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Abstract

Besides the widely known types of cooperative rural communities of Israel, the kibbutz, the moshav ovdim, and the moshav shitufi, there exists another one: the cooperative village (kfar shitufi, in Hebrew).1 Its farmers, lessees of state-owned land, are bound to be members of the local village cooperative. This supplies the services required for farming, at least provision of inputs and marketing of outputs, and members are obliged to use them. Social or municipal services may be provided by the cooperative or by a separate body. Residence in the community is not restricted to members of the cooperative. Neither members nor other residents are expected to hold identical sociopolitical beliefs. Cooperation is a central tenet only in the area of farming. All other aspects of communal life are adaptable to changing conditions of place and time. Flexibility is the prominent aspect of the cooperative village compared to the other types of rural cooperative communities in Israel.

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