Until a few years ago, agriculture and outside salaries were the
economic pillars of Ketura. Today, our focus is creative economic
thought and entrepreneurship in any field in which someone expresses
an interest. This has opened up a wide variety of interesting employment
with good, stable incomes.
We are continually increasing profitability and cutting costs in
our established businesses, while vigorously seeking new ones. When
a new business is suggested, the kibbutz performs a thorough check
of the economic viablity of that business. It goes without saying
that once a business has been approved, the kibbutz fully stands
behind the endeavor.
Professional skills are becoming more important, and kibbutz members
have started new businesses in areas such as technical writing and
web design and management consulting for small businesses (for more
information on the kibbutz businesses, click Kibbutz Businesses
on the menu).
The essence of work on kibbutz is that it is voluntary. Everyone
receives the same amount of money, regardless of the type of work
or amount of hours spent at work. The members are thus motivated
by conscience, responsibility, and peer pressure, rather than personal
We believe that work should both advance the financial status of
Ketura, and be personally gratifying to people, allowing everyone
to be aware of how they can contribute to the community.
The work structure is divided into production and service branches.
The production branches strive to reduce costs and increase profits,
while the service branches strive to maintain a decent level of
service within budgetary and labor constraints. While certain jobs
are short-term or rotational, many members work in the same branch
Many members also work outside the kibbutz, and use their professional
education to provide services in fields such as accounting or computing
to neighboring communities, or to teach at the regional school or
to be social workers in Eilat. We take pride, too, in our varied
and gifted service professionals. At Ketura, for example, in addition
to the usual service jobs, we have a carpentry shop and a garage.
All of the children, from the youngest to the oldest benefit from
warm and nurturing caretaking. The dedicated and talented landscaping
crew has added much to Ketura's beauty, and thus to the quality
of life here.
While the possible employment opportunities are constantly changing,
the following is a representative list of current kibbutz Ketura
Agriculture: Dates, dairy cows, desert agriculture
Outside salaries: Ardom – Date packing plant
co-operatively owned by all the regional kibbutzim, Yechidat HaMachshev
- regional mobile computer repair unit that attends to both hardware
and software problems, Moetza - regional council, Ma'ale Shacharut
- regional school, Tachana HaNissionot - agricultural research and
development center, Ardag – cooperatively owned fish farm in the
Gulf of Eilat
Entrepreneurship:AIES – academic environmental
program for Israelis and non-Israelis and the first in the country
with students from Arab countries, Keren Kolot - educational tourism
based on Jewish studies with a pluralistic approach. Seminars include
desert, environmental and kibbutz studies. Textstore - technical
writing and internet services, Insight - economic consulting firm
(see Kibbutz Businesses for more examples of Ketura entrepreneurship)
Service branches: Carpentry shop, garage, gardening,
laundry, dining room, pre-school education, after-school education
Ketura is guided by the traditional kibbutz principle that money
is collectively earned ("from each according to his abilities")
and spent ("to each according to his needs"). There is no association
between work done and money received.
Many kibbutzim today have abandoned this principle; how money
is earned, and how it is divided up varies greatly between kibbutzim.
For instance, some kibbutzim have differential salaries, where workers
in the different branches receive different salaries. Some kibbutzim
have "bonus points" that earn members extra money or services for
specific work done.
On Ketura, every member earns the same amount, regardless of the
type of work done or number of hours worked, and no special bonuses