make Aliyah that you visit a Kibbutz and see if is right for you.
Thank you very much Arlene for your time.
Vocabulary of the Kibbutz