During my Amazing Israel Birthright trip to Israel, one of my favorite places to visit, was a Kibbutz in the North called Eig Gev. My extended family on my Mother’s side, have lived on a Kibbutz since the late 1940s, and Kibbutz culture, remains something important to my family’s history. The first Kibbutz, created in 1909 is Degania. The word “kibbutz” means gathering or clustering so it makes sense that it is used to describe a collective community. Don’t mix this up with the Yiddish word for “Kibbitz” which means to joke around with someone. Although my family is known for their playful sense of humour.
Degania was formed by a group of Jewish young adults, who had learned to work swamp land into fertile land good for growing food. They came from Eastern Europe and wanted to build a cooperative compound, where instead of earning individual salaries for their labor, their earnings and land were divided equally among the commune. During the original settlement, the land was seen as unlivable, but they made it habitable, and were able to build a commune for themselves. Today, many of Israel’s factories and farms on Kibbutzim are worth billions, and not just in agriculture, but in important high-tech research.
On Ein Gev, we stayed in these adorable little houses, right by the Kinneret. Think tiny-houses.The greenery of Northern Israel, and the historical significance of the Kinneret, stayed with me. I think this one was certainly one of my favorite places we stayed at. Like many of today’s Kibbutzim, Ein Gev is converted into a Holiday Resort, think Acapulco but for nature lovers, and less tropical, but just as beautiful (if not more). Our kibbutz specialized in bananas and dairy, and thus began my Israeli Cottage Cheese Addiction. Let me tell you, if you love cheese and dairy, Israel has some of the best tasting. Did you know in Israel, it is common to eat salad for breakfast, with some cottage cheese? Try it with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Then let me know what you think. Apply today.
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