Ein Ha-Shofet

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EIN HA-SHOFET (Heb. עֵין הַשּׁוֹפֵט), kibbutz in Israel, in the Manasseh Hills, affiliated with Kibbutz Arẓi ha-Shomer ha-Za'ir. Ein ha-Shofet was founded in 1937 by the first immigrants of Ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir from the United States and by a group from Poland. A "tower and stockade" settlement, the kibbutz was set up at a site that until then had been the headquarters for Arab bands attacking Jewish villages. It became part of the "settlement bridge" connecting the Sharon and the Jezreel Valley, the two principal Jewish regions at the time. Its economy was based on intensive farming (avocado plantations, field crops, and cattle) as well as factories manufacturing screws, electrical appliances, and automotive products. In 1968 Ein ha-Shofet had 590 inhabitants; in 2002, 715. The nearby Manasseh Forest is the largest in the country. The name Ein ha-Shofet ("The Judge's Spring") commemorates the American Zionist leader, Justice Louis *Brandeis.

[Efraim Orni]