Bereavement and mourning in nonreligious Kibbutzim

Devorah Kalekin-Fishman, Avigdor Klingman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kibbutzim are relatively closed communities, a unique social structure committed to an ideology of equality and collectivism, where cooperation is the dominant mode of social relations. These sentiments explain the commitment of the kibbutz as a community to providing support networks for members throughout their lives. Furthermore, the official world view of the kibbutz is the belief in science and reason rather than in institutionalized religion. In line with these principles, organizations of nonreligious kibbutzim have developed rituals and established various practices for dealing with death and bereavement. This article presents a description of the practices and also reports the results of a preliminary study that investigated the effects the practices have on bereaved kibbutz members. It was found that althougk kibbutz communities provide a highly organized framework for a funeral and extensive support networks, the bereaved do not as a rule perceive that they are getting the support they need. The article suggests a possible explanation for this finding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-270
Number of pages18
JournalDeath Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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