Tiferet fellows abandon program, form kibbutz

Justin Kroll

News Editor 

After less than a month in Israel, a group of 15 Tiferet fellows left Alexander Muss High School in Hod HaSharon to form their own kibbutz community about 30 miles away from the school. The students left shortly after midnight on Wednesday, February 13, with just the clothing on their backs and enough money to purchase three goats and four chickens.

“We felt like we weren’t satisfied with the capitalist society we’d been stuck in for 15 years, and we felt like a kibbutz really embodied the Jewish values we’ve been learning at Milken,” Jordan Yashari ’15 said. “Also, the food at Muss is terrible, so we wanted to just grow our own.”

The kibbutz, called HaKibbutz Melafefon, is based in the fertile Coastal Plain region of Israel. In the week and a half of its existence, the students have accumulated 23 goats, 15 cows, 30 chickens and 11 sheep. Since their departure from Muss, 13 other Milken students have joined the kibbutz, leaving about 30 students on the Muss campus.

“This past week has been very successful for us. If things keep going this well, we’re going to get a tractor!” Samantha Suman ‘15 said. “The 28 of us have really seemed to bond while creating our own kibbutz, and aside from the occasional fight about whose turn it is to clean the fecal matter, we all get along well.

This year's Tiferet group has taken its love of Israel to new extremes. Photo by Joel Seligman.

The administration at Muss, though displeased that the students broke curfew, is excited to see where they will go with this experiment. Muss’s motto, “Learn it, Live it, Love it,” is fitting for the kibbutzniks, who are currently living one of the many facets of Israeli society.

When asked about their plans for the rest of Tiferet, most of the kibbutzniks had not fully decided.“I mean, I guess we’ll go back for Gadna since that’s the fun one,” Leeat Elkayam ’15 said. “We’re still deciding whether we’re going to come home at all.”