One of the great utopian projects of the 20th century was the creation of the Israeli kibbutz. It was designed to bring together landless Jews from the impoverished world of European Jewry and create new, self-sufficient communities. At the deepest level, the kibbutz was an effort to build up the land of Israel even as new Jewish settlers were “rebuilt” from within in renewed contact with the soil. Kibbutzim were eager to create a new Israeli type: robustly physical, visionary, and self-sacrificing, The pioneer was supposed to adopt the credo that he (or she) was built for work and work was the ultimate, defining category for the pioneer.
Aner Yacobi will speak about these issues at the June edition of Table Talks at the Synagogue on Friday evening, June 30. A joint project of the Office of the Shaliach at the Jewish Federation of Tulsa and Congregation B’nai Emunah, this informal conversation will focus on the rise of the kibbutz, the changing nature of the kibbutz movement, its many accomplishments, and the profound challenges of communitarian life.
Aner Yacobi was born in Degania, the “Mother of Kibbutzim,” thirty-five years ago. He had a “beautiful” childhood in at the foot of the Sea of Galilee and then served in a reconnaissance unit during the Second Palestinian Intifada. In a sense, his life is already a full circle. The Degania dairy farm where he worked as a teenager eventually became his responsibility as its professional manager. Aner is now in charge of the entire business sector of the kibbutz, which includes all the agriculture departments, tourism, and industry. He remains committed to the fundamentals of kibbutz life, but is skeptical of the philosophical underpinnings of the movement and their relevance to the modern kibbutz.
The conversation with Aner Yacobi will begin with a summertime Shabbat Dinner at 6:00 p.m. in Memorial Hall. Wine and dessert will be served at 6:45 p.m. with Aner’s talk following. Those who would like to join in dinner are welcome to call our office or use the module below for reservations. All are welcome to attend, beginning with dessert at 6:45 p.m. and no reservations are necessary.