חריש משותף בעמק שנות 1930

When the principles of communal life were formulated and subsequently came to be the fundamentals of the “workers’ settlements” of Israel, there were members, especially married couples, who had reservations about collectivization. They sought a way to set up a collective village which would combine an individual family farm with bold collective principles. Against this background a number of members left Degania, and together with members from other Kibbutzim, they set up the first two agricultural moshavim: Nahalal and Kfar Yechezkel. Among the founders of Nahalal were Dvora and Shmuel Dayan, Sonia and Yisrael Bloch, Joseph Elkin and Abraham Greenspon.
In the year 1922 the Emirate of Transjordan was established. At the same time, the border was formed between the British Mandate in the Land of Israel and the French Mandate in Syria. Then came the decision in the matter of the Jordan Valley – Negev - Kinnerot salient, which is east of the Jordan River and north of the Yarmuk Rivers.
Emek Hayarden became a part of the British Mandate and so it came about that after the founding of Degania ‘A’, there arose other kibbutzim which filled the Jordan Valley.

The unique contribution of Degania ‘A’ was in its being a melting pot for the formation of many groups in training [foroneer settlement] from the Diaspora as well as from Eretz Yisrael. These same groups, after training on Degania, set up many kibbutzim all over the country.

At first Degania cultivated all the 3,000 dunams acquired from east of the Jordan and when the settlement in the valley expanded Degania remained with an area of land about 1,500 dunams, small by any national measure. Parallel to what was being done in the fields and groves, was the setting up of “Bet Gordon” (The House of Gordon), in 1935.
Here was laid the foundation for study and reference in nature sciences and agriculture, and the house was opened to the public in 1941.

בית גורדון 1941

Bet Gordon, 1941