ḤEFẒI BAH (Heb. חֶפְצִי־בָּהּ), kibbutz at the foot of Mt. Gilboa, Israel, affiliated with Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uḥad. It was founded in 1922 by pioneer youth from Germany and Czechoslovakia, who were soon joined by immigrants from Romania, and later from other countries. On the grounds of the kibbutz, the mosaic floor of the ancient *Bet Alfa synagogue was uncovered and is protected by a hall built over it. Ḥefẓi Bah's economy was based on intensive farming (field crops, fishery, dairy cattle, and poultry), and factories for water meters and plastic duct installations. The kibbutz also had guest rooms and a fish restaurant. In 1968, Ḥefẓi Bah had 500 inhabitants, dropping to 400 in 2002. The name, Ḥefẓi Bah, biblical in origin (Isa. 62:4), was taken over by the kibbutz from the name of the Ḥaderah suburb where its first members had their transit camp.
[Efraim Orni /
Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]