History of Youth Aliyah
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Places >> Kevutsat Rodges (Kevutsat Yavne) est. 1929

Kevutsat Rodges (Kevutsat Yavne) est. 1929

In 1928, a group of young Jews in Germany established Bahad (the League of Religious Pioneers) and set up a training farm in a town named Rodges. The vanguard members of the group settled in Eretz Israel in late 1929, received a parcel next to Petah Tikva, and continued to refer to themselves as “Rodges.” They made it their task to educate the rest of the group, still in the Diaspora for pioneering ‘aliya and to receive them in Palestine in order to create a new society—or, as they said, a “reformed” public—living collectively and fulfilling the values of Torah VaAvoda.

The founders included Moshe Unna, David Beit Arye, and Avraham (Rudy) Herz.

In 1934, the “Rodges people” merged with Recha Freier in the establishment of Youth Aliyah. Since religious youth had nowhere to go at that time, the members of Rodges opened their homes Jewish adolescents who had just come from Germany. Overnight, this small collection of shacks and tents became an educational institution and the members of the group became a reception and educational staff. Even in the worst times, the pupils ate better than the group members did and the first concrete homes were assigned to the youth groups. The members of Rodges took part in the establishment of the Religious Youth Village, the “religious sector” at Mikveh Yisrael, and additional facilities that admitted religious adolescents.

In 1939, alumni of the first youth group established Kibbutz Sede Eliyahu; later on, those of the second group set up Kibbutz ‘Ein ha-Netsiv. It took until the winter of 1940 for the kibbutz to move to its current location on the coastal plain. In subsequent years, Kevutsat Yavne (kevutsa being an approximation of “kibbutz”) continued to receive groups from Youth Aliyah: the “Teheran children,” child survivors who had been placed in children’s homes in Europe after World War II, immigrants from various countries, and the Israel-born.

Pinhas Rosenblit (Rosen) described their accomplishments: “The religious kibbutz—half of its members had gone through the youth training projects. This is the most important test of Youth Aliyah’s success. It defies all comparison with any other educational project in Israel.”
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