"To repair the world is to repair education" - Janusz Korczak
The Akko Educators’ Kibbutz was founded in 2005 when 20 young and energetic graduates of Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed youth movement who had completed their obligatory military service moved to the city with the two-tiered mission of creating change through education and establishing a vibrant cooperative community of educators. Twelve years later, the Educators’ Kibbutz has grown to include 95 members who all work in various educational capacities. The groups, families and individuals who make up the kibbutz community live a communal lifestyle that includes democratic decision-making, cooperative economics, and educational collaboration. Together they form a single action-driven unit working at every level to generate change in and around the ancient and fascinating city of Akko.
Akko of Today
An ancient city facing modern challenges
Akko is home to 50,000 people and is situated on the northern cape of the Bay of Haifa. Alongside its stunning natural beauty and rich history, modern Akko faces many challenges. Akko is a mixed city – one-third Arab and two-thirds Jewish, including ten thousand immigrants from the former Soviet Union. The city’s unique demography poses a daily challenge for those seeking to foster social cohesion.
Like other cities in Israel’s periphery, Akko must also contend with the challenge of retaining its young adult population, who often leave for larger cities seeking economic and cultural opportunities that they don't see on the horizon in their hometown.
Providing answers to these modern challenges is vital to securing a future for Akko as a prosperous, vibrant, growing and dynamic city.
Akko of Tomorrow
A model city for all
The Akko Educators’ Kibbutz works to meet the city's challenges by providing platforms for meaningful exchange and encounters across linguistic, cultural and religious boundaries to enable local residents to celebrate their city’s diversity and become part of the effort to transform it from a mixed city into a shared city. Such projects include Hebrew and Arabic adult language study groups, Jewish-Arab youth soccer teams, and a shared calendar for values-based celebrations and commemorations around which the entire tapestry of the city can unite.
In addition to providing meaningful and enriching programming for local youth and adults, the Educators’ Kibbutz seeks to create a vibrant cultural life in the city and by doing so improve Akko’s image and its residents’ sense of self-worth. The Akko Jam is one of the kibbutz’s flagship programs. The Jam is a club and venue for live music that provides a platform for local artists and affordable concerts by Israel’s leading musicians. The Jam hosts large concerts and cultural events, monthly open mic nights, themed nights or local bands, and a diverse range of programming for the local community.
Kibbutz in the City
A new take on Israel's original social startup
The Akko Educators’ Kibbutz, a cooperative community of 95 teachers, youth workers and counselors – pioneers from Dror Israel, embodies the same innovative spirit that drives the startup nation. We’re an action-based community living a Zionist, democratic and mission-driven lifestyle. Together, we’re creating a social startup in Israel’s geo-social periphery.
The concept is simple. A group of people living and collaborating closely together can breakthrough barriers, identify opportunities and innovate creative solutions to the challenges that prove insurmountable to the lone educator. It’s a novel twist on Zionism’s original startup – the kibbutz – and it’s catching on quickly.
Part of a Movement
Dror Israel is an Israel-wide grassroots organization
The Educators’ Kibbutz in Akko one of 16 similar communities in Dror Israel. Dror Israel numbers 1,300 young educators throughout Israel who work to create a more just and equal Israel through education and community, where all share responsibility, benefit from opportunity, and realize their own potential, based on the founding principles of Zionism. They educate and empower young people and those on the social and geographic periphery to actively contribute to their communities and to create a shared society in Israel.
Through schools for youth at risk, Jewish-Arab programs, the youth movement, educational workshops, intentional community projects, and national social justice initiatives, they inspire inclusivity, equality, and responsibility for oneself and one’s community.
Dror Israel is a broad and inclusive organization that engages over 100,000 children, youth and adults from every sector of Israeli society. Each year, more than a hundred new members join Dror Israel kibbutzim from north to south or get to work on building new ones.