Ketura was founded by a small group of young North Americans, at the close of the Yom Kippur War in November 1973. Ketura is located in the Southern Arava, 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Eilat. Travel time by car is approximately 2 hours from the city of Be'er Sheva and 4 hours from Tel Aviv.
Today, Ketura is the second largest settlement in the region, with 165 members and candidates and over 200 children. Members come from Israel, the USA & Canada, the UK, Argentina, the former Soviet Union, France and other places.
What makes Ketura unique is its pluralistic approach to Judaism: each individual can observe (or not) as per his or her belief, so that while members are free to observe (or not) as they wish in their own living spaces, kibbutz Ketura observe kashrut, Shabbat, and holidays in the public spaces and at cultural events, so that those who do observe feel comfortable, and everyone enjoys a taste of the experience. Kibbutz Ketura avoid non-essential work that would violate the Shabbat, and incorporate Jewish traditions and values into the community’s life.
Volunteers in Ketura are provided with: room and board (3 meals per day in the kibbutz dining room), a small stipend (about 100$ per month), work clothes & linen, laundry service, use of the pool, tennis, football pitch and basketball court. There is access to computers in the library during the afternoon/evening hours and the area of the volunteer rooms has wireless internet access.
Work is assigned according to the needs of the kibbutz - mostly services (dining room, laundry, Kitchen, hotel). During the date picking season (Aug-October) volunteers may work in the Date Orchards. Volunteers who speak Hebrew and plan to stay for an extended period of time may work with the children of the kibbutz. In addition, Ketura operates the “Algatech” algae factory & "Keren Kolot" seminar center/hotel in Ketura, which often needs help (cleaning rooms, setting up campfires & pool activities with groups, etc...).