Welcome to Kibbutz Samar!
Samar is a Kibbutz in the Arava valley in the far south of Israel. Located near Eilat, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Eilot Council. The Kibbutz was founded in 1976 by a group of young people who wanted to form a different kind of community, one that offered more independance and responsibility to its members. The name "Samar" represents the plant Juncus, in Hebrew. Samar is one of the few Kibutzim that continues to maintain a lifestyle consistent with the original socialist ideals of the Kibbutz movement.
Why Is This Kibbutz Different From All Other Kibbutzim?
Theory: “From Each According to His Ability to Each According to His Need”
Equality: People are not necessarily equal; we all have differing needs and abilities. Therefore, striving for a technical equality of budgets, living space, etc., is at best futile.
All members of Samar have equal opportunities to fulfill their needs as they see fit. This is the chief philosophy of Samar, which has been called an anarchic kibbutz.
The chart shows how Samar works to provide high standards of cooperation among its members, which also offers an unusual degree of autonomy for each individual.
The following link provides examples of how this philosophy is expressed in every day life.
► More about Samar's philosophy
Samar is a small kibbutz located approximately 37 kilometers north of Eilat, between the steep red mountains of the southern Arava valley. We are 449 km from Haifa, 319 km from Tel Aviv, and 289 km from Jerusalem. This means that you can drive here with a car from Tel Aviv in less than four hours. Regularly scheduled flights between Tel Aviv and Eilat are less than an hour...
Samar is located in the Arava, an extreme desert region. This means that the area receives less than 70mm annual rainfall, which leaves the soil very arid. The area surrounding Samar has very little vegetation, except for irrigated locations. But the kibbutz itself is a snall oasis, with green grass, trees and plants, and birds of all kinds.
For most of the year, Samar's weather is very hot and dry. Summer temperatures range from 35-40°C in the daytime and 25-35°C at night. Because humidity is also extremely low (around 20% in the summer), the heat is more endurable here than in places with high humidity, and summer nights are very pleasant. The winters (mostly January and February) are mild, with afternoon temperatures usually around 20-25 degrees celcius. Some winter nights can drop to 10 degrees or lower, but almost never near zero.
If you do decide to visit this region, remember one thing: you need to drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated!
Kibbutz Samar was founded in 1976 and has evolved into the successful place it is today. It is home to about 50 families, with a total population of about 250 peoplealmost half of them children..
► More about Samar's history
Most kibbutzim in Israel have changed over time from strictly agriculture to a more diverse nature, in many ways as the rest of Israeli has changed.Those changes have helped Samar to survive and prosper. The main businesses of the kibbutz now range widely, from agriculture, to eco-tourism, to high-tech software development.
Democracy, Money and Ecology
Samar is proud of its foundation as a democratic community that values every individual. Members have a chance to plan their own futures, and we rely on the community and ourselves to make our lives better. We follow the original basic kibbutz principle, that money is earned as a group and spent according to the needs of each member. Many kibbutzim have discarded that principle, but in Samar, all members are valued equally, no matter what type of work they do or the hours they work.
Since we are a small community we pool the work of fulfilling basic needs, including laundry, meals, housing, and transportation. Sharing offers us lower overall costs and a more ecologically-responsible way of living.
Kibbutz Samar is successful; economically, most years we break even or earn a small profit. New members join Samar every year, and few members leave. Most importantly, if you ask, most members of Samar are happy to be part of this community, and wouldn’t want to change.
While each member feels completely connected to the kibbutz, this can sometimes be unwieldy. For instance, a decision might be made after several meetings that is still not personally acceptable to a large number of members. In such cases, the decision is unlikely to be carried out, even if a majority has voted in favor. Personal commitment is very strong, best seen during the date harvest, when people of all ages come whenever they can during the work day and in the evenings to harvest and pack dates. Even the children take part, happy to know that they are important to their community.
Arts and Culture
Many of Samar’s members share an interest in art and culture. Some members paint, some write, some play music, while others find their own ways of expressing themselves creatively. Because we share common daily tasks, most people have leisure time to pursue hobbies and avocations, whatever their usual workday jobs.
Samar is a friendly place. The kibbutz is small; everybody knows everybody else; social interactions of all kinds are easier and more common than in a big city.
Samar- Touching Utopia Trailer by Dan Sitbon and Zacchary Zribi