Where Community Happens

The Kibbutz and the Philosophy of Communalism

by Henry Near (Author)
Monographs XVIII, 238 Pages
Open Access
Series: Ralahine Utopian Studies, Volume 9
  • eBook


In reaction to the spread of globalization, recent years have seen considerable growth in the number of intentional communities established across the world. In this collection of articles and lectures, many of them previously unpublished in English, the author analyzes various aspects of the philosophy of the kibbutz and draws parallels with other societies and philosophical trends, in the hope that a close look at the ways of thought of the kibbutz – arguably the best-established communalist society – may help other communalists crystallize their own social philosophies. Utopian thought and communal experience are brought to life through the extensive use of the voices of some of the most influential thinkers and kibbutz members of the past hundred years, including Martin Buber and David Ben Gurion.


XVIII, 238
ISBN (Softcover)
Open Access
Publication date
2011 (August)
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2011. XVIII, 238 pp.

Biographical notes

Henry Near (Author)

Henry Near was born in England, and has a BA and MA in philosophy and ancient history from the University of Oxford. In 1955 he emigrated to Israel, and since then has been a member of Kibbutz Beit Ha’emek in Western Galilee. After a decade of agricultural work he began an academic career with a PhD in political science and the history of Israel from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has taught at the Hebrew University, the University of Haifa and Oranim College, and is currently an Emeritus Professor. His research and teaching have focussed mainly on the history of modern Israel, and in particular on the history and ideology of the kibbutz.


Title: Where Community Happens