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Tuesday, April 26, 2011


(Israel Twitter)Hatzor , חָצוֹר‎‎, officially Hatzor Ashdod to distinguish it from the Hatzor HaGlilit, is a kibbutz in southern Israel. Located near Ashdod, it falls under the jurisdiction of Be'er Tuvia Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 545.


The kibbutz community was established in 1936 by a group of Hashomer Hatzair members. They resided in Mishmar HaEmek for one year, and then moved to Rishon LeZion. They eventually stayed there for nine years, because suitable land for settlement was hard to find in those days, under the restrictions on Jewish settlements outlined in the White Paper of 1939 by the Mandate Government. During this time, Bulgarian and North American Hashomer Hatzair youth groups joined the founding group.
In 1943, a small group of kibbutz members founded a settlement called Gvulot, which along with 2 similar settlements, Revivim and Beit Eshel, were known as the three lookouts, and were the first Jewish settlements in the Negev. But the remote location was not considered to be suitable for permanent settlement for a large kibbutz with over 100 members and several dozens of children, so they kept looking for another place to settle. In 1946, they finally got their wish, and settled in the current location, which was then a barren hill with an abandoned quarry on one side, surrounded by four Arab villages and a Royal Air Force base (now Hatzor Airbase of the Israeli Air Force). It was named after a location in ancient Judah.

In the 1950s, another group of Hashomer Hatzair from France also joined the kibbutz. By the 1970s, the number of kibbutz members has reached around 300, and the total population around 600, and these figures are about the same these days.
Like other kibbutzim founded by Hashomer Hatzair members, it was affiliated to Kibbutz Artzi movement, which merged into the Kibbutz Movement in the 1990s.
Since the 1990s the Kibbutz has undergone a change towards privatization and abandoned many of its original collective habits. The latest step was the switch to "Safety Net" model, which in principle means every member is responsible to earn his living, with a method of slightly reducing the difference between the "richer" and "poorer".

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