ILANIYYAH (Heb. אִילָנִיָּה), moshav in eastern Lower Galilee, Israel, about 5 mi. (8 km.) N. of Kefar Tavor, founded in 1899 by the Jewish Colonization Association (ica) as a training farm to promote grain cultivation in Jewish settlements. Through most of its history, Ilaniyyah was known by its popular Arabic name Sejera. Ilaniyyah became a moshavah in 1902. Among the settlers were Kurdish Jews and Russian converts to Judaism. In the first decade of the 20th century, Second *Aliyah immigrants worked there as hired laborers, organizing the *Ha-Shomer (Guardsmen Association) and attaining the right to guard the settlement in place of armed Arabs and Circassians formerly employed there. David *Ben-Gurion was among the Second Aliyah immigrants at Ilaniyyah. In 1907, Ha-Ḥoresh, the first collective group of agricultural laborers, was founded in the moshavah, with the aim of contracting for farm work, thus inaugurating collective labor and agriculture in modern Ereẓ Israel. The scarcity of water impeded the village's progress, and Ilaniyyah's economy was exclusively based on dry grain farming. In the Israel *War of Independence (1948), the practically isolated moshavah came under heavy Arab attack, but the siege was lifted after the conquest of neighboring Lūbiyā in "Operation Dekel" (July 1948). The nearly abandoned village was resettled in 1953 through the "Town to Country" movement, including Israel-born settlers and immigrants from Poland, Romania, and later from Morocco. As more water became available, part of Ilaniyyah's land was ceded to a new moshav, Sedeh Ilan. A youth center and school, "Ḥavvat ha-Shomer," were opened on the site of the original Ha-Shomer farm. Later on the school became a military base for soldiers with special training and education needs. The name Ilaniyyah, derived from Ilan (אִילָן, "tree"), is the translation of the name of the former Arab village, Sejera ("tree"). Its population in 1968 was 180, rising to 320 in the mid-1990s and 491 in 2002.
[Efraim Orni /
Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]