Ma'abarot, Israel

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Maabarot 135.JPG
Ma'abarot is located in Central Israel
Coordinates: 32°21′50″N 34°54′15″E / 32.36389°N 34.90417°E / 32.36389; 34.90417Coordinates: 32°21′50″N 34°54′15″E / 32.36389°N 34.90417°E / 32.36389; 34.90417
District Central
Council Hefer Valley
Affiliation Kibbutz Movement
Founded 1933
Founded by Romanian Hashomer Hatzair members
Population (2017)[1] 986
A member of Kibbutz Ma'abarot on guard duty, 1936

Ma'abarot is a kibbutz in Emek Hefer in central Israel. Established in 1933 and located about 11 kilometers (6.8 mi) northeast of Netanya,[2] it falls under the jurisdiction of Hefer Valley Regional Council. In 2017 it had a population of 986.[1]


Ma'abarot was the third kibbutz established by the Kibbutz Artzi federation and is located in the Sharon Plain, near the old road from Petah Tikva to Haifa. It was founded by members of the left-wing Hashomer Hatzair Zionist youth movement in Romania who organized themselves as a settlement group, and immigrated to Mandate Palestine in 1924.

Upon their arrival in Palestine, the group waited several years until land for settlement was available. They worked as hired laborers in the meanwhile. In 1932, a large stretch of land in the Wadi Hawarith/Hefer Valley area was acquired by the Jewish National Fund of which a small part was given to the settlement group. Ten members established an initial presence on the land, constructing housing and farm buildings, and making a start in land amelioration, while the rest of the group continued its communal life in Hadera. In September 1933, they too moved to the site of Ma'abarot, which was located in a swampy area near Nahal Alexander.[3]

Over the following years, the kibbutz membership was augmented by additional Hashomer Hatzair groups, from Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany (of which most members were Russian), and Chile.[4]


In contrast to most other kibbutzim, which have embraced privatization and have done away with many of the communal aspects that historically characterized kibbutz life, Ma'abarot remains heavily collectivized. There are no differential wages, with all members living off a budget that does not include any special compensation for work, the communal dining hall still operates, and over thirty committees regulate almost every aspect of life on the kibbutz.[5]

Ma'abarot farms approximately 3,000 dunams (3 km²) of land. Cotton is the major cash crop, and other branches include subtropical orchard, fish-breeding ponds and a dairy barn. The kibbutz also operates three factories, two pharmaceutical factories and one metal factory:

  • "TRIMA", which produces medical supplies
  • "Ma'abarot Products", which manufactures veterinary medical supplies and feed additives for livestock, among them "BONZO" dog food and "LaCat" cat food.
  • "Metal Ma'abarot", which designs and manufactures industrial machinery for use in factories.

In addition, Ma'abarot runs a drying plant that dehydrates a variety of foods. Foremost among these is Materna, a leading brand of infant formula.[6] In 2017, the kibbutz sold its remaining 49% share in Materna to Osem-Nestle for $156 million.[7]


In 1944, Nissim Nissimov, a composer with ties to the Labor movement organized a musical show inspired by the Song of Songs. In 1955, the French cellist Paul Tortelier, impressed by the ideals of the kibbutzim, spent a year at Maabarot with his family. He composed "Israeli Symphony" based on his experiences.


Burial caves and artifacts from prehistoric settlements have been found on the grounds of the kibbutz.[8]

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ a b "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  2. ^ By adapting, kibbutz movement finds success
  3. ^ Maabarot history
  4. ^ Escaping Hitler: A Jewish Haven in Chile, Eva Goldschmidt Wyman
  5. ^ After the exit, kibbutzniks debate what to do with half a billion shekels
  6. ^ Materna factory
  7. ^ After the exit, kibbutzniks debate what to do with half a billion shekels
  8. ^ Agelarakis A., Paley S., Porath S., and J. Winnick, “The Chalcolithic Burial Cave in Ma’abarot, Israel, and its Paleoanthropological Implications”, International Journal of Osteo-Archaeology 8 (1998): 431-443

External links[edit]