June 29, 1939
Located about twenty miles southeast of Tel- Aviv, Kibbutz Givat Brenner was established by halutzim from Lithuania, Italy and Germany. Originally working as laborers in surrounding agricultural communities, the founding members of Givat Brenner established an agricultural and industrial infrastructure for the kibbutz, quickly making it financially stable and self-sustaining. Producing a range of goods from textiles to fruit jams, Givat Brenner grew to become one of the largest kibbutzim in the Yishuv (the Jewish settlement in Palestine prior to the founding of the State of Israel) and afterwards. The kibbutz developed an advanced metal foundry and produced numerous specialized goods that were exported all over the world. These include the metal boxes that house emergency telephones along the New Jersey Turnpike.
Givat Brenner, which means “Brenner Hill,” is named after one of the Yishuv’s most prominent literary figures, Yosef Haim Brenner. Born in Russia in 1881, he was given a traditional Orthodox Jewish education, which he abandoned to affiliate with the secular Jewish Socialist Bund movement. He later became an ardent but sharply critical Zionist. Immigrating in 1909, he was the greatest writer in the Land of Israel in his time, and helped to bring the center of Jewish literature from Europe to Palestine. Working as a writer, laborer and teacher in the Yishuv, Brenner’s nihilistic novels include Breakdown and Bereavement, Out of the Depths and Around the Point. Brenner was tragically killed during a series of violent clashes between Jewish and Arab inhabitants of Jaffa in May 1921.
Today, Givat Brenner continues to produce a wide array of goods. In addition to growing avocados, wheat, corn and cotton, it has a dairy farm, a jazz club, a plant nursery and a sod plant.
The photo shows young members of Givat Brenner in 1950.