- 07/05/2019 at 2:21 pm #1351380EduGorillaKeymasterSelect Question Language :
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.
After decades of declining numbers, bankruptcies and privatization, Israel’s kibbutz movement is undergoing a remarkable revival, with rising numbers wanting to join the unique form of collective living.
The population of about 143,000 is the highest in its 102-year history, after growth of 20% between 2005 and 2010, according to the official Kibbutz Movement. More people are now joining kibbutzim than leaving – a reversal of the crisis years – and the influx of working-age adults and young children is helping to redress the balance of an ageing population.
Most kibbutzim have implemented reforms to become commercially viable and stem decline. Liberalization – including permitting differential incomes and home ownership – has increased their attractiveness to newcomers reluctant to commit to pure communal principles.
Only about 60 of Israel’s 275 kibbutzim still operate a completely collective model, in which all members are paid the same regardless of their allotted job. Most of the rest have introduced wage differentials for people employed by the kibbutz – but, more importantly, many members now work outside the kibbutz and contribute a proportion of their salaries to the collective.
Other measures have included selling kibbutz businesses, charging for meals and services, and recruiting agricultural laborers from Southeast Asia. The changes, necessary for survival, have been painful, particularly for a generation of kibbutz pioneers wedded to a socialist-Zionist dream.
Increasing numbers of families are attracted to kibbutz living by the quality of education, environment, space and security. But, according to AmikamOsem, a member of Kibbutz Afikim near the Sea of Galilee for 50 years after marrying a kibbutznik, the most important reason was a sense of community. “This is the principle of kibbutz life – mutual help and responsibility for each other.” A kibbutz, he said, was like an orchestra with people playing different parts “but together we create something meaningful.”
In the last two years, Afikim’s membership has increased from 500 to 600, and there is now a waiting list of people wanting to join. Many are the children of members, wishing to raise their own families in a co-operative environment. Others have never previously lived on a kibbutz.
Afikim operates a progressive taxation system: the more you earn, the more you pay into the collective fund. There is a “safety net” minimum income for all, and the kibbutz subsidizes healthcare, education, social needs and care for the elderly. The kibbutz owns and runs several successful businesses, plus dairy and fish farms, and grows dates, bananas, avocados and olives on its land. The heavily subsidized dining room – the heart of the kibbutz – is open every day for lunch, and twice a week in the evenings.
Before being accepted as members with full voting rights, candidates rent homes on the kibbutz. Most members now own their own homes, which can be bequeathed to their children or sold back to the collective. Occasionally a candidate family decides that kibbutz life is not for them; sometimes the kibbutz admissions committee rejects candidates as unsuitable. Those with criminal records, a history of financial mismanagement or unsocial behavior are not invited to join.
“Here in the kibbutz, we’re not neighbours – we’re partners,” says Osem. “The kibbutz movement is in a process of change in which there are many different directions. But the thing that unites all kibbutzim is mutual responsibility.”
Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?
Most kibbutz have introduced wage differentials and there is thus the possibility of earning a higher income within the kibbutz than outside.
Members have access to better quality education, healthcare and social security.
In their struggle for survival, the kibbutz settlements are now no different from commercial farming establishments.
It is now possible for members to live on the kibbutz and also be part of the outside world.
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