Kibbutz Givat Chaim Ichud
was founded on May 23, 1952 following the separation of kibbutzim which
began in the Kibbutz Meuchad movement in the years 1951-2.
Members of Mapai and
non-affiliated members who lived on Kibbutz Givat Chaim and Cfar Szold,
and were joined by a few families from Kibbutzim Yagur and Glil Yam,
joined together to establish the kibbutz in Emek Hefer , north of Kibbutz Givat Chaim Meuchad.
The kibbutz bears the name
of Chaim Arlozorov, national secretary of the Jewish Agency, who was
killed on the beach in Tel Aviv in l935.
The founders of the kibbutz,
most of them having been trained in the Zionist Youth Movement in
Central and Eastern Europe, had immigrated to Israel in the
They were joined throughout
the years by new immigrants, Holocaust Survivors, members of youth
movements and, of course, sons and daughters of the second and third
generations who were born and raised on the kibbutz.
There is a research
institute on the kibbutz which researches Ghetto Terezin and next to
it, a small museum.
The kibbutz population
includes 500 members who support themselves working on the kibbutz in
agriculture, industry education, services and small businesses.
The kibbutz is involved
in economic co-operatives in regional factories (Granot), "Pri
Gat" (24.5%) and in a transportation co-operative.
In recent years, the
socio-economic structure of the kibbutz has morphed into the model of
“the changing kibbutz” separated into ”business” (under the auspices of
a business manager) and “community” (under the auspices of a community
administrator.) The kibbutz
administration is responsible for both of these branches and is headed
by the kibbutz chairman.
The kibbutz administration
is subject to the socio-economic council, made up of 35 members who are
elected by the all of the kibbutz members. The chairman of the council is one of
the prime office-holders chosen by all the kibbutz members together
with the community administrator and the chairman of the community.
On the kibbutz, there are
1250 dunams of groves (avocado and citrus),1700 dunams of field crops,
a milk dairy which produces3,450,000 liters of milk per year, and a
poultry farm for chickens and turkeys in co-operation with Granot.
The kibbutz maintains an
education framework which caters to all ages from baby houses and
kindergartens through the end of secondary (informal education),
tailored to all the children on the kibbutz as well as those from
surrounding areas. Kibbutz children study in regional
schools: elementary- "Misgav" on the kibbutz
itself, junior high and high schools- "Mayan-Shachar" on
Kibbutz Ein Hahoresh. A school for special education,
"Shafririm" is also operated on the kibbutz.
is an educational framework for adults as well, called
"Havruta" which is run together with the Emek Hefer Regional
Kibbutz residents are
attended from the moment of birth to their last day by the health and
geriatric staffs and enjoy the services of a local clinic, a rest home
and a work therapy center for the elderly.
In the last few years, the
kibbutz has undergone dramatic changes and complete privatization of
all its services. Public services continue – the communal
dining room and laundry, continue to operate, but each member can
decide whether or not to utilize them.
Each member is required to
be self sufficient financially in terms of income and expenditures.
The internal tax system
finances the administrative infrastructure and provides some assistance
to those who qualify, according to kibbutz decisions. In addition to this, there is a
mutual assistance fund financed by a special tax levied on all kibbutz
Many sons and daughters are
returning to the kibbutz to build their home within the context of the
new kibbutz community.
On the kibbutz, new neighborhoods are
being built to absorb the children and grandchildren of the kibbutz
founders and at the summation of
the building project, four neighborhoods, accommodating approximately
150 young families, will have been constructed.
BY DAN SAGI
AT THE END OF 2012
TRANSLATED BY: PAM BENI