Kfar Hittim

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Kfar Hittim

כְּפַר חִטִּים, כפר חיטים
Kfar Hittim is located in Northeast Israel
Kfar Hittim
Kfar Hittim
Coordinates: 32°48′1″N 35°30′9″E / 32.80028°N 35.50250°E / 32.80028; 35.50250Coordinates: 32°48′1″N 35°30′9″E / 32.80028°N 35.50250°E / 32.80028; 35.50250
CouncilLower Galilee
AffiliationMoshavim Movement
Founded7 December 1936
Founded byJewish National Fund
Karnei Hittim

Kfar Hittim (Hebrew: כְּפַר חִטִּים) is a moshav shitufi in northern Israel. Located on a hill 3 km west of Tiberias, it falls under the jurisdiction of Lower Galilee Regional Council. It was the world's first moshav shitufi,[2][3] and can also be considered the first tower and stockade settlement.[4] In 2017 it had a population of 635.[1]


The moshav land was purchased by the Jewish National Fund in 1904,[5] with the help of David Chaim, an Ottoman citizen previously in the employment of Edmond James de Rothschild.[6] Two thousand dunams of land, consisting of 400 small parcels, were purchased from the Arab village of Hittin. The first attempt to settle there in 1913 failed due to friction with the local Arabs, the shortage of water and the lack of contiguity of the land.

In 1924, another attempt was made to settle in Kfar Hittin. Forty families moved to the site, where they lived in wooden cabins and built a barn, a communal chicken coop, a synagogue and a water tower. In the 1929 Palestine riots the moshav was attacked by the Arabs. As economic and security problems mounted, families left until the site was abandoned completely in 1933. Another short-lived attempt to settle the land was made in 1934, but the settlers left within a short period of time.

On 7 December 1936, 11 pioneers from HaKotzer group re-established the moshav as a tower and stockade settlement, using the abandoned synagogue as a fort and the old milk sheds as housing. The new settlement was set as moshav shitufi. On 19 December 1937 the moshav's guard, Shlomo Bin-Nun, was ambushed and murdered by an Arab gang.[7][8]

During the 1940s additional families joined the moshav. Irrigation problems were solved in 1942 when piping was laid delivering water from the Sea of Galilee to the moshav. In 1944 a road connecting the moshav to Tiberias was laid.[6] During this period the settlers started building permanent housing using basalt bricks and developed the moshav economy by building textile factory, dairy farm, garage, carpentry shop and bakery.

After the Israeli Declaration of Independence, the moshav continued to develop economically, expanding the textile factory and by building an apiary and a jewellery factory. However, by the 1990s the moshav was in deep debts and had to enter receivership and most of the moshav assets were either closed or leased out, and the moshav itself became a community settlement and a new neighborhood was built to the north of the old moshav.[6] Plans to build a golf court and a luxury hotel in the moshav were made, but never materialized.[9]

Nearby sites[edit]

  • Horns of Hattin - an extinct volcano and the battleground of the Battle of Hattin, in which the Muslim army led by Saladin defeated the Crusader army in 1187, leading to the siege and defeat of the Crusaders who controlled Jerusalem.
  • Mount Arbel - a national park in the nearby moshav Arbel, containing the ruins of an ancient Jewish settlement and a synagogue and cliff dwellings on the northern side of the mount.
  • Nabi Shu'ayb - the supposed burial site of Jethro (Yitro), a site revered by the Druze[10]
  • Hittin - the ruins of the depopulated Arab village of Hittin, which was taken by Jewish forces in 1948 and whose former inhabitants were forbidden from returning to.[11]


  1. ^ a b "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  2. ^ Moshav Shitufi, Tnu'at HaAvoda (in Hebrew)
  3. ^ Moshav Shitufi Historical Dictionary of Israel
  4. ^ Which is First Tower and Blockade Settlement Ma'ariv, 10.12.1986, Historical Jewish Press (in Hebrew)
  5. ^ 1910-1901 Jewish National Fund (in Hebrew)
  6. ^ a b c Kfar Hittim Tnu'at HaAvoda (in Hebrew)
  7. ^ Shlomo Bin Nun Izkor (in Hebrew)
  8. ^ The Guard S. Bin-Nun Was Found Killed Near Sejera HaZofe, 21.12.1937, Historical Jewish Press (in Hebrew)
  9. ^ A Missed Putt: Moshe Shapira Seeks to Make Israel a Golf Empire Maariv, 20 January 2012 (in Hebrew)
  10. ^ "Kever Yitro (קבר יתרו)". Retrieved 2010-05-11.
  11. ^ Hittin Palestine Remembered