Kibbutz Beerot Yitzchak
Beerot Yitzchak is one of eighteen kibbutzim belonging to the Religious Kibbutz Movement (Kibbutz Hadati) and is situated on Highway 40 between Petach Tikva and the Ben Gurion airport. The religious life style is modern orthodox including a synagogue and rabbi who lives on the kibbutz. The young men and women, upon completion of high school, serve in the army and some of girls choose to go into national service. The kibbutz has about 85 families with a total of 170 members.
Background – History
Beerot Yitzchak was founded by Religious pioneers from Germany and Czechoslovakia in 1936. Since this group was not allocated land for the building of a settlement, they lived in a communal fashion community which was named Ramat Hasharon and located near Pardas Hanna. They worked in the nearby citrus orchards and their salaries were put into a communal account. In 1943, they were allocated land in the western Negev near Gaza and built there the Kibbutz Beerot Yitzchak. Beerot Yitzchak was the first kibbutz in the western Negev and was the starting point for three of the 11 settlements which were formed overnight in 1946. The first settlers confronted arid and uncultivated soils, brackish water, and wary neighbors in Gaza but despite these difficulties, they established a vibrant and stable kibbutz. Following the UN approval of the partition plan in 1947, Beerot Yitzchak became a target for constant sniping and artillery firing.
Immediately after Israel's Declaration of Independence in 1948, the attacks became more frequent and intense and it was decided to evacuate all mothers and children leaving only the men and women without children to defend their home. On the 15th of July, 1948 (8th of Tamuz), massive Egyptian forces, infantry, armored, and air, attacked the kibbutz. The defenders were entrenched in an extensive configuration of trenches and outposts but an Egyptian shell hit the water tower and flooded the trenches making then almost unusable. Despite their inferior numbers and being cut off from each other, the defenders were able to fend off the superior Egyptian forces and even repel some Egyptian troops whom were able to breach the perimeter and to enter into the kibbutz leaving over one hundred bodies behind. The price of this victory was acute, more than half of the defenders were killed or wounded and the kibbutz buildings and infrastructure was destroyed.
The remaining members made a noteworthy decision, which would be the subject of an on-running dispute for many decades, and decided to relocate the kibbutz including the many widows and orphans, to the present location in the Lod plain outside of Tel Aviv. The kibbutz and its members were able to adjust to the new location and continue to thrive in this same place. Today's population of almost 400 residents includes kibbutz members, candidates for membership, children, member's parents, and others.
Beerot Yitzchak is a communal community which looks after the welfare of its members including complete health care, pension, education, welfare, and of course everyone’s daily needs. The 85 families on the kibbutz can trace their roots to the founding members, members of Bnei Akiva groups from Israel and abroad, graduates of Hebrew Ulpans, and others. The religious lifestyle is identified with the National Religious Zionists "Kippot Srugot" and the community supports a Synagogue, Mikva (ritual bath), Torah learning, weekly classes, Shabbat and Holiday observance and celebrations, and many additional facets of daily Religious life.
Being situated in the center of the country there is convenient access to many concerts, theaters, movies, lectures and studies etc. On the kibbutz there is an outdoor swimming pool (with separate hours for men and women and families), a gymnasium (basketball), a soccer field, fitness room, and plenty of open spaces for walking and jogging.
On the premises there is a health clinic that gives both regular and emergency services with a doctor and nurses living on the kibbutz. Medical specialists and modern hospitals are located in neighboring towns and cities. All medical expenses are compensated by the kibbutz for its members and children according to set standards.
Prior to first grade, the children attend pre-school and nursery school on the kibbutz. For primary grade school (first to sixth grade) they attend a regional grade school on a neighboring settlement just five minutes away. Junior high and high school students may choose from different religious schools from around the country.
There are about 2000 dunams (500 acres) of cultivable agricultural land surrounding the kibbutz. The major crops grown by the kibbutz are cotton, wheat, chickpeas, sorghum, onions, corn, sunflowers and more. Livestock raised on the kibbutz include poultry and a dairy herd. Beerot Yitzchak also enjoys a varied industrial sector including Chetzem-Avrot Ltd is a factory for coating of industrial metals and piping, Snacktime, a supplier of wrapped sandwiches to retail and foodservice, a metalwork shop, and a few new enterprises. Due to its proximity to the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, many kibbutz members are choosing to join the work force outside the kibbutz. The kibbutz encourages young people to study (university or technical college) and to work in their field. Members who have a profession or work experience may also work outside but their salary goes to the kibbutz.
What are we proud of?
* Of our being a multi-generation society that allows for a fair and above average existence for all, and doesn’t allow any of its members to founder.
* Of earning our living from physical labor
* Of the founders of the kibbutz who built the kibbutz and the foundation for its success together with all those who have joined us along the away.
* Of our contributions to the State and people of Israel, of our volunteer activities, and of our sons and daughters in military and national service.
* Of our belonging to the religious kibbutz movement, which views as vital the building of bridges between the different sectors of the Israeli population
* Of the green and flowering home we have built ourselves