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San Francisco

The Contemporary Jewish Museum

Exhibition Detail
To Build and be Built: Kibbutz History
736 Mission Street
(between 3rd and 4th st.)
San Francisco, CA 94103

October 3rd, 2013 - January 20th, 2014
October 3rd, 2013 1:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Kibbutz Yagur, Israel, Kibbutz Yagur, Israel, 1950–1959
© Courtesy of The Contemporary Jewish Museum
Daily 11 AM–5 PM, Thursday 11AM–8 PM, Closed Wednesday
$12 adults, $10 students and senior citizens with a valid ID, and $5 on Thursdays after 5pm. Youth 18 and under free.

In conjunction with Work in Progress: Considering Utopia, this exhibition explores and celebrates the kibbutz as it starts its second century. To Build and be Built: Kibbutz History focuses on the growth and development of these unique communities which helped create the infrastructure and culture of the State of Israel, and which are now transforming themselves as Israel becomes increasingly urban and capitalistic. The influence of the kibbutz on national and Bay Area culture—including many summer camps, youth movements, and “intentional communities”—is also addressed.


Tanned, confident, and physically fit—the kibbutznik became the symbol of contemporary Israeli culture in the early part of the twentieth century. Israel’s kibbutzim, collective farms rooted in socialist and agrarian communal ideals, helped create the infrastructure and culture of the State of Israel, produced a disproportionate number of political and military leaders from the 1920s through the 1960s, and came to define the pioneer generation of Israelis.

A new exhibition at The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) explores the influence and history of the kibbutz on Jewish life. To Build & Be Built: Kibbutz History traces the growth and development of these unique communities through photographic images, ephemera, sound, moving images, and interpretive text. It presents a concise overview of the history of the kibbutz movement in Israel, from the early settlements of 1909 to the present day. It also looks at the transformation of the kibbutz as Israel has become increasingly urban and modernized, and the movement’s influence on American and Bay Area Jewish life.



The Koret and Taube Foundations are the Lead Supporters of the 2012/13 exhibition season.


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