Kefar Ḥasidim

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KEFAR ḤASIDIM (Heb. כְּפַר חֲסִידִים), moshav and suburban area in the Zebulun Valley, 7½ mi. (12 km.) S.E. of Haifa, Israel. The moshav, affiliated to Ha-Po'el ha-Mizrachi Moshavim Association, was founded in 1924 by two groups of Ḥasidim from Poland who, together with their leaders, the rabbis of Kozienice and Yablonov, initially settled on two sites further east, on the Jezreel Valley border. In 1927 they together established a permanent village at Kefar Ḥasidim and with great dedication drained the malarial swamps and developed farming there. In 1937 an agricultural school, Kefar ha-No'ar ha-Dati, was established near the moshav.

In 1950 a second religious village, Kefar Ḥasidim Bet, was set up (unaffiliated to a country-wide organization). Simultaneously, two large ma'barot (transitory immigrant camps) were established nearby, whose inhabitants were later gradually transferred to the suburban religious community of Rekhasim whose construction began in 1951. In 1968 Rekhasim had 2,540 inhabitants, while Kefar Ḥasidim and Kefar Ḥasidim Bet together had 675, and Kefar ha-No'ar ha-Dati, 590. In the mid-1990s Kefar Ḥasidim and Kefar Ḥasidim Bet together had approximately 650 residents, and Kefar ha-No'ar ha-Dati dropped to approximately 484. At the end of 2002 the population of Kefar Ḥasidim was 508 residents and the population of Kefar Ḥasidim Bet was 188, while Rekhasim's population was 7,750.

[Efraim Orni /

Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]