GALON (Heb. גַּלְאוֹן), kibbutz in southern Israel, northeast of *Kiryat Gat, affiliated with Kibbutz Arẓi ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir. It was founded on the night of Oct. 6, 1946, as one of 11 settlements established simultaneously in the Negev. The founding members hailed from Poland, where a number of them lived in ghettos or were partisans fighting the Nazis. In the *War of Independence (1948), Galon served as a vantage point for Israeli columns in dislodging Arab forces from the Bet Guvrin and southern foothills area. In 1968 it had a population of 350 inhabitants, rising slightly to 385 in the mid-1990s and dropping to 287 in 2002. Its farming was based on field crops, flowers, avocado plantations, citrus groves, dairy cattle, poultry, and ostriches. The kibbutz owned a factory producing fans for industry and agriculture and motors for air-conditioners and ran a guesthouse and facilities for hosting seminars. Its name, meaning "Monument to Strength," commemorates fallen ghetto fighters.
[Efraim Orni /
Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]