kibbutz beeri 298.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The face of kibbutzim in Israel continues to
change, as more and more kibbutzim have shifted away from the
collective model and are paying their members differential wages,
according to a survey released earlier this month.
research was carried out by Dr. Shlomo Getz, head of the Institute for
the Research of the Kibbutz and the Cooperative Idea at the University
The report mentions five kibbutzim which shifted to
differential wages this past year, bringing the percentage of kibbutzim
no longer classified as collective to 72%.
In the report, Getz said he believes it is "highly probable"
that from now until the end of 2012, at least five more kibbutzim will
shift to differential wages: Shilo, Nir David, Mizra, Lahav, and Gadot.
Kibbutzim are classified by three types of
compensation members receive. These include collective kibbutzim, where
all members receive equal compensation; mixed-model kibbutzim, where
each member receives a small salary alongside the collective
compensation given to all members, with some members receiving
seniority benefits; and "renewing" kibbutzim, where each member's
income is derived entirely from his work and often includes income
earned outside the kibbutz.
Surveys conducted by the institute since 1996 found that four
kibbutzim had become renewing kibbutzim by 1996, and another six had
shifted to the mixed-model system. By 2002, collective kibbutzim were
only 50% of the total and by 2004 they were in the minority.
survey finds that by the end of 2009, 188 kibbutzim, 72% of all
kibbutzim, had shifted to the renewing kibbutzim system, another nine
kibbutzim (3%) were mixed-model, and only 25% retained the original
Under the original collective model, each member worked or contributed to the kibbutz according to their ability and was compensated according to their personal needs.
The survey also found that 18 collective kibbutzim, 28% of them,
use additional forms of payment to compensate members for work done in
addition to their regular employment. In addition, members of another
five collective kibbutzim have partial ownership of some property,
including, for many, their own houses.
Getz also found that half of the collective kibbutzim charge members to eat in the kibbutz dining room.
Getz told The Jerusalem Post
Sunday that the shift is
mainly due to a change in ideology, with kibbutzim moving away from the
old collectivist ideals towards "individualistic capitalistic
In terms of kibbutz economics, Getz said that his institute has
not found that there are economic gains experienced by kibbutzim that
have moved to the differential payment method.
"From our data, the change doesn't help in regard to economics
or demographics, and it doesn't help keep members from leaving the
kibbutzim", Getz said.
Getz added that "regardless, the kibbutz members are for this
change in their way of life and that's why it will continue. For some
it works out well, but not for all."