Yad Tabenkin, the research and documentation center of the Kibbutz Movement, is a registered association (NPO) whose vision is to preserve the history of the Kibbutz Movement, Zionist youth movements from across the globe, key aspects of the history of the ‘Yishuv’ and the modern State of Israel and to research its past and present.
The archive and the research and reference library are housed in the Yad Tabenkin building which is situated amidst a beautiful campus on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. The center is named after the kibbutz leader, Yitzchak Tabenkin (1888-1971). The center engages also in research and publishing, holds conferences and seminars.
Yad Tabenkin’s aim is to tell the story of the pioneering youth movements, past and present, communal settlement movements in Israel and in the world, and the unique community that is known as “the kibbutz”.
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The historical and social research at Yad Tabenkin creates bridges to the fascinating worlds of nation-building, society, and community with a utopian vision. The research deals with the core subjects, around which were built the activity of the Zionist movement, the Israeli Labor Movement, the kibbutz (collective) and the moshav (co-operative) settlement movements, and intentional, co-operative, communities in the past and present.
The archives hold historical documents and collections which describe the activity of the settlement movements in realizing nation-building tasks. The research, which is based on them, creates a collective memory of the contributions in a variety of fields: defense, security, culture, and education, which left their imprint on the establishment of the State of Israel.
The intellectual activity in Yad Tabenkin adds to the public discourse about the values on which the original kibbutz was based – among them: collectivism, social solidarity, the striving for equality, activism and relationship to the land while relating to changes in their interpretation and practice today.
The cultural activities of Yad Tabenkin occur in varied artistic spheres.
I.C.S.A. (International Communal Studies Association), that his office is situated in Yad Tabenkin, provides links between researchers and various intention communities throughout the world. The international conventions of ICSA allow researchers and members of kibbutzim and communities to meet, exchange ideas, co-operate in advancing research and implementation.
The work of the kibbutz settlements, the youth movements, and the intentional communities, with all the changes that have occurred over time, is at the heart of the activity at Yad Tabenkin.
About The Archive
To be a world center, both physically and digitally, for the treasures, physical and spiritual, of the kibbutz, of the youth movements and settlement in Israel and the world from the beginning of Zionism until the present. This will enable any interested person to find what they seek and base their practical or academic dreams on our collections and strive for a better society.
The Yad Tabenkin Archives provide a microcosm of the history of the Zionist movement and the settlement movement’s contribution to the founding of the State of Israel, its development, of the ingathering of the exiles and the link between the diaspora and the Jewish homeland.
Yad Tabenkin Archives has the largest collection of archival material from the different kibbutz movements, each with its own ideology, of economically and socially collective settlements in Eretz Yisrael and the State of Israel, which were gradually merged into one movement. Its holdings include archives of many early youth movements and political parties as well as a special section devoted to oral documentation by veteran kibbutz members. The subjects covered are public, security, educational and cultural activity. The archives also contain numerous personal archives, collections and special collections such as photographs, audio-visual materials, maps and drawings.
The Yad Tabenkin Archives provide a significant expression of pioneering and community life which typefied the pre-State Yishuv, with the kibbutz and pioneering movements and the Zionist pioneering youth movements in the Diaspora at its center. The devotion of the individual and the commitment to the community are the central motifs found in the archives and its collections. For example, formal and informal educational activity (schools, youth movements, Kibbutz teachers’ training college); cultural life (music, theatre, dance, photography, literature); security (Haganah and Palmach); politics (Achdut HaAvodah – Poalei Zion, Left Poalei Zion); pioneering (Sdom-Dead Sea, ports, Tower and Stockade settlements); economic activity (industry and agriculture) and much more.
These historic assets and cultural treasures, which express the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, are the legacy we pass to the contemporary youth and the generations to come, in Israel and the Diaspora, and serve to advance academic research. This task is entrusted to the staff of Yad Tabenkin.
Documenting and researching, both historical and contemporary aspects of the Zionist movement, the pioneering movements, the youth movements in Israel and abroad, the collective settlement movements, and in particular, the kibbutz as a unique social, economic and historic phenomenon. As part of a striving to advance consciousness and identity, we focus on the rebuilding of the basic values that served the kibbutz at its founding, namely community, communality, solidarity, a mission-driven society with a connection to the soil, while relating to the changes in their interpretation and implementation in today’s world.
Yad Tabenkin Publications
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