February 13th 2011
It is always inspiring to hear stories of the courageous pioneers of Israeli history, who withstood devastating difficult seasons and intense hard labor, to build up the State of Israel to where it is today.
Hearing the stories is one thing, meeting the kibbutzniks themselves while touring in Israel, in the flesh, is a whole other thing entirely. To eat with them in their communal dining room, to travel around their kibbutz and see where they raised their children, to bake bread in the bread factory that they built with their own hands, and to dress up in traditional old fashioned kibbutz apparel and pose for photographs; this is was the kibbutz experience is all about.
While the state of kibbutzim is slowly declining across Israel as privatization becomes a leading popular force, it is important to know that there are still currently around 270 kibbutzim around Israel today. Of those still around are many which continue to operate in a socialist, egalitarian, and communal fashion.
One in particular, Ein Shemer, is eager to grab you by the hand and lead you around their current and former lifestyle. They have developed a few different options for group tours to expose tourists to Israel to the vitality and history behind their kibbutz.
Ein Shemer was built in 1927, by pioneers hailing from the land of Lodz, in the heart of Poland. The slogan they followed, along with the collective kibbutz movement was, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. Typical of kibbutzim of the past, Ein Shemer had separate children homes that housed the kibbutz kinder, who would visit their parents during the day instead of living with them. Today, Ein Shemer has over 400 members.
When’s the last time you took a group tractor ride? Hop aboard as you visit the hotspots of the Ein Shemer kibbutz; the dairy farm, the industrial section, and the amazing, lush scenery. Enjoy a fantastic movie that goes through the history of the kibbutz. If you choose the “Pioneer for a Day option” – now this is a kid’s idea of a good time- you can build tents, plow the fields, live the kibbutz life. And a visit to official, original kibbutzniks who now work in the arts and crafts labor at the kibbutz will open to your eyes to the people behind the stories. There’s also delicious breakfast and lunch options for those just wanting to sneak a peek into kibbutz lifestyle rather than participating in a formal tour.
Get transported back into a time in which the State of Israel was but a hope in the mind of the young and the fearless. When you leave Ein Shemer and return to the busy streets of Israel, you will be coming from the core of Israeli society.