In 1947, on the eve of the War of Independence, a group of young people discharged from the Palmach paramilitary organization established a Zionist settlement called Halutza north-west of Kibbutz Revivim. They selected this location out of ideology and the will to determine the borders of the State of Israel and help fortify the borders with neighboring Egypt. After the War of Independence, in 1949, settlement members who had taken part in the war returned with additional members and established the new kibbutz in its permanent location, approximately 25km south of Beer Sheba, on the Beer Sheba – Mitzpeh Ramon road. In 1952, when the esteemed commander of the Palmach, General Itzhak Sadeh, passed away, the members of the community then named Mashabim decided to change its name to Mashabei Sadeh to honor his memory.
Ever since its inception, Mashabei Sadeh, a secular agricultural kibbutz, has maintained its cooperative kibbutz way of life, both economic and cultural, in all areas and production means, consumption and education. The desire to lead a cooperative way of life is what unifies all 128 local families, and the kibbutz provides for all the members’ needs, while they devote their full working capacity for the good of the kibbutz. The stable financial status of the kibbutz enables its community and members to maintain social strength and resilience.
Among the sources of employment on the kibbutz are: a tourist resort village, hot springs and spa at Neve Midbar, Sagiv plant that manufactures flexible faucets, animal husbandry – poultry for eggs and meat, fishery, field crops and business ventures. Among the various services the kibbutz provides its members are an active communal dining room, clothes store and laundry, library, supermarket and members’ club that provides for the needs of the individual members and the community as a whole.
On the formal education plane, the Mashabim regional elementary school is situated on the kibbutz, one of the two elementary schools in Ramat Hanegev, along with a high-quality system of kindergartens that address the needs of the younger children. On the informal education plane, varied programming takes place, serving the children before they leave for school and when they return until the late afternoon hours. The children, youths and adults also enjoy the council’s regional community center that offers classes and activities relating to culture, art and sports, enrichment classes operated through the Popular Cathedra and a variety of instrumental music classes.
Looking towards the future, the kibbutz is working on expanding and absorbing new families that are willing to take part in the cooperative lifestyle its members believe in.