Kefar Giladi

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KEFAR GILADI (Heb. כְּפַר גִּלְעָדִי), kibbutz in N. Israel, on the N.W. rim of the Ḥuleh Valley, affiliated to Iḥud ha-Kevuẓot ve-ha-Kibbutzim. Founded in 1916 on *Jewish Colonization Association (ica) land, Kefar Giladi was established by *Ha-Shomer (Guardsmen Association) to guard outlying Jewish land in the area during World War i and to increase the food supply to the starving yishuv. By 1919 two more small outposts, one of them *Tel Ḥai, were established in the vicinity. When the area was marked for inclusion in the French Mandate territory of Syria, Arabs revolting against the French in 1920 attacked these Jewish settlements. Kefar Giladi had to be temporarily abandoned, but the settlers returned 10 months later. In 1926 the settlements of Kefar Giladi and Tel Ḥai merged. During World War ii (1941), Kefar Giladi, together with *Metullah, guarded the country's northern border against an invasion of Vichy French troops. In 1946 Kefar Giladi suffered casualties when British forces besieged and searched the kibbutz, known for its assistance in organizing "illegal" Jewish immigration across the nearby border. In 1952 Kefar Giladi decided to join Iḥud ha-Kevuẓot ve-ha-Kibbutzim after the split in Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uḥad movement. In 1968 the kibbutz had 680 inhabitants, in the mid-1990s the population was approximately 710, but by 2002 it had dropped to 559. Its economy is based mainly on irrigated field crops, deciduous fruit orchards, dairy cattle, and fishery. Kefar Giladi also runs a quarry, plant nursery, and rest home. The kibbutz is named after Israel *Giladi, one of the founders of Ha-Shomer.

[Efraim Orni]