Kibbutz Gezer is a kibbutz, or cooperative settlement, located in Central Israel between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Originally founded in 1945, the kibbutz disbanded in 1963 and was reestablished by a group of young Americans in 1973.
Gezer like many kibbutzim has changed and continues to change to fit the needs of the members and to adapt to surroundings and changes in Israeli society. While most members are economically independent, Gezer has several commonly owned businesses, including a dairy with 300 milking cows, farmland, olives, daycare and after school care (from infants to high school) , pub, second hand shop, library and grocery store. We also share certain services, including a dentist's office, central office, internet service and mail, and hair cutting. There are also privately run businesses that operate on the kibbutz: an architect's office, massage and healing, synagogue, carpentry, catering and more.
The physical design of the community is very amenable to communal living. A ring road provides access to homes and businesses, while the center is car-free and includes the central offices, grocery, recycling center, playgrounds, second hand shop, pub, library, parks and child care.
We celebrate holidays and common events together. We have several committees whose membership is elected by the entire community, including 2 central committees. The kibbutz has 3 major management positions, which include economic, social and overall management.
Gezer was into vegetarian, organic food and getting back to the land back in the 70's, and was (and still is a bit!) considered by our neighbors as American hippies. We take pride in that, although many of us have gone straight. Our younger generation is picking up the momentum, and the community now has a growing environmental "movement". We have a new ecological garden, community gardens, recycling center (we recycle, compost and reuse about 60% of our trash). We also have an organic olive grove of 1200 trees which produces olive oil, olives, and soap. An environmental committee open to everyone organizes events, cleanups, and tries to bring a more sustainable outlook to the community. We recently installed solar panels on the roofs of the cow sheds, and are looking into expanding.