“Hamahanot Haolim” was established in 1926 in Tel Aviv and was the first youth movement to be actually founded in Israel. The founders were a number of boys and girls in their junior year at the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium High School who acutely felt the emptiness of urban life. They were looking for a new form of social action and a realization of practical Zionism, based on Halutzic ("pioneering") values. The founders, later known as "The Veterans Group", set out to fulfill their vision through agricultural work in Hadera, on the twenty-fifth of the Jewish month of "Tishrei", the founding date of the Movement.
The Movement continued to grow and became known as "Kvutsat Hahugim" (Group of Circles). In 1930, the Movement amalgamated with the "Scouts Legion" from Jerusalem. Following the decision to connect the youth movement to the Kibbutz Meuchad movement, it became known as "Hamahanot Haolim" (The Camps For Those That Rise) - the local "camp" being where the youth are temporarily until they ‘rise’ to realize the social values and ideals in their adult lives. In 1932 the Movement established its first Kibbutz in northern Israel, Beit HaShita. Since then the Movement has established and joined 41 further Kibbutzim: Maoz Haim, Hamadia, Gevim, Tsuba, Yad Hannah and many more.
The Movement has increased greatly in recent years and operates in around 45 camps (branches) all around the country. This includes many new camps that have been established in the last decade in the geographic and social periphery of Israel (in places like Nazareth Illit, Migdal Haemek, Eilat and more).
After a severe crisis, which peaked in the Nineties, the Movement underwent a period of renewal and has since been rebuilt. Central to this process was the renewal of the Halutzic realization of social values - the establishment of “Kvutzot Habehira” (“The Groups of Choice”) - an adult movement whose members today include hundreds of adults in dozens of groups, kibbutzim and communes. In addition, the adult movement runs various educational projects aimed at reducing the socio-economic gap in Israeli society: centers for at-risk children and youth, study centers, annual seminars taking youth to Poland, and more.
Throughout its history, the members of the Movement have put themselves at the center of every critical juncture of Zionism and the State of Israel, as part of their commitment to the betterment of Israeli society. At the beginning, they did this by settling along the borders and defending the country, and in recent years mainly by taking responsibility for the education of Israeli youth and striving for social change by educational means. Throughout Zionist history, from the days of the Yeshuv until today, the Movement's members have chosen to lead in youth education and Halutzic social action by taking on their shoulders the responsibility for the improvement of Israeli society.