HA-GOSHERIM (Heb. הַגּוֹשְׁרִים), kibbutz in the Ḥuleh Valley, Israel, affiliated with Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uḥad, first founded in 1943 as a Ha-Po'el ha-Mizrachi moshav called Neḥalim, the fourth of the "Ussishkin Fortresses" (see *Stockade and Watchtower). It was taken over in the summer of 1948 by the present group, whose nucleus is composed of settlers from Turkey. The settlers of Neḥalim meanwhile established themselves at the former *Templer colony of Wilhelma near Lydda. The 1951–52 split in Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uḥad brought new settlers – veteran members of *Kefar Giladi and other kibbutzim – to Ha-Gosherim in order to remain within their movement's framework. The kibbutz developed intensive farming (fruit plantations, field crops, and poultry) and operated a guest house. In the late 1980s it developed a depilatory device for women called Soft and Easy (later marketed as Epilady), selling over 25 million throughout the world, but the local company subsequently ran into financial difficulties and passed into private hands. Ha-Gosherim's population was 412 in 1968 and 526 in 2002. It is located near the Ḥurshat Tal Nature Reserve with its giant Tabor oaks, lawns, and pools fed by the Dan River. Ha-Gosherim, meaning "Bridge Builders," refers to the local topography – the Jordan headstreams, Iyyon (*Ijon), Senir, and Dan, spanned by a number of bridges.
[Efraim Orni /
Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]