|Founded by||Romanian immigrants|
Masada (Hebrew: מַסָּדָה) is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located in the northern Jordan Valley near the Sea of Galilee, it falls under the jurisdiction of Emek HaYarden Regional Council. In 2015 it had a population of 345.
The name of the kibbutz was taken from the epic poem "Masada" by Yitzhak Lamdan, itself named after the fortress of Masada by the Dead Sea. It has nothing to do with the Hebrew word for base or foundation, "massad". The fortress of Masada is called in Hebrew "Metzadá", but Yitzhak Lamdan, although writing in Hebrew, used the name as it is known from the works of Josephus, "Masada". Lamdan's poem was extremely influential among Zionist Jews at the time the kibbutz was founded.
The kibbutz was founded in 1937 as part of the tower and stockade program by immigrants from Romania and members of kibbutz Sha'ar HaGolan. As with Sha'ar HaGolan, the kibbutz's defenders retreated during the Battles of the Kinarot Valley of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War after holding on for four days of fighting. The two kibbutzim were captured and briefly held by the Syrian Army, during which time they were looted and burned down. Although the members soon returned, a stigma was attached to them, and vindication in the form of released military records only arrived in recent years.
Masada, like dozens of the kibbutzim near the Sea of Galilee, existed under the shadow of the Golan Heights. On 29 March 1968 a tractor from Masada hit a landmine, killing the driver and three passengers. Israeli forces came to evacuate the casualties, and Jordanian forces opened fire on them. In retaliation, the Israel Air Force attacked Jordanian targets east of Beit She'an. Several planes were damaged by anti-aircraft fire yet returned safely to base.
Masada suffered greatly under the economic collapse of the 1980s which affected it more harshly than other kibbutzim. In 2006 the kibbutz was privatized.
- "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 16 October 2016.