kibbutz Anat Hermony / FLASH90

Kibbutzim Go Hi-Tech

The demise of the socialist agricultural haven provided by the kibbutz movement was predicted long ago.

And yet, the kibbutzim remain. Maybe that’s because they’re not very socialist anymore. Nor are they particularly agricultural, for that matter. According to the Kibbutz Industries Association, its member communities invested about 110 million shekels (over $30 million) in Israeli start-ups last year. Twenty-five kibbutzim made a total of 34 investments, mainly through a fund that was specially created to help involve these communities that once formed the bedrock of Israel’s agrarian economy in its start-up-focused future. Perhaps the most famous example of this is the company Netafim, which developed the renowned drip irrigation system and hails from Kibbutz Hatzerim.…