KINNERET (Heb. כִּנֶּרֶת), second oldest kibbutz in Israel, just S.E. of Lake Kinneret, affiliated to Ihud ha-Kevuzot veha-Kibbutzim. Its land (Dalayqā-Umm Jūnī) was among the first holdings acquired in the country by the *Jewish National Fund. In 1908, Arthur *Ruppin, director of the Zionist Organization's Palestine Office, decided not to renew the temporary lease to Arab tenants, and set up a training farm there for Jewish laborers. Tensions arose as the farm administrator, M. Bermann, was inclined to regard the Jewish workers, who were Second Aliyah pioneers from Russia, as wage earners rather than trainees and preferred the cheaper, more experienced, and more pliable Arab laborers. After a strike broke out, Ruppin suggested allocating to a group of seven workers the Umm Jūnī lands east of the Jordan, where they then founded *Deganyah. A second strike, led by Berl *Katznelson, ended in a change of both the administrator and the workers. In May 1912, a girls' agricultural-training farm was added to Kinneret, directed by Hannah Maisel-Shohat. That month, Jewish pioneers from America, members of Ha-Ikkar ha-Za'ir, came to Kinneret under Eliezer *Joffe's leadership. He worked out the idea of the *moshav form of settlement, and among the majority of the Kinneret laborers, the idea of the "large kevuzah" (later called kibbutz) was developed (as opposed to the "small kevuzah" on the Deganyah model). Outstanding leaders of the yishuv and labor movement, e.g., David *Ben-Gurion, Shelomo *Lavi, Yizhak *Tabenkin, Shemuel *Dayan, and Ben Zion *Yisreeli all worked at Kinneret prior to and during World War i. The kibbutz cemetery is known for the famous figures buried there: Berl *Katznelson, Nahman Sirkin, Moses *Hess, Ber *Borochov, Avraham *Harzfeld, and others. The grave of the young poet *Rachel is in Kinneret, where she lived; a date palm grove, which first served to propagate the date species in Israel, was planted nearby and named "Gan Rahel." Naomi *Shemer, who was born in the kibbutz, was buried there in 2004.
After the war, Kinneret absorbed pioneer immigrants of the Third Aliyah, and also served as a camp for members of *Gedud ha-Avodah (labor legion) employed in the construction of the Zemah-Tiberias road. The Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uhad movement crystallized at Kinneret. The settlement developed exemplary, fully irrigated, mixed and highly intensive farming. It served as one of the spiritual centers of the *Ha-Po'el ha-Za'ir movement and *Mapai. With the split in Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uhad, in 1951, Kinneret joined Ihud ha-Kevuzot ve-ha-Kibbutzim. In 1968, it had 700 inhabitants, dropping to 612 in 2002. The main economic branches are farming (field crops, orchards, citrus groves, and dairy cattle), tourism, industry, and a quarry.
The *Bet Yerah excavations and the seminary and convention buildings of Oholo lie within Kinneret's boundaries. A mound near the northwest corner of the lake was identified as the site of biblical Kinneret (*Chinnereth).
A. Ruppin, Three Decades of Palestine (1936), index; A. Bein, Return to the Soil (1952), 67, 79–90, 202, 248–51; S. Dayan, Al Gedot Yarden ve-Kinneret (1959), passim; J. Baratz, Deganyah Alef (1948), 7–12.
[Efraim Orni /
Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]