|Region||Beit She'an Valley|
|Founded by||Hanoar Haoved Movement and immigrants from Germany.|
Gesher (Hebrew: גֶּשֶׁר, lit. Bridge) is a kibbutz in the Beit She'an Valley in northeastern Israel. Founded in 1939 by immigrants from Germany, it falls under the jurisdiction of Valley of Springs Regional Council. It is situated 10 km south of kibbutz Deganya Aleph and 15 km south of Tiberias. The population is approximately 500 inhabitants. It is named after the neighboring bridge (hebr: Gesher) Naharayim, over the Jordan river.
The kibbutz was founded in 1939 on lands bought with the help of Edmond de Rothschild, by a group of Jews born in Palestine who were members of the youth movement HaNo'ar HaOved and a group of young Jews from Germany. They were later joined by Jewish immigrants from Poland, Germany, Austria and additional Palestinian Jews. The kibbutz grew up near the Naharayim bridge as a Tower and stockade settlement.
The site of the kibbutz was a khan from the Mamluk period to the late 18th or early 19th century. Called Jisr el-Majami' (bridge of the meeting), it was one of the earliest khans in the Galilee and was a major crossroads where the north–south Bet She’an–Damascus road intersected the east–west road which led from the Gilead through the Sirin Plateau. Some of the original kibbutz buildings lay within the ruins.
In April–May 1948, under attack by Iraqi forces and the Arab Legion, 50 children of the kibbutz were evacuated to a 19th-century French monastery adjacent to Rambam hospital in the Bat Galim neighborhood of Haifa, where they lived for 22 months.
In the end, the besieged Jews in the British police station, together with soldiers of the Golani Brigade, succeeded in stopping the Arab attacks but the kibbutz was destroyed during combat. After the Israel Independence War the settlement was moved about 1km to the west.
During the War of Attrition between 1967 and 1970 the kibbutz was attacked with bombs, mines and gunfire by PLO Arab Palestinian fighters. In the 1990s it underwent a privatization process, preserving the collective model only in the areas of education, health, culture and leisure.
After the peace agreement between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan, the kibbutz established a museum on the original site of the kibbutz that documents the history of Gesher and the Jewish-run power station of Naharayim.
- Imanuel Reuveni - Lexicon of Holy Land - Eretz Israel Lexicon (Leksikon Eretz Israel - in Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronoth - Chemed Books Publishing house, 1999.
- Yuval Elezri (ed) - lexicon Mapa - Eretz Israel (in Hebrew) - Maps Concise Gazetteer of Israel Today 2003, Tel Aviv MAP Mapping and Publishing.