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MENASHE REGIONAL COUNCIL: BACKGROUND
The Menashe Regional Council Welcomes You!

You have reached one of the most beautiful areas in Israel! While you may easily be struck by our extraordinary landscape - the green woods, the agricultural land, the hills and the valleys, through a more in-depth look you may also be impressed by the beauty of the various communities. The Menashe Region is one of the most diverse and interesting regions in the State of Israel, a place where Jewish and Arab communities neighbor each other and maintain coexistence, where secular and religious communities reach out to each other, where there are kibbutzim - socialist forms of settlements and moshavim - privately owned agricultural farms, and where we have a high percentage of new immigrants living among these various communities.

Within the 160,000 dunams of this regional council you will find a perfect picture of the human mosaic that comprises the State of Israel.

The council is named after the biblical Menashe Tribe, which resided is this area. It is located half way between Tel Aviv, Haifa and Afula, and its inhabitants number 13,000. In the past, the rainy conditions of this area encouraged agricultural work; yet today with the changes in the Israeli economy, agriculture has declined and we now see a rapid growth in commercial centers and large industries. A modern educational center provides children of the council with state-of-the-art educational facilities for all grades. The forests, nature reserves and historical sites are a tourist attraction for tens of thousands of Israelis and foreign tourists weekly. In addition, the council also holds various cultural events, maintains sports facilities and runs welfare programs for its residents.

Following you will find a short description of each of our 20 communities:

  • Kibbutz Kfar Glickson
  • Kibbutz Ein Shemer
  • Mei Ami
  • El Arian Village
  • Kibbutz Mishmarot
  • Kibbutz Gan Shmuel
  • Moshav Maor
  • Kibbutz Metzer
  • Moshav Kfar Pines
  • Kibbutz Maanit
  • Kibbutz Regavim
  • Moshav Sde Yitzhak
  • Um El-Kutuf Village
  • Kibbutz Maagal
  • Moshav Talmei Elazar
  • Moshav Ein-Iron
  • Kibbutz Lehavot Haviva
  • Kibbutz Barkai
  • Moshav Gan Shomron
  • Meisr Village

    Kibbutz Kfar Glickson was founded in the year 1939 and named after Dr. Moshe Glickson, a leading Zionist activist who was killed in a car accident on the exact day the kibbutz was founded. It is one of the "Homa U'Migdal" (Wall & Tower) settlements, that was founded in a manner that prevented the British Mandate from bringing it down (British law defined an existing community that must not be destroyed as one with a Tower and a Wall). Today the kibbutz has 330 residents who maintain their living from a stationary factory and agriculture. The kibbutz also offers bed and breakfast facilities with a breathtaking view, an exhibition dedicated to the "Shomer" movement and a local pub.

    Kibbutz Ein Shemer was founded in 1927 and today has 610 residents. It runs one of Israel's most successful cookie factories ("Cookieman"), as well as a rubber factory, a shopping center, a hardware factory and agricultural fields (avocado and citrus), a hen house and other agricultural installations. In the kibbutz you will find the "Old Courtyard" a historical museum which presents exhibits, movies, pictures and more the fascinating history of this kibbutz, which is typical to many others.

    Mei Ami - The name of this community means "the water of my people" but also comes from the Jewish community that helped purchase its land - the Miami community. It is a small community of 86 residents, that is currently preparing to grow and accept tens of new families. The road to Mei Ami and the settlement itself offer visitors one of the most impressive views of woods and the Wadi Ara to be found in this region.

    El Arian Village is an Arab village with 150 inhabitants, more than half are children under the age of 18. It was founded in 1880 and the grandchildren of the founder, Ahmed Souliman, live in it to this day. The meaning of the name is "the naked" which was given to it by the residents after the British chopped all the trees in the area for the railway industry. Yet today it again enjoys a green landscape of olive trees.

    Kibbutz Mishmarot was founded in 1933 by a group of young Zionists who immigrated to Israel from Lithuania and Latvia. It was the house of some of the most popular Israeli singers. Today it consists of 210 residents who own a plywood industry and grow crops of avocado, citrus and hens.

    Kibbutz Gan Shmuel is one of the oldest kibbutzim in the world. Gan Shmuel was founded in 1920, and is today one of the largest with 950 residents. Recently it has become known for its shopping center which serves tens of thousands of tourists, mainly on holidays and weekends on their way to tours in the area and to the Sea of Galilee. The kibbutz runs a food industry, an international commerce company, shops and still cultivates fields of citrus fruits, mango, and avocado as well as breeds ducks, cows, turkeys and fish.

    Moshav Maor was founded in 1952 by a group of Haifa residents who wanted to move from the city to the countryside, but couldn't cope with the harsh conditions. They were replaced by immigrants from Yemen, who managed to turn the Moshav into an agricultural success story. Over the past decade it has doubled the number of families in the kibbutz, and today consists of 500 residents, half of them children under the age of 18. The Moshav residents still live largely off of agriculture.

    Kibbutz Metzer was founded in 1953 by members of "Hashomer HaTza'ir" youth movement who immigrated from Argentina. Until the 1967 war it was a border settlement. Since its establishment, the kibbutz has enjoyed a special relationship of coexistence with the neighboring Arab village of Meiser. Its livelihood consists of an irrigation equipment factory and a special attraction for children - a unique "animals corner" in which children can ride donkeys, bake pita bread and take tours in the area and the Arab village of Meiser.

    Moshav Kfar Pines is a religious Moshav that was founded in 1933, and consists of 280 inhabitants. It has a boarding school for religious junior high and high school girls and is named after Rabbi Yechiel Michel Pines, who founded neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Petach Tikva and other Jewish communities.

    Kibbutz Maanit was founded in 1935 by immigrants from Poland and the Czech Republic, and has existed in its current location since 1942. Its 470 residents earn their living from their starch factory, agriculture, commerce and an industrial carpentry. Ma'anit is one of the most progressive kibbutzim in terms of its privatization process. Located near the kibbutz is "Givat Haviva" an educational center of the Kibbutz Artzi movement, which specializes in Jewish-Arab coexistence programs.

    Kibbutz Regavim was founded in 1948, as another one of the "Tower and Wall" settlements. The name is Hebrew for "clod" to mark its agricultural character. The 223 residents still enjoy agriculture as a main source of income, together with a plastic factory. In the kibbutz you may find an archive and museum of the history of the region, as well as an archeological exhibition with exhibits from the Stone Age.

    Moshav Sde Yitzhak was named after Yitzhak Sade, the first commander of the Palmach (Jewish pre-statehood combat units), the Moshav was founded in 1954 and today consists of 400 residents, 200 of them children and teenagers under the age of 18. It is one of the leading settlements in Israel in growing flowers in greenhouses. As more and more of their residents seek non-agricultural occupations, you may now enjoy several art galleries and furniture shops in the Moshav.

    Um El-Kutuf Village was founded in 1930 and today consists of 680 residents, nearly half of them 18 years of age or younger. Though the village name is Arabic for "Grape pickers" the majority of the residents no longer deal with agriculture but work outside the village. Its breathtaking landscape and nearby observation point offers a view of the entire region, all the way to the coastline.

    Kibbutz Maagal was founded in 1935 by graduates of the scouts movement. As a border settlement until 1967 it experienced many crises as a result of the security situation. Today it has a population of 510 persons, runs a highly successful irrigation equipment factory and cultivates fields of garlic, wheat, avocado, hummus and organic plants as well as hen house for turkeys.

    Moshav Talmei Elazar was founded in 1952 by middle-class city people who sought a new life in the countryside. Many of its 600 residents still make a living in agriculture, while others work outside of the Moshav in many different occupations. In 1992 70 new families joined the Moshav, doubling the number of its families. In the Moshav you will find a horseback riding farm and an exhibition of predator plants.

    Moshav Ein-Iron was founded in 1934 as a workers Moshav. Today only a few of the 320 residents still work in agriculture, while most of the population work in nearby cities.

    Kibbutz Lehavot Haviva was named after the Jewish parachuter Haviva Reik, who died during World War II when she was on a mission to save Jews (together with Hanna Senesh). Immigrants from Czechoslovakia who were later joined by immigrants from South America founded the kibbutz in October 1949. Today it has 250 residents who own a can factory, a gas station, some shops and cultivate agricultural fields.

    Kibbutz Barkai was founded in 1949 by immigrants from Europe. The kibbutz has a population of 195 persons, more than half of them under the age of 18. It runs a plastic factory, a toy store and cultivates fields of avocado and wheat and runs a cowshed and a hen house.

    Moshav Gan Shomron was founded in 1934 by immigrants from Germany, who were amongst the first to realize that there is no future for Jews under Nazi Germany. Although they were lacking any agricultural experience at all, they decided to establish a Moshav, and succeeded. Today most of it's 515 residents work outside of the Moshav, but a few still grow flowers and maintain its agricultural atmosphere.

    Meisr Village has 1,360 inhabitants. It is a picturesque village which belongs to ten different families, that maintain excellent relations between themselves and between the neighboring Jewish communities (especially that of Kibbutz Metzer). In the 200 year old village you may find an old Sheik's tomb, a mosque and an ancient well which was used until few decades ago.

    Elul 5761 - September 2001

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