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After the War of Independence the State of Israel took over all the land which had belonged to the mandatory government, among it Ashrafie near the ancient town of Beit Shean, which had been abandoned by its Arab inhabitants. Two groups settled there, one belonging to the secular HaShomer HaTzair movement, the other to the religious HaPoel HaMizrahi.
After sharing a common camp for a year, they started building Reshafim and Shluhot. This sharing of facilities, the toleration and consideration between religious and secular Jews was unique in the kibbutz movement at a time of strong ideological beliefs, and led half a century later to the creation of Shlafim (from Shluhot and Reshafim), an independent community for religious, traditional and secular Jews who rely on services provided either by the religious Kibbutz Shluhot or secular Reshafim.

Kibbutz Reshafim, like all kibbutzim, is a partnership of all its members. The power to decide remains with the members. Decisions used to be taken by show of hands at kibbutz meetings, today the ballot is secret and voting generally takes place on Fridays. A number of officials were elected, generally for a one to two year term: in the 1990s these were two secretaries, a general manager, members of various committees, and more. Since the 2000s officials serve longer terms, we have an elected board with a CEO, what used to be the secretary is termed a community manager now, and committee members are either appointed or volunteers.

Terraflex The kibbutz was founded as an agricultural settlement. In 1968 Terraflex Reshafim, a factory producing a variety of plastic products was built, which came to specialize in PVC compounds and hoses. The need to give pensioned kibbutz members the opportunity to continue working brought about the creation of the medical products section, offering appropriate work for people with limited abilities. Because of the economic crisis we found ourselves in in the 1990s we had to sell Terraflex to a private investor.

If in the 20th century the kibbutz found jobs for its members, nowadays we live in what is called "economic independence". Few kibbutz members still work on the kibbutz, most had to find jobs on the outside.

 

 

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