From collectivism to privatization

April 7, 2009 13:47
1 minute read.


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* The 1903 riots of Kishinev, in Bessarabia (Russia) shocked Jews all over the world. In Europe, some Jews realized they needed to change their lives. Many emigrated to the US and 35,000 made aliya between 1904 and 1914 (this wave became known as the Second Aliya). * Young people in Israel chose the "religion of work" as set out by A. D. Gordon, the great founder of the Kibbutz Movement, and established independent settlements. Ten men and two women went to Umm Juni and established the first kibbutz - Degania - on October 29, 1910. * Degania Bet (2), an adjacent kibbutz, was established in 1920, simply because the initial plan was to name all the kibbutzim in the Jordan Valley "Degania," the name stemming from "dagan" (grain). * In the late 1970s, many kibbutzim encountered financial difficulties, with government support declining. The Likud's rise to power in 1977 brought the status of the kibbutzim down even more. * In the '80s, Soviet communism started to disintegrate. The crisis worsened with the rise of neo-liberalism (characterized by the belief that government involvement in private markets should be kept to a minimum), led by former US president Ronald Reagan and former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher. * In the early '80s Israel was going through a severe financial crisis. The stock markets fell sharply, and the kibbutzim that had invested their money in the stock market were badly hurt. * In the '90s, privatization arrived at the kibbutzim's doorstep. Today, there are 264 kibbutzim, 70 percent of which have been privatized and 5% are working in a combined model. * 2008 - Degania, the first kibbutz, begins the process of privatization.

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