Beit Jann

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BEIT JANN , Druze village in Upper Galilee, Israel. Lying at 3,082 ft. (940 m.) above sea level on the western slope of Mt. Meron, it is one of Israel's highest inhabited places. Although the identification of the village with the town Beth-Dagon of the tribe of Asher is no longer regarded as correct, Beit Jann seems to be the Galilean village Bet Dagan, reported in talmudic times as producing a certain late-ripening vegetable (Tosef., Shev. 7:13). In 1839 Scottish missionaries found here a few Jewish families, who apparently had moved from Safed 6.2 mi. (10 km.) to the east after the 1837 earthquake. In 1964 Beit Jann received municipal council status. With 4,110 inhabitants in 1968, on an area of 1.8 sq. mi. (4.65 sq. km.), Beit Jann was one of the major Druze centers in Israel. Its economy was based on fruit, beef cattle, and tobacco. By the end of 2002 its population has risen to 9,430.

[Efraim Orni]