Visiting the Different Kibbutzim from your Jerusalem Hotel
When you think of Israel, you usually associate it with religion, beautiful beaches, and great Middle Eastern cuisine. A fourth item that often comes to mind is the kibbutzim, or the communal settlements in Israel. Over 250 Kibbutzim are located throughout the country – from the Northern most point to the Southern most tip. You could probably even visit five or so kibbutzim within 20 minutes of your Jerusalem hotel.
A little bit about the kibbutz
Kibbutzim answered the desires of Central and Eastern European Jews to cultivate the land as well as live a communal lifestyle. Today’s kibbutzim, however, rely more on industry than agriculture, and are less communal and more privatized. The majority of kibbutz members work outside the kibbutz and own their own home. Some of the communal settlements even allow non-members to buy property on the kibbutz. Overall, the lifestyle on the kibbutz is much like life in a small town; only it’s smaller and quieter. In fact, a big city like Jerusalem is probably on the other side of the spectrum, even if the area around most Jerusalem hotels seems peaceful.
Kibbutzim around your Jerusalem hotel
At least a dozen or so kibbutzim are located within an hour from your Jerusalem hotel. Perhaps the closest one is Ramat Rachel, located just outside city limits. When you visit Ramat Rachel, you’ll experience the tranquility of the Jerusalem mountainside. Located nearby is kibbutz Anavim, the first collective settlement founded in the Judean hills. Its main industry today is the production of insulation products. Some other kibbutzim around your Jerusalem hotel area include: Neve Shalom, located by the Latrun Monastery; Ma’ale Hachamisha, in the Judean hills; and Neve Ilan, just 15 km from the city.
Driving down South
Driving south from your Jerusalem hotel, you’ll find plenty more kibbutzim. If you’re on a tight time schedule, make sure to visit Ein Gedi, where you’ll find a true oasis atmosphere in the midst of the seemingly endless Judean desert. Another must-see is Sde Boker, situated in the hilly region of the Negev desert. It’s best known as being home to Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion. Industry includes a winery and a packaging tape factory, as well as a chicken farm and olives and pistachio crops. It’s a great place to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of the Negev desert.