This study attempted to identify reasons for the failure of kibbutz society to retain its young people, and to explain the role that parents play in encouraging their children to leave Israel. Data was collected through intensive individual interviews with several dozen ex-kibbutzniks currently living in Los Angeles, California, and through occasional observations and conversations at kibbutzniks' social functions. To assure that they were products of a complete kibbutz education, informants were included in the study only if they had been born and raised on the kibbutz. Interviews were open-ended and designed to elicit detailed accounts of the kibbutzniks' life histories and educational experiences. Findings indicated factors which pushed young people to leave the kibbutz. These included educational factors, such as an educational system which pressures children to be like everyone else and against which young people rebel, and personal factors, such as a desire for economic independence and individual freedom. Findings also indicated several factors, including economic independence and the desire for success and happiness, which caused ex-kibbutznik emigrees to remain in the United States. Results suggested that kibbutz education fails to distinguish between the obligation to live in Israel and the option to live on the kibbutz, and that this causes young people to feel that they must either live on the kibbutz or leave Israel. (MM)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).
Emigrants; Emigration; Israel; Kibbutzim; United States