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Urban cooperative communities began to be established in the 1970s, when former kibbutz members and graduates of the Nahal (Fighting Pioneer Youth) program, which combines military service with civilian service, decided they wanted the collective aspect of kibbutz life while being part of society and exerting an influence on it.

There are about 2,000 members of urban kibbutzim in Israel, most of whom are involved in education and social action. Four of the urban kibbutzim belong to the Kibbutz Movement, and the rest − about 100 − do not.