Samar is a Kibbutz in the Arava valley in the far south of Israel. Located near Eilat, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Eilot Council. The Kibbutz was founded in 1976 by a group who wanted to form a different kind of community. The name "Samar" is borrowed from the plant "Juncus", in Hebrew- Samar. Samar is one of the few Kibutzim that continues to maintain a lifestyle consistent with the original socialist ideals of the Kibbutz movement.
Yair Sela- Founding Samar: In September of ’73, Yossi, Gil, Gonen, Dudu, me and others, meeting within the framework of the kibbutz movement, first proposed the idea of starting a new kibbutz in the Arava or the Golan Heights. The Arava was as yet wild and unsettled, exciting and far, far away from the rest of the story. That was just before the war. After the war, there was a feeling that all was lost.
We formed a group of about 25 young people. We knew only what we didn’t want. That’s the old kibbutz with the committees and functions to which the individual was subject. We held the individual as having the ultimate responsibility for his actions. We wanted to “take” what we felt we needed rather than be “given” it. We decided that there would be no committees, no by laws, no bosses. Each one decides for themselves.
The desert ‘winked at us’. To make something where there was nothing, that’s dedication. I loved it: the desert, the distance, the Zionism. We didn’t want the apathy of the older kibbutz. Here, the individual is more important than the group.