Na'an

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Na'an
נַעַן
Na'an 2.JPG
Council Gezer
Region Center District
Affiliation Kibbutz Movement
Founded 1930
Founded by Noar HaOved
Website www.naan.org.il

Na'an (Hebrew: נַעַן) is a kibbutz near the city of Rehovot in Israel. Located within the Central District, it falls under the jurisdiction of Gezer Regional Council and borders the villages of Ganei Hadar, Ramot Meir and Sitria.

The kibbutz was founded in September 1930 by 42 members of the Noar HaOved youth group, on lands purchased from the Arab village of Al-Na'ani. The name of the village and the kibbutz derives probably from the Biblical town of Na'amah (Joshua 15:41).[1]

Before the establishment of the state of Israel, the people of Na'an were active in both the British Jewish Brigade (two members of the kibbutz died in service during WWII) and the Haganah. Prominent Haganah leader and later Israeli parliament member Yisrael Galili was a member of the kibbutz and a large Haganah weapon cache was hidden in a hidden cellar under one of the kibbutz houses. That cache was the largest cache not caught by the British Mandatory forces during Operation Agatha and kibbutz elders claim that Yisrael Galili (who evaded capture by the British) was spirited out of the kibbutz in the guise of a pregnant woman set to give birth.

In 1948, Na'an became the newly formed IDF's headquarters for the operation to free Jerusalem and the elders of the then-Arab city Ramla signed the formal surrender of the city on the kibbutz grounds.

Over the years, Na'an's economy flourished. At first Na'an sustained itself mainly through agriculture, growing fruits and vegetables and boasting a successful large dairy farm and sheep farm. As time progressed, Na'an went into irrigation field, as irrigation equipment has been high in demand in arid Israel. What began as a workshop has flourished and by the late 70s was one of the most successful factories in the Kibbutz Movement, producing sprinklers, micro-irrigation and other related equipment. Na'an Irrigation Systems is renowned for developing the underground sprinkler system. By the mid 1980s, growing competition and decrease in demand forced the factory into a considerable slowdown. After roughly 20 years of struggles, Na'an Irrigation Systems merged with Indian conglomerate Jain Irrigation in 2007. The new merged company,NaanDanJain, Irrigation Ltd., aimed to become the largest irrigation manufacturer in the world. After having acquired 50% of the company for $25 million in 2007, Jain Irrigation acquired the remaining 50% from the kibbutz in 2012 for an estimated $35 million. The sale of NaaDanJain to Jain Irrigation was criticized by the general manager of the Kibbutz Industry Association on account of worries that NaanDanJain would transfer its Israel-based operations outside of the country.[2]

During the 1980s, with the deterioration of economy and with the passing of the old guard, the Kibbutz began turning away from the idealistic socialist society it once was. over the course of 20 years, Kibbutz institutions were privatized and salaries replaced equal budgeting. The impact of the changes is yet to be determined.

There are currently about 1300 people living in the kibbutz. Income is based on salaries paid directly to members of the kibbutz and gains from joint assets such as the irrigation factory are given as dividends (as the members of the kibbutz are considered stock owners despite not actually possessing stocks of the company). The kibbutz bases its own budget on community taxes paid by the members and it had become, for the most part, capitalistic in nature.

Na'an is also known for being the namesake for an important nearby railway junction marking the branching point of the Railway to Beersheba from the Jaffa–Jerusalem railway.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carta's Official Guide to Israel and Complete Gazetteer to all Sites in the Holy Land. (3rd edition 1993) Jerusalem, Carta, p.343 , ISBN 965-220-186-3 (English)
  2. ^ Azulai, Yuval (14 May 2012). "Kibbutz Naan sells NaanDanJain Irrigation". Globes. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 

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