Kokhav Ya'ir

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Kokhav Ya'ir–Tzur Yig'al
  • כּוֹכַב יָאִיר צוּר יִגְאָל
  • كوخاف يئير
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • ISO 259 K̇ŵkab Yåʾiyr Ṣẇr Yig°ʾål
 • Also spelled Kochav Yair (unofficial)
Kokhav Ya'ir–Tzur Yig'al is located in Central Israel
Kokhav Ya'ir–Tzur Yig'al
Kokhav Ya'ir–Tzur Yig'al
Coordinates: 32°13′41″N 35°00′02″E / 32.22806°N 35.00056°E / 32.22806; 35.00056Coordinates: 32°13′41″N 35°00′02″E / 32.22806°N 35.00056°E / 32.22806; 35.00056
District Central
Founded 1986[1]
 • Type Local council
 • Head of Municipality Shimi Eliel
 • Total 3,072 dunams (3.072 km2 or 1.186 sq mi)
Population (2017)[2]
 • Total 8,889
 • Density 2,900/km2 (7,500/sq mi)
Name meaning Named for Abraham "Yair" Stern

Kokhav Ya'ir–Tzur Yig'al (Hebrew: כּוֹכַב יָאִיר-צוּר יִגְאָל‬, also Kochav Yair–Tzur Yigal) is a town (local council) in the Central District of Israel. Kokhav Ya'ir and the neighboring town of Tzur Yig'al (Hebrew: צוּר יִגְאָל‬) merged in November 2003. In 2017 it had a population of 8,889.[2]


Kokhav Ya'ir was established in 1981 by 15 families living in temporary quarters. Two years later, work began on infrastructure for a permanent town. In 1986, 550 families moved into permanent housing and the town was officially founded.[1] Tzur Yig'al was founded in 1991, with the first families moving into permanent homes in the summer of 1994.[citation needed]

Naming origin[edit]

Kokhav Ya'ir (literally "Ya'ir's star") was named for Avraham Stern, who went by the alias Ya'ir. He was the founder and leader of the Lehi group, a militant Jewish underground active during the British Mandate of Palestine. Stern is also German for "star." Tzur Yig'al (literally "Yig'al's rock") was named for Israeli Knesset member Yigal Cohen.[3]


Kokhav Ya'ir is exclusively Jewish,[4] with a high income level. Kokhav Yair is a secular community with a religious minority. Religious tensions are virtually non-existent. Residents from English speaking countries comprise approximately 20% of the population.[citation needed]


Kokhav Ya'ir

Kokhav Ya'ir is located at lat. 32° 00' N, long. 35° 00' E, approximately 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) north-north-east of the city of Kfar Saba and 95 meters above sea level.[citation needed] Neighboring the municipality on its south-west border is kibbutz Eyal, approximately 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) north-west is the Israeli Arab city of Tira and approximately 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) south is the Palestinian Authority governed city of Qalqilyah.

The Sapir Lookout in Kokhav Ya'ir attracts bird watchers who come to observe the semi-annual migration of many species of birds.[citation needed]

Education and sports[edit]

Kokhav Ya'ir currently has four schools, two secular elementary schools ('Keshet' and 'Nof Tzurim'), one religious elementary school ('Dekel') and one middle school ('Ramon', named after the Astronaut Ilan Ramon). After finishing middle school students are usually directed to highschools in Ra'anana and Kfar Saba and Herzliya.[3]

Kokhav Ya'ir's local basketball team, Elitzur Kokhav Ya'ir, has been a member of the Israel National Basketball League since 2008.[citation needed]

Inclusion Controversy[edit]

Kokhav Ya'ir's country club from 2010 to 2017 refused membership to “Israeli Arabs” (i.e. Palestinians with Israeli citizenship). After a petition from Tira, an Arab village nearby, the club decided to “sanitize” its racist policy by restricting membership to Kochav Yair–Tzur Yig'al’s residents. A member of the local council said: “What drives people from the club isn’t the price, but the Arabs. We came to live in a community. Whether we’re racist or not, it doesn’t matter. The fact is that residents are leaving the community center because of the Arab children. It’s not clear why we can’t express our opinion.” The club is partially funded by the Israeli government.[4]

Notable residents[edit]

Kokhav Ya'ir, as seen from Tzur Natan


  1. ^ a b "Kokhav Ya'ir History" (in Hebrew). Kokhav Ya'ir municipality website. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  2. ^ a b "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Mayor Kokhav Yair-Tzur Yig'al local council
  4. ^ a b Or Kashti: Upscale Israeli Country Club Changes Rules to Prevent Arabs From Joining. In: Haaretz, 4 August 2017.

External links[edit]