Exploring the Impact of Habonim Dror

A Study by Steven M. Cohen & Steven Fink, 2013

High Levels of Experiencing Habonim Dror, but Varied as Well

Habonim Dror offers its young people several ways to participate in its activities. Undoubtedly reflecting usage patterns generally, nearly everybody who has been involved with Habonim Dror attended or worked in a movement camp (97%) and the vast majority (86%) also participated in Ken (club) activities in their home towns. About two thirds (68%) of this sample participated in local Madatz, MB or KM Bet (summer leadership training programs). And almost half participated in summer programs in Israel (47%) and Workshop or Machon, the gap year programs in Israel (48%).

The Habos in this sample attended or worked in the summer camps as early as the 1930s and as recently as 2012. A small number (8%) last attended before 1960; about a sixth in the 1960s, a fifth in the 1970s, a sixth in the 1980s, a fifth in the 1990s and, as well, in 2000 or beyond. In other words, they are widely distributed in terms of the recency of their camp experience and, of course, in terms of age, as we have seen.

The respondents range, as well, in terms of the number of years they attended or worked in camp. Of significant note, a slim majority attended five seasons or more of camp. Combined with the rates of participation in the other Habonim Dror activities, the profile of the average Habo (or at least the ones in this survey) points to high levels of engagement in the movement when these alumni were youngsters.

To measure the extent to which respondents had been active in Habonim Dror in their youth, we constructed an index which assigned one point for each for having participated in a Ken, in a summer program in Israel, in Madatz, in Habonim Workshop, and for attending camp for five years or more and for working as a counselor. Table 4 shows the distribution.

Table 4. Index of Habonim Dror Activity

Number of Points Percent
0 (camp only) 7
1 12
2 13
3 16
4 18
5 21
6* 13
Total 100