Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 9, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
____, Salarday, October 9, 1971 THE LETKBRIDGE HERMD 29 Oldtimers wonder what became of their pioneer experiment By WALTER London OlistTvrr Service JERUSALEM on tire kibbutz life is dimming so fast that some of the oldlimcrs arc wondering what be .-a me of U'.c j sodal experiment Ilify pioneer-j cd 50 years ago. Israel's Utopian collective farms where ev- eryone is equal, the only money is pocket money and children are brought, up in common arc trying to adjust to the Is- rael of the .seventies. It is not easy, and reforms and compromises are being made. But the kibbutzniks whose image in Tf-l Aviv is a cross between the dreamy in- tellectual and the emir-try bump- kin are adapting to modern ian collective farms and ingenuity. In spite of the doubts of the purists the kib- butz seems to have lost none of its essentials. Israel is becoming his TV set m Ins own home, as they do at Afikim, I he old kibbutz in the Jordan valley? Many I; i b b u t z parents are Many bringing bark their youne children to sleep at home in e younger NOW PAYING MORE FOR ALL TYPES OF SCRAP METAL Farm Industrial Anything Made of Iron! COPPER BRASS RADIATORS BATTERIES CAST IRON Truck Loads Carloads Truck Scales Magnet Crane Service National Salvage Company LIMITED NEW LOCATION 206 33rd Street North Phone 328-1721 "Scrap is Our Business" stead of in the children's house h'.Tesy which years a woii'rl have courted excommun- ication. 'I he kibbutz was intended to bring the ,U'W and perhaps evcn.uaily all mankinl back to the land. Today, Israel pro- duces more vegetables, fruit, eggs, mill; and chickens than it knows whai to do v.'iih, and relies on industry for expan- sion. The early kibbutzniks were in- tellectuals spent day in (he fields and much of the night in discussion and anxious dia- lectics. Today's settlements are being inherited by a gen- eration v.hk-h docs not ibink of the kibbutz as a sot-in] revolu- tion but as "home.'' Can the kibbutzim survive all this? The most striking change is lliiit affluence has reached the kibbutz. At liic end of an av nue of well matured trees, the residential area of Afikim looks at first sight like a garden city for retired gentlefolk. Where I here used to be rough one- room huts among muddy tracks and ubiquitous rubbish dumps there are neat villas or two- storey apartment blocks set among flowers behind pamper- ed lawns. To keep the area quiet they have banned cars, so people ride bicycles Ihroujh the gardens on their way to the slore, the dining room or the spent in (lie kibbutz store or inj children's houses, with baskets I he city. Other allowances cov-j for their shopping or for carry- or luxury holidays once a year the children. COMFOKT I'ltKVAIl-S 'File fiats and ".rive only Iwo rooms because children sleep elsewhere. Uut they are mure comfortable (han k most people's homes in Tel (and a'trip abroad at least once a Higher edu- cation has heroine the rule ra- ther than the exception. The kibbutz has met the chal- of indu.-i'.ry by industrial- Kiiibtilx. factories or Jerusalem. Air condition-, turn out bicycles, thermostats, ers, TV and radio arc standard hj.fj amplifiers, electric shav- efjuipment. Each flat has a cvs, cutlery and a score of olh- kitchciiette aticreonn cakts.cr items, and snseks. .Main meals ;ncj Despite the weight of ideolo- sliil served in the dining-room, i di.'grna they c'.-.rry, kib-1 where the fare is belter than I butzim have always adapted to most of Israel's tourist hotels change. Some year-; at Gin- Afikim, with Q-I8 members noser, the lakeside kibbutz and children, is among the v.htjse best known member is i biggest and richest of Israel's yiqal Allon. the Prime j 225 kibbutzim. But few of the 'Minister, they were talking ..il'.crs "cn-y far behind. Ba-; about building a tourist guest- ram, a small hill settlement a j house by iiic- lake1. Same ar- few yards from the Lebanese j gucd that kibbutzniks, having j border, belongs to the left-wing] shed social distinctions, were i Hapaiu movement more rig-1 not made (o wait on tourists, 'idly doctrinaire and cgaHicr- Somccrae else pointed out: "We iaii than the rest. Ten years j keep cows; we feed them and ago Baram was a group of aus- milk them, for profit. So why not The guesthouse was built and hss become one cic Israel's best run hotels, with charming service Factories are transforming the kibbutz. "In the old days tcre huts dotted on a bleak hill- side. Now it. loo, has smart blocks of flatlets behind lawns and flowery lanes; its new din- ing room looks like a city i restaurant; there is an Olym- j pic size swimming pool and m the children's classrooms and j we took turns at everything dormitories put to shame' and rarely worked in groups of costly private boarding schools j more than 10. Now a factory in Europe or America. needs 70 or ail, with experts to Affluence has given kibbutz- run said Nahum Sarig, niks more freedom and indivi- i veteran general secretary of duality. Gone arc the days when the "liameudiad" movement. A one never knew what under-' still bigger challenge to ideolo- pants would lie sent back from gical purity is that many kib- the kibbutz laundry. Now ev- butzim have taken on hired la- eryonc gets a generous cloth-' bor for (heir farms as well ing allowance which can be, as their factories. v f I i f 4-' canaoian uuesiern naiurauGas Gut factory managers still take their turns at washing up at weekends. So, in theory at least, does Mr. Allon (his wife manages the And the managers, who get no more pay than the other members, are usually glad to be rotated every few years, for a spell among the orchards, or per- haps in the offices of the move- ment in Tel Aviv. Kibbutzim have become tech- nological (at Afikim computers do all the siuns for members' private accounts a5 wuli as for the plywood But no- body has gone through the Or- wellian process of becoming more equal than the others. Proof of this can be seen at the weekly meeting of mem- bers. Much of the time is taken up with people asking to be ex- cused from positions of respon- sibility for which the Work Committee has chosen them. "Being an organizer means only said the sec- retary of a large kibbutz. "No power, because any decision can be reversed by the general meeting, and no reward. Thank God my time is up next week, and I can go back to the grape- fruit trees." Most kibbutz committees are now run by the second gener- ation, which sees things differ- ently. Some are purists who think the kibbutz has shed too much Of these, some leave lo found new kibbut- zim on the occupied Golan Heights or on the fringes of the Gaza Strip. Other younpsters of (lie kibbutz simpy as "borne. It is these who have begun bringing children back "home" at nights. Kibbutz education was at first assumed to pro- are more easygoing and ihink ducc uniformly good results. QUALITY DRY CLEANING 8 LB. (NORMAL GARMENTS) PRE-SPOTTED AND AFTER-SPOTTED BY OUR ATTENDANT FAST SERVO! -USUALLY lib HOURS -NO MEED TO WAIT -LEAVE YOUR LOAD WITH US -WE'LL DO IT 'FOR YOU AND HANG IT UP -CALL BACK LATER INDIVIDUALITY YOUR LOAD IS DONE IN ITS OWN DRY CLEANER Dry Clean Ltd, FIRST IN IETHBRIDGE WITH COIN-OP DRY CLEANING 2634 South Parkside Drive For Further Information Phone 327-0811 p.m. WEEKDAYS p.m. SAT. LONG DISTANCE Only Alberta has it! ODD rates. 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