Thank you so much for the compliments everyone
Like Hissy said, a kibbutz is a type of settlement that is unique to Israel. A (usually) rural community based on communal property, in which members have no private property but share the work and the profits of some collective enterprise, typically agricultural but sometimes also industrial.
The concept of the kibbutz dates back to the early 20th century, but some of the kibbutzim are relatively young. The one where hubby's brother lives with his family is called Ortal and it was established in the late 1970's. It's a beautiful place - lots of greenery and nice homes for everyone. They keep cattle and have orchards. They also operate a tourism section with great B&B's. Each family has a house of their own - but all houses are of the same value and look similar. They have their own kitchen and dining space in their homes, but most members eat together in the communal dining room. We also eat there when we come to visit. They have two members who are qualified chefs and run the communal kitchen so the food is great! They have members in charge of entertainment so there are always day trips and speciality evenings and the holidays are always celebrated together. It's a wonderful way of life IMO, especially great for the children. Imagine growing up in a very safe place, with all your friends, and sharing with them a huge farm that belongs to everyone... I'll stop here and just leave you all with the link to more info about kibbutzim -http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/Soc...e/kibbutz.html
As for the weather here - Israel is a small country but being on the bridge between Africa and Euroasia means there are several climate zones here. The south part is basically a desert. The middle (where 90% of the population lives) is your average temperate mediterranean climate - temperature in the 80's and 90's during summer time and down to around the 60's during winter time. In the north, we have the Golan Heights, which are higher and thus cooler. That's where kibbutz Ortal is. Temperatures can get below freezing in winter and it usually snows for a few weeks during winter. So, yes, when we visit there around this time of year, we have to dress properly