The Kibbutz began 100 years ago as a small intimate group based on comradeship, honesty, mutual trust and commitment to the ideal of the Jewish people's return to its country and land as a working, productive, independent and sovereign people in its homeland. More than 270 Kibbutzim were established in the footsteps of the initial group.
A defensive role was forced upon the Kibbutzim as, thanks to their steadfast hold on the land and their determined stance against those who sought to do them harm, they ensured the borders of the State of Israel, serving as advance defense posts. The members, men and women alike, personified the verse from the Book of Nehemiah chapter 4, "doing work with one hand while the other held a weapon".
The water tower, which appears on the stamp, served the double mission that the Kibbutz took upon itself. As the community's source of water, it allowed daily life to exist in Kibbutz homes, institutions and green landscapes; as an elevated observation post, it also allowed communication among Kibbutzim through the use of signal lanterns and provided a vantage point to see approaching danger from afar and prepare accordingly.
The orange, which is also featured on this commemorative stamp, symbolizes the agriculture that bears an abundance of fruit and is renowned throughout the world and among Israel's friends not only as praiseworthy produce but as a bearer of sweet tidings from the Land of Israel.
Kibbutz agriculture became known worldwide as intelligent and sophisticated. Its workers and developers were not simple villagers who remained in the past, but educated people who chose agriculture as a progressive way of life through which to realize both social and economic values.
It is therefore not surprising that many Kibbutzim have sent agricultural instructors to developing countries, where they were received appreciatively and as people who came to teach and assist with no intention to exploit or take control.
Over the years, the need for economic success increased, to ensure the security of older members as well as opportunities for the younger members to realize themselves and develop the Kibbutz. This need led the Kibbutz to develop industry, which eventually became its economic cornerstone. The mill wheel that appears in the centennial stamp symbolizes this development.
Thus, the Kibbutz stamp incorporates the tower, the orange and the mill wheel, joining them together to create the number 100 as a symbol of 100 Years of Kibbutz.
Coordinator of Movement Planning and Information
Kibbutz Movement Secretariat