A trip to the southern tip of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) has to include a visit to Israel’s first kibbutz. Kibbutz Degania was founded in 1909 in what was then Ottoman Palestine. Originally founded by twelve young European immigrants, the kibbutz eventually became the model for kibbutzim all over the region and country. While it has evolved and changed with the times, its history and the role that it played in both the pre-state period, along with Israel’s growth as a young independent state set the tone for the country’s strong, resilient, and prosperous future.
Several prominent figures were either born in or lived in Kibbutz Degania. Among them were Moshe Dayan (military leader and politician who served as Israel’s Defense Minister during the time of the 1967 Six-Day War), Rachel Bluwstein (more commonly known as “Rachel the Poet”), and A.D. Gordon, who was a driving force behind the Labor Zionism movement.
In 1920, a new kibbutz was named Kibbutz Degania Bet, and has existed adjacently to alef ever since.