Building Sustainable Communities

Kibbutz ideology was established and developed during the pre-state and early years of Israel’s statehood. During the initial years and for many years after, the Kibbutzim assumed prominent roles in almost every sphere of the developing country. It was a revolutionary idea of a voluntary society in which people live in accordance with a specific social contract, based on egalitarian and communal principles in a social and economic framework. Although encompassing only three percent of Israeli society, the Kibbutz has made a dramatic mark on Israeli production, culture and ideology.

As one of the last kibbutzim to be established in Israel under the traditional model, Kibbutz Lotan has since its inception in 1983 constantly sought to build on and adapt the original kibbutz concept through creative expressions of community living. In the mid-nineties, a number of Lotan's members decided to focus their attention on reducing ecological impacts and strive for a more environmentally-aware community. This led to the establishment of the Center for Creative Ecology, which for 20 years has been at the forefront of developing

On Lotan, a community situated in one of the most extreme arid regions of the world, a bio-diverse small- scale organic farm has been developed that is based on composting techniques that have created a nutrient- rich, thriving soil where once there was sand and gravel. Food scraps, foliage and animal dung are all transformed into this rich soil, enabling a wide range of vegetables to be grown without the use of chemical fertilizers. The bio-diversity of the farm attracts birds and insects that help control outbreaks of pests, eliminating the need for chemical pesticides, and crop rotation is practiced in order to avoid soil depletion and eliminate disease. The farm is a thriving, living desert oasis that provides healthy food to the community members and the surrounding region.

Natural building projects abound. Students on our courses live in the Eco-Campus, a prototype neighbourhood for sustainable living, and gain hands-on skills and knowledge in our unique agro-ecology and alternative technology demonstration center.

The "Building Sustainable Communities" program provides a framework in which to immerse yourself in the community life at Kibbutz Lotan. Through learning ecovillage sustainable living practices you will have a unique opportunity to come face-to-face with the reality of community building and sustainability theory and practice. We strongly believe that the experience we have gained over the years can provide important community building skills and sustainable solutions to organizations, associations, governments universities for building sustainable communities to create a better world for future generations.

We are happy to share our pioneering spirit, knowledge and experience to help people come to gather to create a sustainable future.

This programme is aimed for groups of minimum 10 participants.

For more information, please contact:
Mark Naveh

Center for Creative Ecology

Kibbutz Lotan