Kfar Kama

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Kfar Kama
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrew כְּפַר כַּמָא
 • ISO 259 Kfar Kamaˀ
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabic كفر كما
Flag of Kfar Kama
Official logo of Kfar Kama
Coat of arms
Kfar Kama is located in Israel
Kfar Kama
Kfar Kama
Coordinates: 32°43′19″N 35°26′27″E / 32.72194°N 35.44083°E / 32.72194; 35.44083Coordinates: 32°43′19″N 35°26′27″E / 32.72194°N 35.44083°E / 32.72194; 35.44083
District Northern
Founded 1876
 • Type Local council (from 1950)
 • Total 8,854 dunams (8.854 km2 or 3.419 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 3,005

Kfar Kama (Hebrew: כְּפַר כַּמָא; Adyghe: Кфар Кама) is a town located in the lower Galilee, Israel, with a population of 2,900,[1] largely Circassian.


Kfar Kama might be identified with a village Helenoupolis that Constantine established in honor of his mother Helen.[2]

Excavations carried out in 1961 and 1963 revealed 4th century tombs.[3] Two churches dated to the early 6th century, one dedicated to Saint Thecla, were uncovered, with multicolored mosaics of floral, animal and geometric patterns.[3]

In the Crusader period it was known as Kapharchemme or Capharkeme.[4]

In 1596, Kfar Kama appeared in Ottoman tax registers as a village in the Nahiya of Tiberias in the Liwa of Safad. It had a population of 34 Muslim households and paid taxes on wheat, barley, summercrops, cotton, and goats or beehives.[5]

In the 1870s, it was described as having "basaltic stone houses, containing about 200 Moslems, situated in plain of arable soil."[6]

The current village was founded in 1878 by 1150 Circassian immigrants from the Adyghe tribe Shapsugs who were exiled from the Caucasus by the Russians to the Ottoman Empire due to the Russian-Circassian War.[7] Initially they made their living by raising animals, but later became farmers.[7] The first school was established about 1880.[7]

At the time of the 1922 census of Palestine, Kfar Kama had a population of 670 Muslims and 7 Christians.[8]

The school in the village teaches in a mixed environment of classes in Circassian, Hebrew, Arabic and English languages.[9]

Kfar Kama is one of two Circassian villages in Israel. The other one is Rehaniya. The Circassians are Muslims, who unlike the main Israeli Arab Muslim minority, perform military service in the IDF.

A Center for Circassian Heritage is situated in the village.

Notable natives and residents[edit]

The Kfar Kama families[edit]

Shapsug families that live in Israel Kfar Kama[edit]

  • Abrag (Adyghe: Абрэгь)
  • Ashmuz/Achmuzh (Adyghe: Ачъумыжъ)
  • Bghana (Adyghe: Бгъанэ)
  • Bat (Adyghe: Бат)
  • Blanghaps (Adyghe: БлэнгъэпсI)
  • Batwash (Adyghe: БэтIыуашъ)
  • Zazi(Adyghe: Зази)
  • Kobla (Adyghe: Коблэ)
  • Qal (Adyghe: Къалыкъу)
  • Qatizh (Adyghe: Къэтыжъ)
  • Lauz (Adyghe: ЛъыIужъ)
  • Libai/Labai(Adyghe: ЛIыпый)
  • Nago (Adyghe: Наго)
  • Natkho (Adyghe: Натхъо)
  • Nash (Adyghe: Наш)
  • Napso (Adyghe: Нэпсэу)
  • Thawcho (Adyghe: Тхьэухъо)
  • Gorkhezh (Adyghe: ГъоркIожъ)
  • Hazal (Adyghe: Хъэзэл)
  • Hadish (Adyghe: Хьэдищ)
  • Hako/Hakho (Adyghe: Хьэхъу)
  • Shamsi (Adyghe: Чъуэмчъуэ)
  • Choshha/Shoshha (Adyghe: Чъушъхьэ)
  • Showgan (Adyghe: Шэугьэн)
  • Shaga (Adyghe: Шъуагьэ)
  • Sagas/Shagash (Adyghe: Шъэгьашъ)

In the past there was also Shhalakhwa (Adyghe: Шхьэлахъуэ).

Other families that live in Kfar Kama[edit]

  • Abzah (Adyghe: Абзах)
  • Boshnakh (Adyghe: Бущнакъ)
  • Bazdug/Bzhedug (Adyghe: Бжъэдыгъу)
  • Hatukai (Adyghe: Хьэтыкъуай)
  • Tsai (Adyghe: Цэй)
  • Shapsugh (Adyghe: Шапсыгъ).


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Population of Localities Numbering above 2,000 Inhabitants and Other Rural Population" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2008-12-31. 
  2. ^ Yoram Tsafrir, Leah Di Segni and Judith Green (1994). Tabula Imperii Romani: Judaea, Palaestina. Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. p. 142. 
  3. ^ a b Claudine Dauphin (1998). La Palestine byzantine, Peuplement et Populations, Vol. III : Catalogue. BAR International Series 726. Oxford: Archeopress. p. 727. 
  4. ^ Denys Pringle (1997). Secular buildings in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem : an archaeological gazetteer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 227. 
  5. ^ Wolf-Dieter Hütteroth and Kamal Abdulfattah (1977). Historical Geography of Palestine, Transjordan and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century. Erlanger Geographische Arbeiten, Sonderband 5. Erlangen, Germany: Vorstand der Fränkischen Geographischen Gesellschaft. p. 190. 
  6. ^ C. R. Conder and H. H. Kitchener (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine I. London: The Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. p. 360. 
  7. ^ a b c Nirit Reichel (2010). "The role of the educational system in retaining Circassian identity during the transition from Ottoman control to life as Israeli citizens (1878-2000)". Israel Affairs 16: 251–267. doi:10.1080/13537121003643896. 
  8. ^ J. B. Barron, ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine. Table XI. 
  9. ^ Yulie Khromchenko (22 March 2005). "מדברים פה בהרבה שפות? נקרא לזה "בית ספר רב לשוני"" [They talk a lot of languages? Called it 'a multilingual school']. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved 25 August 2014.