Kibbutz Hannaton, founded in 1983 as a Masorti (Conservative) Kibbutz, is situated in the lower part of the Western Galilee midway between Haifa and Tiberias. In the summer of 2008 the Kibbutz voted to become a “Kibbutz Mit’hadesh” (a revitalized Kibbutz), in which it maintains some of the cooperative elements of the original Kibbutz system but is privatized. Members now need to buy their homes and find their own work, mostly off of the Kibbutz. There is no longer a communal dining room or communal laundry services.
Kibbutz Hannaton’s cooperative ventures include: state-of-the-art chicken coops (in partnership with Kibbutz Alonim), citrus orchards (some bio-organic), a dairy cow herd run in partnership with Kibbutz Kfar HaMaccabi and hothouses. The Hannaton Educational Center is an independent non-profit organization located on the Kibbutz that provides programs and accommodations for groups from Israel and abroad.
The majority of the members are Israelis in their 20’s to 50’s who are married with children. The families come from a variety of religious backgrounds, including Masorti, Reform, Orthodox and non-affiliated. The first phase of absorption of 70 families, begun in 2008, is now complete. There are no longer homes available until the next phase of building and absorption begins around 2018.
There are a number of people who have come on Aliyah and choose to live in the private neighborhood of Hannaton (adjacent to the Kibbutz). They rent homes and are a part of the Kehillah and cultural events of the Hannaton Kibbutz community if they so choose. The children are in the same educational frameworks as children of the Kibbutz members. This may be an option for Olim. It enables families to live at Hannaton and be a part of the community without the obligation to become a Kibbutz member. Homes for rent or sale are advertised on a website called Yad 2.
Members are responsible for finding their own employment. Professionally, there are members who are rabbis, educators, social workers, lawyers, psychologists, alternative medicine practitioners, those working in high-tech, artists, construction engineers and other professions. Most people work off of the kibbutz.
Accessibility to Employment
Hannaton is conveniently located within commuting distance to many places including Haifa (about 35 minutes), Karmiel (25 minutes), Nazareth Ilit (15 minutes), a high tech park in Yokneam (20 minutes) and Tiberias (30 minutes). There are universities and colleges located in Haifa (Haifa University, Technion), Tivon (Oranim), Jezreel Valley College near Afula, Jordan Valley College near Tiberias, and others.
Education / Youth
Most children from the Kibbutz, along with children from the private neighborhood adjacent to Kibbutz Hannaton, attend the same regional elementary school, “Yachad” in Givat Elah and the high school in Nahalal. Some members also choose to send their children to the local Mamlachti-Dati (religious-state) school in Hoshaya or to other schools in the area including Harduf, an anthroposophic school. There are two active youth movements at Hannaton: NOAM (No’ar Masorti – the Masorti youth movement) and Bnei Ha’moshavim.
There is a bus service from Hannaton to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv a few times a day, as well as nearby routes to Haifa, Nazareth and Afula. Most members rely on private cars, as public transport to and from Hannaton is not readily available.
As Hannaton is in the process of absorbing many new Israeli families into the Kibbutz, it is difficult to accept and provide services to new Olim in order to help them with their absorption to Israeli society. New immigrants who would like to be considered for Kibbutz membership are required to have lived in Israel for at least a year and have some Hebrew fluency.
There is an alternative to Kibbutz membership. There are a number of families who have made Aliyah and live in the private neighborhood of Hannaton (adjacent to the Kibbutz) for the first years. They rent homes and are a part of the Kehillah and cultural events of the Hannaton Kibbutz community if they so choose. Homes for rent or sale in the adjacent neighborhood of Hannaton are advertised on the www.Yad2.co.il website.
Amenities / Services
The Kibbutz has a grocery store, nursery and preschool (ages 0-6), an active egalitarian synagogue, a library and a swimming pool (in season). There are also chugim (activities) for children and adults in various sports, dance, art, yoga, Pilates, etc.
Community and Religious Life
In December of 2008, a committed group of 18 families officially joined the 11 veteran members on the newly, privatized Kibbutz with a vision to build a pluralistic and spiritual community based on Judaism and Zionism, including prayer, education, tradition, mitzvot, social justice and ecology. The Kibbutz aspires to integrate Jewish ritual and values into the life of the community. Many activities take place around the egalitarian synagogue, including Shabbat, holidays and life-cycle celebrations. In addition, there is an active Cultural Committee which plans community events for holidays and socializing
The first phase of absorption of 70 families, begun in 2008, is now complete. There are no longer homes available until the next phase of building and absorption begins in about 3 years (2018). Sometimes private homes in the settlement of Hannaton (adjacent to Kibbutz Hannaton) are available for rental. It is best to check the www.Yad2.co.il website for available rentals and sales in the settlement.