Jewish Studies | The Kibbutz in Fact and Fiction
C340 | 28417 | S. Katz


The Kibbutz in Fact and Fiction
Stephen Katz
JSTU-C 340 (3 cr.)  #28417 and  #28418 (JS)
TR 4:00-5:15 p.m.
(Meets with NELC-N 675)
8 seats are reserved for Jewish Studies students under #28418.
A&H, CSA, Jewish Studies Literature & the Arts, Language &
Literature, or History & Society courses

The kibbutz, Israel’s communal socio-economic system, has undergone
many changes since its initial formation almost a century ago.
Although it always remained a small community in Israel, the kibbutz
as an object of idealization and pride in Israeli society and
culture has exceeded its actual size.

In this course, we will read about the history and ideological
foundations of this communal society to learn why it came to be and
what ideals it attempted to realize—among them the elimination of
hatred, strife, social class and inequality among its members and
between men and women. Supplementing our readings will be video
representations of life on the kibbutz and, whenever possible, guest
speakers who have lived on a kibbutz.

In probing the cultural impact of the kibbutz on Israeli society, we
will read a series of literary works—primarily short stories and
novels—whose action takes place with the kibbutz as background. They
will trace the evolving attitudes to the kibbutz in Israel. Our
interest will focus on whether the kibbutz has been able to realize
itself as a utopia or is a dystopia.