Sunday, November 08, 2015

Visiting Kibbutz Yavne

Friday morning I got up early for the trip to Kibbutz Yavne.

No, it wasn't a pleasure trip. It was only the second time I had ever been there. The first time was over a decade ago. My neighbor's father had died and I managed to get a ride to the funeral. And now her mother had passed away, and I wanted to pay a shiva call.

So, I was lucky to find a ride Friday morning, when I was free. I joined a car full of women wondering how we'd manage to fit in all of our cooking and Shabbat preparations before candle lighting, which is so early this time of year. But the trip took less time than we had expected. There was little traffic in both directions. And we're all very experienced housekeepers along with the rest of our responsibilities.

Our neighbor and all of her siblings had long left the kibbutz, so when her mother had to enter nursing home there, yes there is a proper and professional nursing home on Kibbutz Yavne, her apartment was no longer hers. Being that many families are in that situation, and since in the traditional kibbutz people had very small homes, there are "guest facilities." Actually, that's where the family was housed for the shiva (mourning.) The building we went to had formerly been a "children's home" in the days when children did not live with their parents. Once the policy had changed, the building was renovated for its new use.

Of course the kibbutz took care of all of the family's needs during the shiva, food, cleaning, etc. And having a bunch of rooms meant that each of the mourning children could receive guests without disturbing each other.

Kibbutzim are well-known for the meticulous upkeep of public areas, as you can see in these pictures taken near the house where my friend was sitting shiva. There were also very easy to follow signs leading us to the "house of mourners" once we entered the kibbutz. We did not have to look for people to direct us.

Many of the kibbutzim are no longer kibbutzim, but Kibbutz Yavne still functions, though not exactly as it once did. The concept/philosophy of extreme socialism and group over individual needs is the antithesis of modern life.


Leora said...

I was on Yavne in 1980. From your photos, it doesn't look that different. At that time the children still lived in a separate little house.

Batya Medad said...

Kibbutzim are well known for their meticulous care of the grounds.