Sha'ar HaAmakim

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Sha'ar HaAmakim
Sha'ar HaAmakim in 2008
Sha'ar HaAmakim in 2008
Sha'ar HaAmakim is located in Haifa region of Israel
Sha'ar HaAmakim
Sha'ar HaAmakim
Coordinates: 32°43′23″N 35°6′48″E / 32.72306°N 35.11333°E / 32.72306; 35.11333Coordinates: 32°43′23″N 35°6′48″E / 32.72306°N 35.11333°E / 32.72306; 35.11333
Grid position160/236 PAL
AffiliationKibbutz Movement
Founded byRomanian and Yugoslavian Jewish immigrants
738 Edit this at Wikidata

Sha'ar HaAmakim (Hebrew: שַׁעַר הַעֲמָקִים‎, lit. Gate of the Valleys) is a kibbutz in northern Israel associated with the Hashomer Hatzair movement founded in 1935. Located near Kiryat Tiv'on, it falls under the jurisdiction of Zevulun Regional Council. In 2019 it had a population of 738.[1]



Hellenistic era site near the kibbutz

Human habitation in the area dates at least as far back as the Hellenistic period.[2] Although the site, in recent history, has borne the name of Ḫirbet el-Ḥârithîye, it is thought by modern-day archaeologists to have been the Second Temple-period site known as Geba (Greek: Γάβα), based on Josephus' description of distances between Geba and Simonias and Beit Shearim in Lower Galilee.[3][4][5]


In 1283, during the hudna ("truce") between the Crusaders based in Acre and the Mamluk sultan al-Mansur Qalawun, this location was named el Harathiyah and was described as part of the domain of the Crusaders.[6]

Ottoman rule[edit]

During the Ottoman era, a Muslim village at the site was named el Hâritheh.[7] The village appeared as El Harti on the map of Pierre Jacotin compiled in 1799.[8] In 1859, the population was recorded as 120 with tillable land of 12 feddans.[9] In 1875, Victor Guérin reported about 40 houses.[10] In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described it as an adobe hamlet.[9]

A population list from about 1887 showed that Harithiyeh had about 120 inhabitants; all Muslims.[11]

British Mandate[edit]

Sha’ar HaAmakim 1947

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, the Al Zubaidat, who cultivated the Hartieh land, numbered 363, all Muslims.[12]

In 1925 a Zionist organisation purchased 50 feddans in Hartieh from the Sursock family of Beirut. At the time, there were 60 families living there.[13] In the 1931 census, the Arab Zubeidat was counted under the Shefa-'Amr suburbs.[14]

From 1931, and lasting several years, the Jewish Agency struggled to evict the Arab El Zubeidat, who were tenant farmers at Hartiya.[15][16][17][18] According to Avneri, Hartiya land was to become Sha'ar HaAmakim.[15] According to the Department of Statistics, however, Sha'ar HaAmakim had previously been part of Sheikh Bureik.[19][20]

Kibbutz Sha'ar HaAmakim was founded in 1935 by immigrants from Romania and Yugoslavia. One of its founders was Aharon Cohen,[21] later to be convicted of spying for the Soviet Union. Its name was derived from the nearby confluence of the Jezreel and Zevulun valleys.[22] By the 1945 statistics it had a population of 360, all Jews.[19][20]

State of Israel[edit]

Sha'ar HaAmakim hosted volunteers from around the world, including France and the United States, who worked at the kibbutz and participated in cultural exchanges.[23] In the 1960s, there were up to 100 volunteers each year.[24] Bernie Sanders, who later became a U.S. Senator, worked at the kibbutz for several months in 1963.[25][24]


According to a 2016 report, the kibbutz derives most of its income from its solar water heater factory. It also makes money from agriculture, including dairy farming.[23] For over five decades, the kibbutz has produced and processed sunflower seeds which it markets under its name both in Israel and for export.[26] It also has a fish pond and orchards producing apples, peaches, and pears.[24]


  1. ^ a b "Population in the Localities 2019" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  2. ^ Segal, Arthur; Młynarczyk, Jolanta; Burdajewicz, Mariusz; Bar-Oz, Guy (2009). Excavations of the Hellenistic site in Kibbutz Sha'ar-Ha'Amakim. Haifa: Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa. ISBN 9789659041879.
  3. ^ Dvorjetski, Esti (2009)
  4. ^ Mazar (Maisler), B. (1957), p. 19; HUCA xxiv (1952/3), pp. 75–81; Avi-Yonah, M. (1940). Map of Roman Palestine. London: Oxford University Press. p. 38.
  5. ^ Cf. Josephus, Vita § 24; The Jewish War (3.3.1)
  6. ^ Barag, 1979, p. 204
  7. ^ ”the ploughed land”, Palmer, 1881, p. 109
  8. ^ Karmon, 1960, p. 163
  9. ^ a b Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 270
  10. ^ Guérin, 1880, pp. 399-400
  11. ^ Schumacher, 1888, p. 175
  12. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Haifa, p. 34
  13. ^ List of villages sold by Sursocks and their partners to the Zionists since British occupation of Palestine Evidence to the Shaw Commission, 1930
  14. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 90.
  15. ^ a b Avneri, 1984, pp. 156-7
  16. ^ "PALESTINE (HARTIEH LANDS, DISTURBANCE). (Hansard, 26 February 1935)".
  17. ^ "PALESTINE. (Hansard, 24 March 1936)".
  18. ^ Bernie Sanders Stint at 'Stalinist' Kibbutz Draws Red-Baiting From Right, Nathan Guttman, February 5, 2016 The Forward
  19. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 15
  20. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 49
  21. ^ Almogi, Yosef (1982). Total commitment. New York: Herzl Press. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-8453-4749-2. OCLC 8431597.
  22. ^ History Sha'ar HaAmakim Seeds
  23. ^ a b Erlanger, Steven (5 February 2016). "Bernie Sanders's Kibbutz Found. Surprise: It's Socialist". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  24. ^ a b c Sales, Ben (8 February 2016). "50 years on, Bernie Sanders still champions values of his Israeli kibbutz". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  25. ^ Aderet, Ofer (4 February 2016). "Mystery Solved? Haaretz Archive Reveals Which Kibbutz Bernie Sanders Volunteered On". Haaretz. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  26. ^ "Shaar Haamakim Seeds". Sha'ar Ha'amakim Seeds, Ltd. Retrieved 6 February 2016.


External links[edit]