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Heftziba is located in Jezreel Valley region of Israel
Heftziba is located in Israel
Coordinates: 32°31′4.8″N 35°25′31.44″E / 32.518000°N 35.4254000°E / 32.518000; 35.4254000Coordinates: 32°31′4.8″N 35°25′31.44″E / 32.518000°N 35.4254000°E / 32.518000; 35.4254000
Country Israel
AffiliationKibbutz Movement
Founded byJewish immigrants from Czechoslovakia and Germany
The zodiac mosaic in the 6th century Beit Alfa synagogue

Heftziba (Hebrew: חֶפְצִיבָּהּ‎) is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located on the boundaries of the Jezreel and Beit She'an Valleys between the cities of Afula and Beit She'an, it falls under the jurisdiction of Gilboa Regional Council. In 2019 it had a population of 733.[1]


The kibbutz was founded in 1922 by Jewish immigrants from Czechoslovakia and Germany. It was named after the farm adjacent to Hadera, where the original settlers worked before they relocated and founded the community. Originally the name derives[2] from the Bible, where God speaks about his love for Israel: "My delight in her." (Isaiah 62:4)

According to a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Heftziba had a population of 125 inhabitants, consisting of 123 Jews and 2 Muslims.[3]

Heftziba 1937


The Beit Alfa Synagogue National Park is located in the kibbutz, not, as many assume, at the adjacent kibbutz with the same name, Beit Alfa. It contains an ancient Byzantine-era synagogue, with a mosaic floor depicting the lunar Hebrew months as they correspond to the signs of the zodiac.[4][5] The synagogue as well as the nearby kibbutz got their name from the Arab village that once stood here, Khirbet Bait Ilfa.


Makuya students have been sent to kibbutzim in Israel to study Hebrew and the biblical background. Some of them continue their academic studies in universities. The primary kibbutz the Makuya students stay at is Heftziba.[6]

Notable residents[edit]

After a period of residency, the author Arthur Koestler attempted to join the kibbutz, but his application was refused after a vote.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Population in the Localities 2019" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  2. ^ Carta's Official Guide to Israel and Complete Gazetteer to all Sites in the Holy Land. (3rd edition 1993) Jerusalem, Carta, p.195, ISBN 965-220-186-3
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Beit Alfa Synagogue National Park (on Kibbutz Hefzibah)". Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2007.
  5. ^ Goldman, Bernard, The Sacred Portal: a primary symbol in ancient Judaic art, Detroit : Wayne State University Press, 1966. It has a detailed account and treatment of the mosaic at the Beit Alfa synagogue.
  6. ^ Mukuya presence at Heftziba Dina Israel
  7. ^ Koestler, Arthur Arrow in the Blue pp. 125–32