Recommended Kibbutz Books



Henry Near(1992), The Kibbutz Movement: A History, vol 1.,
Published for the Littman Library by Oxford University Press

Henry Near(1997), The Kibbutz Movement: A History, vol 2.

Published for the Littman Library by Oxford University Press

 This is the most comprehensive history of the kibbutz, published in two volumes. The first is: Origins and Growth, 1909-1939, the second is: Crisis and Achievement 1939-1995.




Bettelheim,Bruno.(1969). The children of the dream: communal childrearing and American education.

London: McMillan.

This controversial book, based mainly on few weeks of observation in one kibbutz, analyzes the kibbutz educational system where children are reared from birth to adolescence in a revolutionary way. The author tries to define the pros and cons, while comparing it to American education.

Dror, Yuval. (2001). The history of kibbutz eduction: practice into theory.

Frankfurt/M, Berlin, Bern, New York, Paris & Wien: Peter Lang.

This is a comprhensive history of kibbutz history and kibbutz educational thinking from the first kibbutz till the end of the 20th century. The book investigates the tension between educational theory and educational practise.


Planing and Architecture

Burmil, Shmuel, Enis, Ruth. (2011). The changing landscape of a utopia: The landscape and gardens of the kibbutz - past and present.

Worms: Wernersche erlagsgesellschaft

The book describes the different periods and styles in the development of the kibbutz landscape. It argues and demonstrates that changes in the landscape are connected to changes in social and economic structures of the kibbutz. The need for landscape conservation is discussed. The book contains many figures and photos, including colored photographs. A 15-page summary in English is included.

Chyutin,Michael and Bracha Chyutin,(2007). Architecture and utopia - The Israeli experiment.

England: Ashgate Ltd.

This book examines the physical structure and architecture of kibbutzim and moshavim (cooperative villages). They are perceived as utopian communities, thus, changes in the ideology lead to changes in physical architectonic layout. The book also shows the directions of expected future development. The book includes many graphs and photographs.


Changes and recent development

Eliezer Ben Rafael (1997), Crisis And Transformatrion: The kibbutz and the Century's End,
State University of New York Press.

The author, one of the leading kibbutz researchers, summarizes the research project "the kibbutz at the turn of century" at Yad Tabenkin Institute. While each research paper was published as a standalone, Ben-Rafael synthesizes a theoretical view of the changes in kibbutzim as a "non-total revolution".

Daniel Gavron (2000), Kibbutz: Awakening from Utopia,

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc., Maryland

The author, a journalist, interviewed members at ten kibbutzim. In each of those kibbutzim he magnifies one aspect change. This book, free from scientific jargon, brings the voices of the members in a period ofturbulence.

Uriel Leviatan, Hugh Oliver and Jack Quarter (1998), Crisis in the Israeli Kibbutz: Meeting the Challenge of Changing Times.,

Praeger : Westport, Conneticut.

This book contains twelve original articles, all written by kibbutz members. They describe various aspects of the kibbutz on the eve of the 80s crisis and the first reactions to that crisis.

PalgiMichal, and Shulamit Reinharz, eds.(2011) One Hundred Years of Kibbutz Life: A Century of Crises and Reinvention.

New Brunswick, NJ:Transaction Publishers

This is a collection of twenty original articles, organized into sections that outline the unfolding history of the contemporary kibbutz, presenting changes to the kibbutz that have led to its reinvention. The focus is on the different ways that change has occurred.

 Russell, Raymond, Robert Hanneman and Shlomo Getz. (2013). The renewal of the kibbutz: From reforms to transformation.

  New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. 

This book describes, in detail, the changes kibbutzim introduced during the 90s and the shift to differential salaries in the first decade of the 21th century. Organizational and communal theories are used to explain the changes.