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Collective Memory

Toby Perl Freilich’s forthcoming documentary examines the 100-year history of the kibbutz

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A scene from Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment.(Framework Films LLC)

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding in what is now Israel of the first kibbutz, called Degania (“Wheat of God”). From there, the kibbutz movement took off, and though kibbutzniks never comprised more than 4 percent of Israeli society, they went on to play an outsize role in the country’s politics, military, economy, and national identity.

In Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment, a documentary film-in-progress, Toby Perl Freilich looks at the evolution of the kibbutz from its inception to the present, drawing on the memories and reflections of members from five kibbutzim. Perl Freilich spoke to Vox Tablet’s Sara Ivry about the kibbutz movement’s ability to cultivate leaders even as it alienated women, non-Ashkenazim, and, ultimately, its own offspring.

Throughout August, to commemorate the kibbutz movement, Tablet Magazine will post a weekly clip from Perl Freilich’s film, beginning today. 


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This was absolutely beautiful …. and gut-wrenching. I can’t wait to see the rest of Toby’s adventure into the past and how I wish that the kibbutz movement never dies …. perhaps with a little updating. What a beautiful dream.

Steph F. says:

Just fascinating…can’t wait to see the future installments, and the finished product.

Barbara says:

I’ll be waiting with bated breath for the next installment of this wonderful doccumentary. If anyone can recommend a book about growing up in an old-fashioned kibbutz (in English) I’d love a suggestion. If could be fiction or not.

Suzanne Rosenberg says:

This is just an excellent adventure that Tablet is taking us on and Toby Perl’s comment were fascinating. thank you, Tablet!

Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. (Abraham Lincoln)

Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.


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Collective Memory

Toby Perl Freilich’s forthcoming documentary examines the 100-year history of the kibbutz

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