Ramat Yoḥanan

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RAMAT YOḤANAN (Heb. רָמַת יוֹחָנָן), kibbutz in N. Israel, in the Haifa Bay area, E. of Kiryat Ata, affiliated with Iḥud ha-Kevuẓot ve-ha-Kibbutzim, founded in 1932 by pioneers from Eastern Europe. In 1939 an ideological split brought about an exchange of members with *Bet Alfa, with those in favor of *Ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir concentrating in the latter kibbutz, while the members who supported the *Mapai Party stayed in Ramat Yoḥanan. In the Israel *War of Independence, the kibbutz was attacked by a strong unit of Druze irregulars, but held out and counterattacked successfully (April 13–16, 1948). After this battle, the Druze in Israel ceased to side with the Arabs. In 1970 Ramat Yoḥanan had 500 inhabitants, increasing to 700 in 2002. The kibbutz's economy was based on highly intensive farming (field crops, orchards, citrus groves, and dairy cattle) and on a plastics factory. Ramat Yoḥanan had among its members several painters and writers. The ancient tradition of gathering the Omer ("sheaf") during the Passover week was first renewed in Ramat Yoḥanan. The name, "Height of Yoḥanan," commemorates Gen. Jan (Yoḥanan) *Smuts.

[Efraim Orni]