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Deganya - the Mother of the Kibbutzim

Updated: Oct 2, 2022

You have to make an effort to visit Degania. The main gate is not always open, and the museum requires prior arrangement. But for the story worth the effort.

In 1910, ten boys and two girls undertook to cultivate the lands of Umm Juny, which had been purchased by the JNF a few years earlier.

Two years later, they settled here, at the permanent site, near the source of the Jordan from the Sea of ​​Galilee. The pioneer group lived a life of economic sharing and believed in work and human equality. Thus, Deganya has become the "mother of groups" - the first kibbutz in Israel and a model for many kibbutzim that will follow and make a crucial contribution to the realization of the Zionist vision.

The "First Courtyard"

The "First Courtyard" was built in 1911-1912 and contained a residential building, a dining room, a kitchen, and farm buildings. The courtyard was built on the model of a European farm, with basalt walls and clay tiles. Inside it, the entire farm was run: a barn, a stable, a coop, workshops, and warehouses.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the courtyard was restored. Still, its buildings continue to serve the current needs of the kibbutz, such as a library, cinema, restaurant, etc.

The first house

Degania's first residence was built in 1912 in a European style, with four rooms on each floor. In each room lived several members - among others, Aaron David Gordon and the poet Rachel lived here. During the First World War, the Ottomans confiscated the building favor German pilots who operated in the area. So the members moved to live in the warehouse and hut in the Rishonim courtyard.

The first dining room - the museum

The dining room, built-in 1912, was the center of Degania's life. Here they gathered every evening to meet friends, have conversations about the group, and arranging work. Today, the place serves as a museum of the history of the kibbutz. A visit to the site requires prior arrangement.

Water tower

The water tower was built in 1936 and renovated in 2007.

A visit to Degania is a short and fun lesson in history. Look at this quote of Hayuta Bussel, one of the founders: "All the women movements in the world are fighting for their members' rights. But out movement is fighting for filling duties."


For more trips in the area press here

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