"The Guards' Kibbutz in the Far North" Kefar Gil`adi by iblatt

Kefar Gil`adi Travel Guide: 4 reviews and 20 photos

A Bit of History

For many travelers to the Upper Galilee, who want to stay overnight in the countryside, the hotel in Kfar Gil'adi is a good option. The hotel is now a key provider for Kfar Gil'adi's economy. However, Kfar Gil'adi is much more than a village with a hotel. It has a rich past, and is rightly proud of it.

The kibbutz was founded in 1916, one of the first in Israel. The founders were members of "Ha-Shomer" ("The Guard"): Their mission was to guard the fields and homes of the newly-built agricultural farms in the Galilee against robbers ans enemies. They built their homes on a remote hill in the Upper Galilee, and for years had to constantly defend their homes.

In 1916 Israel was still under Ottoman rule; after World War I ended the British and French colonial powers divided the Middle East between them, and Kfar Gil'adi was supposed to be in the French-controlled territory, while all of the Land of Israel was under British mandate. The persistence of Kfar Gil'adi's members helped to re-draw the maps, so that the most distant part of the Upper Galilee was finally included in the British mandate, along with the rest of the country.

More History...

During its early years, the kibbutz has to be evacuated twice because of war activities, but the members always returned and clung to their village.
Baron Edmund Rothschild, the great philanthropist who supported many of the early farms in Israel, also helped Kfar Gil'adi during the first hard years.

In the 1930s the British Mandate authorities severely restricted Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel, and "illegal" immigration routes were created across the Syrian and Lebanese borders into the Upper Galilee. The members of Kfar Gil'adi, which is closed to that border, provided shelter for these immigrants.

Visiting Kfar Gil'adi

Several historical sites capture the spirit of the early days of the kibbutz:
Beit Rishonim (house of the first settlers); the "Slik": secret hiding place of defense weapons from the British mandate period; Beit Ha-Shomer (museum dedicated to the heroic and romantic members of "Ha-Shomer" guards' organization in the early 1900s); and the well known cemetery and "Roaring Lion" monument to Yosef Trumpeldor and the defenders of Tel-Hai.

A short promenade in the historic part of the village, "Shvil Ha-Lulim", has small cafes, galleries and some specialty shops.

Kfar Gi'adi is a good starting point for visiting many attractions and points of interest in the region: Metula and the Lebanese border, the Hula Valley and bird-watching reserve, several nearby nature reserves (Nachal Ayoun, Banias, Tel Dan), Manara and the Ramin cliffs, and the snow-capped Hermon mountain.

  • Last visit to Kefar Gil`adi: Feb 2013
  • Intro Written Feb 19, 2013
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iblatt

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