Rosh Pinna

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about a town in Israel. For the town in Namibia, see Rosh Pinah.
Rosh Pinna
  • רֹאשׁ פִּנָּה
  • روش بينا
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • ISO 259 Roˀš Pinna
 • Also spelled Rosh Pina (official)
Roch Pina, Rosh Pinah (unofficial)
Official logo of Rosh Pinna
Rosh Pinna is located in Israel
Rosh Pinna
Rosh Pinna
Coordinates: 32°58′12.01″N 35°32′31.72″E / 32.9700028°N 35.5421444°E / 32.9700028; 35.5421444Coordinates: 32°58′12.01″N 35°32′31.72″E / 32.9700028°N 35.5421444°E / 32.9700028; 35.5421444
District Northern
Founded 1882
 • Type Local council
 • Head of Municipality Avihud Rasky[1]
 • Total 17,569 dunams (17.569 km2 or 6.783 sq mi)
Population (2008)[2]
 • Total 2,800
Old road from Rosh Pina to Safed, Upper Galilee, Israel.

Rosh Pina or Rosh Pinna is a town (local council) of approximately 2,800 people located in the Upper Galilee on the eastern slopes of Mount Kna'an in the Northern District of Israel. The town with the current name was founded in 1882 by thirty families who immigrated from Romania, making it one of the oldest Zionist settlements in Israel. It was preceded at the same location by the settlement of Gei Oni ("Valley of My Strength"),[3][4] established by local Jews from Safed in 1878, which had been however almost fully abandoned by 1882.[3]

In 2005, Rosh Pinna had a population of 2,400.


Rosh Pina is located north of the Sea of Galilee, on the eastern slopes of Mount Kna'an, approximately 2 km (1 mi) east of the city of Safed, 420 m (1,378 ft) above sea level, latitude north 32° 58', longitude east 35° 31'. North of Rosh Pina is Lake Hula, which was a swamp area drained in the 1950s.


Rosh Pina (Hebrew: ראש פנה‎, lit. Cornerstone, alternate spelling: Rosh Pinna) was one of the first modern Jewish agricultural settlements in history of the Land of Israel, then part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Rosh Pina was established near the Arab village of al-Ja'una. In 1883, it became the first Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel to come under the patronage of the Baron Edmond James de Rothschild.[citation needed]

Gei Oni was founded in 1878 by Jews from Safed, some of whom were descended from Spanish Jews exiled in 1492. However, most of the original two to three dozen families left after three years of drought, though three families remained: Keller, Friedman, and Schwartz.[5] A year later, in 1882, a group of Romanian Jews, most of them coming from Moineşti and led by Moshe David Shuv, joined the three families of Gei Oni, enlarged the village, and renamed it Rosh Pina, as per Psalm 118:22: "The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone [lit. "head of the corner", i.e. "rosh pina" in Hebrew]."

Moshe David Shuv (born 1854 in Moineşti, Moldavia; died 1938 in Jerusalem) had been sent ahead to find and purchase an appropriate piece of land for the colonists. Born as Moşe David Iancovici, in Palestine he became known as שו"ב, Shuv, a Hebrew abbreviation of the name of his profession, שוחט ובודק, read "shochet ve-bodék", butcher and examiner [of kosher meat]; "shuv" has the Hebrew meaning of "once again" or "return!", an allusion to the main principle of Zionism.

Laurence Oliphant collected funds for the settlement from Christadelphians and other sympathizers in Britain.[6] He wrote about his visit to Rosh Pina in 1886:

"Jauna, which was the name of the village to which I was bound, was situated about three miles (5 km) from Safed, in a gorge, from which, as we descended it, a magnificent view was obtained over the Jordan valley, with the Lake of Tiberias lying three thousand feet below us on the right, and the waters of Merom, or the Lake of Huleh, on the left. The intervening plain was 3. rich expanse of country, only waiting development. The new colony hall been established about eight months, the land having been purchased from the Moslem villagers, of whom twenty families remained, who lived on terms of perfect amity with the Jews. These consisted of twenty-three Roumanian and four Russian families, numbering in all one hundred and forty souls. The greater number were hard at work on their potato-patches when I arrived, and I was pleased to find evidences of thrift and industry. A row of sixteen neat little houses had been built, and more were in process or erection. Altogether this is the most hopeful attempt at a colony which I have seen in Palestine. The colonists own about a thousand acres of excellent land, which they were able to purchase at from three to four dollars an acre. The Russians are establishing themselves about half a mile from the Roumanians, as Jews of different nationalities easily get on well together. They call the colony Rosch Pina, or "Head of the Corner," the word occurring in the verse, "The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the comer."[7]

Eventually the village had to be saved financially by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, who then imposed his economic concept on the colonists.

Discovery of wild emmer[edit]

Botanist Aaron Aaronsohn, while trekking around Rosh Pina during his 1906 field trip, discovered wild-growing emmer (Triticum dicoccoides), whom he considered to be the "mother of wheat", an important find for agronomists and historians of human civilization. Geneticists have proven that wild emmer is indeed the ancestor of most domesticated wheat strands cultivated on a large scale today[8] with the exception of durum wheat; einkorn, a different ancient species, is currently just a relict crop.


Rosh Pina had the first Hebrew School in 1899.[9]


Ben Ya'akov Airport is located 2.1 km (1 mi) away from Rosh Pina.

Medical facilities[edit]

The Mifne Center,[10] which means turning point, a program for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder, is situated in Rosh Pina.[11]


  • Mitzpe HaYamim, a world-class spa, is located on a mountainside in Rosh Pinna. Amenities include a range of health and cosmetic treatments, an art gallery where guests can view artists at work, art workshops and an organic garden.
  • The House of Dignitaries is a structure built in 1882 and used as a center of administration and finance for Rosh Pina and other towns in the Galilee region. From this building, a loudspeaker was used to broadcast the local news.
  • An ancient synagogue, which was commissioned by the Baron, also has been preserved.
  • The Mer house was the home of Professor Gideon Mer, an expert on malaria, epidemiologist and an important contributor to the eradication of malaria in the 1930s.[12] The house presents a room dedicated to his memory and an exhibit of ancient items from various periods, such as old plows, laboratory equipment and textbooks.
  • PICA House provides an audio-visual presentation that tells the story of Rosh Pina. PICA House served as an administrative center and residence for Baron Rothschild’s clerks, advisors, and agricultural counselors.
  • The Baron Rothschild' gardens. The gardens were designed by a French landscape architect and planted in 1886. Many plants such as Bougainvillea and pine trees were brought from France.
  • The grave of Honi HaM'agel, a Jewish scholar, is located on the outskirts of Hatzor HaGlilit, a few kilometers from Rosh Pina.
  • "Nimrod Lookout", a green spot with water views as seen from the viewpoint flowing through, facing the landscapes of the Hula Valley, the Golan Heights and Mount Hermon, will be built in the Pioneers National Restoration Site in old Rosh Pina.

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ 'The grass is always greener', article published on
  2. ^ "Table 3 – Population of Localities Numbering Above 2,000 Residents and Other Rural Population" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. September 30, 2009. Retrieved June 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^ ""Autumn in Rosh Pina" (see text box labeled "IMMIGRANT PIONEERS")" (PDF). 
  6. ^ Abstract: Laurence Oliphant's interest in the development of Jewish settlement in Ottoman Palestine preceded his interest in the plight of Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. While his intensive involvement in these matters is well known, especially in modern Israel, the fact that the funds for his largesse were contributed by the Christadelphian Brotherhood has not previously been published. The present article brings to light material from the archives of this sect, and thus, too, the motivation behind these efforts. Amit, Thomas. Laurence Oliphant: Financial Sources for his Activities in Palestine in the 1880s Palestine Exploration Quarterly, Volume 139, Number 3, November 2007 , pp. 205–212(8)
  7. ^ Extract from page 71 of “Haifa or Life in Modern Palestine”, written by Laurence Oliphant, published by William Blackwood and Sons, London, 1887
  8. ^ Molecular Genetic Maps in Wild Emmer Wheat
  9. ^ "Rosh Pinna". Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
  10. ^ "The Mifne Center". Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
  11. ^ "The Mifne Center". Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Rosh Pina". Retrieved September 24, 2011. 

External links[edit]