Shabbat on Kibbutz

It’s hard to believe that it’s already June. Here in Israel the kids have less than a month left at school till the Hofesh HaGadol (literally meaning "the big holiday" in Hebrew). Whilst I obviously love having the kids at home and the later starts and relaxed days that come with it, filling the long two month holiday can be hard. July and August in Israel are the hottest months of the year and it is quite impossible to do any activities during the day unless they are indoors or involve water! We are already signed up for the local moshav pool and the kids will start their summer at day camp. I will undoubtedly come across many other ways to fill the days as the summer progresses but in the meantime, this last weekend, we started the activities in a great way with, what has become, our annual synagogue weekend away.

Kibbutz Hanaton is a kibbutz in northern Israel, located twelve kilometers north of Nazareth. Until the 1970s, kibbutzim in Israel were either secular or orthodox. However, the success of the Reform movement's first kibbutz inspired a group of New York Seminary students to plan a Conservative kibbutz in the early 1980s and, joining forces with the Israeli branch of Conservative Judaism, the Masorti movement, Hanaton was born. In the first years the kibbutz work was agricultural while many of the kibbutz members worked on neighboring kibbutzim in exchange for daily wages which went into the kibbutz communal fund. Today its primary source of income is its Education & Lodging Centre, which is where our community spent this last Shabbat.

Photo courtesy of http://hanaton.co.il/

Our Shabbaton (retreat) started on Friday afternoon, after the kids returned from school. Those who arrived early at Hanaton went for a dip in the pool, whilst the rest of us timed it well for candle lighting, evening services and a good meal in the Kibbutz dining room. The meal was followed by an evening activity which allowed us to chat and get to know one another a little more, all based on the question, “What is your strongest childhood memory of Shabbat meals?”. The following day followed much the same routine. Good company, good food, a little learning and a lot of shmoozing (casual conversation). It was a lovely, relaxing weekend away and a great start to our summer activities. I hope that everything else that we do this summer proves to be such fun!
- Lisa, http://handmadeinisrael.etsy.com/


Anne Keller Smith said...

Hi, Lisa! It looks so lovely. What an interesting blog post!

Richard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Handmade in Israel said...

Thanks Anne! Yes, we had a lovely weekend. I'm lucky to be able to get to such amazing places so easily.