Returning to religious observance on Israel's non-religious kibbutzim

Lee Cahaner, Nissim Leon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the past two decades, a new phenomenon has emerged in secular kibbutzim, in which some members have adopted a religious way of life. Some of these "newly religious" (hozrim bi-tshuvah) choose to leave the kibbutz, but others, who are the subject of this article, decide to remain in the kibbutz, which continues to serve as the framework of their life. Based on observation and in-depth interviews with newly religious members of secular kibbutzim, this article discusses the array of dilemmas created by the transformation of their identity and the response to it on the part of kibbutz society. One of the dilemmas concerns the question whether their choice reflects a break with the kibbutz way of life or rather a link and continuity with this ideal. The article contributes to understanding both the changes in modern-day kibbutz society and the identity issues related to these changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-218
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Israeli History
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2013


  • Kibbutz
  • Network clustering
  • Newly religious (hozrim bi-tshuvah)
  • Religious individualism
  • Synagogue

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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