Kibbutz Samar is located in the Arava valley in the far south of Israel, about 37 kilometers north of Eilat. The Kibbutz was founded in 1976 by a group of young people who wanted to form a different kind of community, one that offered more independence and responsibility to its members. The name "Samar" represents the plant Juncus, in Hebrew. Samar is one of the few Kibbutzim that continues to maintain a lifestyle consistent with the original socialist ideals of the Kibbutz movement. Samar counts today around 250 people and 5 international volunteers.
The theory on which Samar's life is based is that people are not necessarily equal; we all have differing needs and abilities. Therefore, striving for a technical equality of budgets, living space, etc., is at best futile. All members of Samar have equal opportunities to fulfil their needs as they see fit. This is the chief philosophy of Samar, which has been called an anarchic kibbutz. Samar works to provide high standards of cooperation among its members, and also offers an unusual degree of autonomy for each individual. Samar is a friendly place. The kibbutz is small; everybody knows everybody else; social interactions of all kinds are easier and more common than in a big city.
In Samar you may visit a Tukul, which is an Ethiopian house that was built on Samar. Its main purpose is to preserve and pass on the tradition, hopefully that those who are not part of the Ethiopian community can also learn from it. The Tukul is made from wood, straw and mud. The house is divided into living spaces, a cooking area and a storage space.
In 2011 kibbutz Samar opened a new enterprise, providing mountain bike tours. Along with offering guides, accommodations and meals for hiking parties, they have built new bike paths under contract with the Israel Parks Authority in the Eilat Mountains, Mitzpe Ramon and in Timna Park. Currently Samar has facilities for up to 20 bikers, in rooms newly refurbished.
Kibbutz Samar has an organic date orchard, the largest in Israel and in the whole Mediterranean area. There are around 250 milk cows on the kibbutz, and a similar number of calves. Even though experts once considered dairy farming in the Arava impossible, in Samar they do it very successfully. Today the dairy products of the area are famous nationwide. Volunteers in Samar mainly work in agriculture (dates harvesting) and services http://www.kibbutz-samar.com/