Ben Shemen (Hebrew: בֶּן שֶׁמֶן) is a moshav in central Israel. Located around four kilometres east of Lod, it falls under the jurisdiction of Hevel Modi'in Regional Council. In 2016 it had a population of 870.
The village's name is taken from Isaiah 5:1;
Let me sing of my well-beloved, a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well-beloved had a vineyard in a very fruitful hill.
and also reflects the JNF's planting of olive trees in this area.
The moshav was founded in 1905, and was one of the first villages established on Jewish National Fund land; the first Jewish National Fund forest is also located in Ben Shemen. According to a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Ben Shemen had a population of 90 Jews. Which had increased in the 1931 census to 353 residents, in 30 houses. In 1923 it was split in two, with a group of trial farms eventually becoming a separate moshav, Kerem Ben Shemen.
During World War II, Ben Shemen was the site of a British search for weapons. Similar searches were a common British response to Jewish opposition to the White Paper of 1939. In 1947 Ben Shemen had a population of 75. The village experienced extensive damage during the early days of the 1948 Arab–Israeli war and had to be reconstructed. Immigrants from Romania joined the moshavin 1952. Some houses were built by Bezalel Academy of Art and Design founder Boris Schatz.
Ben Shemen 1948. Photograph from Palmach archive
Ben Shemen. 1948. Used as a base by the Yiftach Brigade
- "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
- Isaiah Chapter 5 Mechon Mamre
- Jewish National Fund (1949). Jewish Villages in Israel. Jerusalem: Hamadpis Liphshitz Press. p. 16.
- Mills, 1932, p. 19
- Chaya H. Roth (16 September 2008). The fate of Holocaust memories: transmission and family dialogues. Macmillan. pp. 83–. ISBN 978-0-230-60607-4. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
- Anita, Shapira (1992). Land and Power, The Zionist Resort to Force. Chapter 7: Oxford University Press. p. 288.
- Ben Shemen, Cross-Israel Highway: Reproduction of an oil press Israel Antiquities Authority