Re[2]: DSM: kibbutzim schools and SVM

From: David Rovner (
Date: Tue May 15 2001 - 09:23:41 EDT

I will try to analyze -- in a rather simplified
manner -- the question Ardeshir Mehta, N.D.
formulates (see below).

Some background:

Israel is a country that has been for 53 years now,
in an apparently "state of emergency" and in a "state
of being surrounded" -- since its founding in 1948.

Israel's population is nearly 7 million inhabitants.

As for today, there is one SVM school in Israel,
one SIMILAR (to SVM) school -- a school valuing
democracy, individual choice, and personal
responsibility, and not few Sudbury Model or
similar (to SVM) school -- undefined yet --
start-up Groups.

It can be said that Israel was founded as a socialist
country -- by the inspiration of Soviet Union's
ideology -- that's how kibbutzim (specially Kibbutz
Ha-Artzi / Ha-Shomer Ha-Tza'ir movement) were

It is well known that socialism and fascism are
specific variants, which statism is the wider generic
It is also obvious that statism is the dominant
political trend of our day and both come from the
same collectivist-statist principle.

Collectivism puts emphasis on the group rather than
on the individual -- kibbutz (in Hebrew) = collective.

Simultaneously, Israel was founded as a homeland for
the Jewish people.

It is very difficult (if not impossible) for a country to
be a democratic nation, and at the same time, an ethnic
group's homeland who's religious common denominator
has had a decisive weight during its history.

In Judaism and in Israel -- homeland of the Jewish people
-- NATION is interweaved with TRADITION (religion in
this case).

My personal experience is as follows:
I'v been working on advancing democratic schools --
specifically the SVM, freedom of learning, and individual
rights in Israel .

At the beginning, schools at kibbutzim were part of the
kibbutz and were financed by it.
Because kibbutzim wish to enjoy government financing
of education (a worldwide phenomenon) that comes
in one package with strings attached, kibbutzim schools
today have already become one school for several
kibbutzim and they also take external tuition-students.

Kibbutzim population is now the second, third or fourth
generation of the *halutzim* -- pioneers. Ideology has
changed. No more socialism-collectivism. More
individualism -- still not a rational one -- privatization,
and differential wages.
The problem is this:
SVM = majority decision + individual rights
+ universal suffrage.
KIBBUTZ = majority decision + the "rights" of the
group (collective) + adult suffrage.

I sure welcome change from a kibbutz school to a
Sudbury-type school in Israel. Change from a
kibbutz school to a Sudbury-type school is not
altogether impossible, and I think it only depends
on the will of the people involved -- and that
includes governments.

David Rovner

---------- Original Message ----------

>From: "Ardeshir Mehta, N.D." <>
>Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 14:19:50 -0400
>Subject: Re: DSM: kibbutzim

>Hi there everyone:

>Alexander / Michiru Streater wrote (re. kibbutzim):

>> Lets get it onto an new thread eh? ;-)

>Actually this is not such a bad idea, since my experience of
>kibbutz education gives me the feeling that the philosophy of
>SVS is not too far removed from them. In any case, I am pretty
>sure that at least on *some* types of kibbutzim, like those of
>the Kibbutz Ha-Artzi / Ha-Shomer Ha-Tza'ir movement, the
>philosophy of the SVS would be, in large part, both welcome
>and very, *very* familiar.

>I for one see no *fundamental* reason why a change from
>a kibbutz school to a Sudbury-type school would be altogether
>impossible. On the contrary, I think it could help both the kibbutz
>movement as well as the SVS "movement" (in the sense of having
>more and more schools of the SVS-type sprout up worldwide.)

>If anyone has any ideas on this, let's have them!

>Ardeshir <>



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