Moshavim and Other Rural Settlements

What are Moshavim? And how are they different from Moshavot or Kibbutzim? If you don't live in Israel, the different types of settlements may be confusing.

Basically these are cooperative farming communities; and different from Kibbtzim because the farms and the homes are privately owned by individuals. The farmers pay an equal amount to the governing committee - or va'ad (in Hebrew). This money is used to provide agricultural services to the community, like buying supplies and marketing the farm produce.

There are two types of Moshavim. The more common of the two are called Moshav ovdim (Hebrew for "workers"). Today there are 405 of them, but the first one was Nahalal, established in 1921 by Jewish settlers from Eastern Europe.

The other, less common type, is the Moshava shitufi (Hebrew for "collective"). These are more similar to Kibbutzim as the land is farmed collectively and the profits shared equally. The difference being that households are independent of each other and the family is the center of the social life.

Members who are employed outside the community also contribute their salaries to the va'ad. The first of these settlements was Kfar Hittim in the Lower Galilee, which was founded in 1936.


Many of farmers and property owners have built log cabins on their land, additional small apartments and Guest Suites on their homes. These are furnished with basics and sometimes to high levels of style and luxury, and then rented out as zimmers (B&Bs). There are many of them to choose from in the north of Israel and a good option for a stopover if you're sightseeing independently.

Amirim deserves a special mention, as it has become a popular, affordable weekend spot for Israelis. All the families who live there are vegetarians and it has developed into a center for vegetarian and vegan restaurants, zimmers (B&Bs), guest houses and spas.

What Is a Moshava?

This type of rural settlement is different from the Moshavim and Kibbutzim as all the land and property is privately owned by the individuals. The first Moshavot were established by Jewish settlers from the First Aliyah as agricultural settlements. The first moshava was Petach Tikvah, which is now a large town in the center of Israel. Examples of moshavot in the Galilee are Metulla, Migdal and Rosh Pina.

Return from Moshavim to Home Page

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