The children's house

By LARRY DERFNER
September 4, 2008 17:35
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The notorious "children's house" - where kibbutz children lived together under supervision from early infancy to army age, instead of in their parents' homes - also grew out of necessity, not ideology. "The first kibbutzniks lived in tents, and you couldn't put newborns in tents, so they built sturdy rooms for them to stay in, and from there it became tradition," says Gavron. Not at every kibbutz, though. "Deganya didn't have a children's house; we all stayed with our parents," says Nina Ben-Moshe, born at Deganya 70 years ago. "We always had a relatively liberal, individualistic approach. When I went to school with kids from other kibbutzim, they always seemed so rigid, so unified." Among kibbutzim where children lived together, Ein Gedi was probably the first to end the practice - in 1968, says Yonki Ayalon, one of its founders. Within about a decade, the rest of the kibbutzim followed suit. In retrospect, many veterans of the experience say it was terribly damaging to grow up so cut off from one's parents, especially during the night. "It was the kibbutzniks who were brought up in the children's house who insisted on bringing the kids home. They blackmailed their parents, saying either they bring kids home or they leave," says Gavron. Yet while many veterans say they were traumatized by the children's house, many others have mixed feelings about it. When researching his book, Gavron says, "I talked to a lot of people who grew up in the children's house in the 1950s and 1960s, and 99 percent of them said it was terrific, it was great fun, the kids today don't know what they're missing. But when I asked them if they would let their own children grow up that way, every one of them said absolutely not."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Supreme Court President Asher Grunis
August 28, 2014
Grapevine: September significance

By GREER FAY CASHMAN

Cookie Settings