Want to Start Your Own Commune?

eco village, kibbutz newsletter

A pioneering newsletter started in the 70s is still helping the next generation plan their intentional community

Since the foundation of the first Kibbutz in Israel, which today is a modern commune with various democratic, socialist or anarchistic systems in place (or not), nations around the world have looked to the Israeli model for communal living. You’ve seen American style communes and the problems there in the 60s in Mother Nature News, but Israel started differently as it was building up its newly established country.

women and men in the kibbutz, 19602

Kibbutz life in the 60s. Swedish women meet Israeli men. Screenshot from Apples and Oranges.

I’ve lived in a kibbutz in Israel for one year when I was 29 and it was life-changing. Great for someone single, yes. Great for someone with young kids? Yes. Great for old age. Most definitely. But in the end, I chose the freedom of the city and owning my own home in the country.

There are religious kibbutzes in Israel, ones based on ecological and social experiments including open love and organic food. You can find one for all walks of life. But what if you are not in Israel and are thinking about making your own intentionally community in Portugal? In Costa Rica and which is not at Pacha Mama?

Start research on communal living with CALL

One of the cornerstones to learn about the foundations of the new commune and kibbutz movement is CALL (Communes at Large Letter), a free seasonal magazine that reports on intentional communities in Israel and the rest of the world. It’s a great resource to connect with offering a sober and realistic take on what building a commune entails? What about millennials? The last issue offers some very handy resources.

For those interested to know more about intentional communities, you can subscribe to CALL. It is a modest magazine that explores all ways of community living, and includes information on international conferences and events. This link here takes you to the latest 20/21 issue.

And a film worth checking out on the Israeli kibbutz movement is Apples and Oranges (2021), about sex, love, drugs and volunteering at a kibbutz in the 60s:

Communal living and how do we do it right is a particularly relevant concept in today’s world where some of us strive to build homes that are less impacting on the environment. We are seeing hundreds of queries of people looking to move to the nature in Portugal for instance (or to Texas – check out this course that helps you build straw bale homes) , but it’s happening anywhere and everywhere there is nature to be explored.

COVID accelerated the desire and need for people to find a new way of living.

CALL the organization itself, was started in 1976 at the initiative of the late Mordechai Bentov, a kibbutz member and cabinet minister.

Today their headquarters are at the Yad Tabenkin Institute, on the campus of Seminar Efal, on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. Check out their website and newsletter. Intentional communities are not just a kibbutz thing. There is also social permaculture, a way for people to farm and better the land with the support and interest of like minds all around. See our post on regenerative farming for more and check out the CALL newsletter in the link below.


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One thought on “Want to Start Your Own Commune?”

  1. Interesting concept~~~Shalom

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