Ketura is located in the Southern Arava, 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Eilat. Travel time by car is approximately 2 hours from Be'er Sheva (via Rte. 40), 3 1/2 hours from Jerusalem, and 4 hours from Tel Aviv.

Ketura is an income-sharing community with a communal dining hall; housing is in the form of attached, single-family dwellings with shared yards and garden space. A shared fleet of about 15 cars serve members on a reservation basis. Our area is also served by public bus 7 days a week, and two domestic airlines operate between Eilat and two airports in Israel’s center.

What makes Ketura unique is our pluralistic approach to Judaism: We believe that each individual should observe (or not) as per his or her belief, so that while members are free to observe (or not) as they wish in their own living spaces, we observe kashrut, Shabbat, and holidays in our public spaces and at cultural events, so that those who do observe feel comfortable, and everyone enjoys a taste of the experience. We also avoid non-essential work that would violate the Shabbat, and incorporate Jewish traditions and values into the community’s life.

We are committed to continuing education to benefit the community, as well as individual enrichment for our members. So at any point in time, some of our members are studying for vocational, academic, or professional advancement and interest. The extension campus of Ben-Gurion University in Eilat has expanded our options in this area.

While many members work on the kibbutz in service branches such as daycare and after-school programming, food service, landscaping, and maintenance, others are involved in businesses such as our date orchards and our tourism enterprise.

We also have “hybrid” workplaces, i.e., engaged both in service and production. For example, the member who operates our pool and teaches water aerobics serves both the community and our lodge guests. Our accounting branch serves not only the community and our businesses, but also many other businesses both in the region and nationwide.

In addition, many of us work “outside” as teachers, bookkeepers, social workers and laboratory technicians. Among our members are specialists including a sports physical therapist, the regional inseminator for area dairy herds, a veterinarian, a chiropractor, and researchers in fields ranging from anthropology and conflict resolution to aquaculture and agricultural research. Most members have undergraduate degrees (Bachelor’s), many have Master’s degrees, and several have or are currently in the process of earning doctorates.

Beyond what we do to earn a living, many members engage in hobbies or pursuits beyond their “day jobs”. Among these are a fitness instructor who leads aerobics, kickboxing and various other workouts; a voice coach; bar and bat mitzvah tutors; several published writers, artists, and artisans (painting, drawing, sculpture and pottery, a range of jewelry makers), and a team of craft beer brewers. Several members sing in the area vocal ensemble, and others run two organic gardens, the produce from which we regularly see in our daily salad bar.

We recently added new housing in order to accommodate a growing population, and are welcoming young families, expanding our physical plant, and continuing to grow. Come on in and explore our way of life, from our myriad expanding businesses to our values and goals.

Ketura