This book recounts a successful effort to resocialize criminal offenders placed in Kibbutzim. Social scientist Michael Fischer and educational philosopher Brenda Geiger describe the events and experiences that unfolded when a Kibbutz adopted an Israeli ex-convict as a temporary member of its collective. They conclude that resocialization is achievable: that a world of hard work, interdependence, and self-denial can successfully compete against the temptations for adventure and diversion in an offender’s past and present.
Fischer and Geiger reconstruct the subjective experiences of the Israeli ex-convicts who were invited to live and work as members on separate Kibbutzim. They detail how a protective environment, daily routines, egalitarianism, peer group support, acceptance, and trust yielded involvement, commitment, and higher self-esteem on the part of the offenders. Relating the kibbutz experience to theories of social psychology and criminology, Fischer and Geiger offer a model for resocialization combining group dynamics with social learning in a context of meaningful work and acceptance. This study is valuable to students and scholars of social psychology, criminology, and Judaic Studies.