Where we work - or not - as the case may be
First a bit of history: In the year 2000
- Terraflex, our plastics factory, was our main gainful employer.
- Agriculture, which until the seventies had been our mainstay, had become largely unprofitable (the dairy and the fisheries were notable exceptions).
- The services comprised electricians, mechanics, computer geeks and the like which gave support to the factory and the agricultural branches.
- The administration was a direct result of Parkinson's theories.
- The services for members and children included teachers, nurses, cooks, launderes, shop assistants and their ilk.
- With "Other" we mostly mean people working outside the kibbutz, a growing segment of the adult population.
That's all changed a bit by 2010
In 2013 these trends have become even more pronounced. If half a generation ago most members found work on the kibbutz itself, nowadays the vast majority work outside, sometimes quite a distance away. The Terraflex factory (of which we are still a minority holder) is still fighting for its survival and most members who have worked there, have either gone into pension or found a different job. Agriculture and horticulture, even more than animal husbandry, attract few kibbutzniks nowadays. A number of people have founded small businesses. Unemployment is quite low.
- Just a few kibbutzniks still work in the factory, of which we now own only a small part and which the new owners have managed to run into the ground.
- Agriculture is profitable again, which has come as a nice surprise
- Services have been cut back: there are no more local electricians, carpenters, builders, cooks, launderers, etc only the communications geeks have managed to hang on and the child minding services are still going strong