In 1943 a group of young and tough pioneers built an idealistic and scenic kibbutz surrounded by forest and mountains, creating a strong presence along the the border with Lebanon. Then in the 80s the kibbutz stopped growing, and homes were abandoned. Through a thorough campaign in 2015, we brought the voices of young children to the hills of Manara once again.

Established: 1943

Location: Upper Galilee, near Kiryat Shmona

Council: Upper Galilee

Character: Secular

Population: 450

The Story

Kibbutz Manara was built in 1943 by young and tough pioneers, including famous activists like Rachel Rabin, the sister of Yitzchak Rabin. They built an idealistic town, 888 meters above sea level, surrounded by forests and mountains, creating a strong presence along the the border with Lebanon. The early days of the community were promising, and the community seemed well established –  until the young children grew up and chose to live in an easier location, on flatter lands, with bigger cities.

For two decades Manara didn't gain any new members. There were almost no children in the entire community, the average age was past retirement, and all attempts at growth seemed to freeze along with the mountain top weather.

The Manara community needed help from the bottom up. We worked together with several partners in the region and started with the basics. Old abandoned homes owned by the kibbutz were renovated to meet the 21st century, workshops were carried out for members to learn how to welcome new neighbors into their circles, and new branding materials were made to bring the community a fresh and desirable look. We then ran an aggressive targeted marketing campaign to reach young families who would succeed in the region.

In the summer of 2015, Manara gained 31 new young residents – and children's voices were heard for the first time in decades. 18 more residents are waiting for homes to be ready for them to move into, and the community has safely entered a new era of growth.