Place: Kibbutz Kfar Hanassi is located in Ramat Korazim, south of the Hula Valley looking towards the Golan Heights and the Jordan River rift on the east; Mt. Hermon to the north, with Mts. Canaan and Naftali to the west.
Name: Kfar Hanassi (Village of the President) was named for the first Israeli president, Dr. Chaim Weitzman.
Founders: Members of the Habonim (Builders) Britain Youth Organization, who were joined by Holocaust evacuees (Kinder Transport) from Germany, Austria and Poland as well as a small group of French youth and some members of Australian Habonim.
Population: Kfar Hanassi comprises approximately 580 people which include some 300 members and children, plus residents, pre-army youth and a residential community.
Address: Kibbutz Kfar Hanassi
Mobile Post Chevel Korazim
Upper Galilee 1
1948 – Kfar Hanassi is founded on the barren land of the abandoned village of Monsurra al Hayat. The land was covered with basalt boulders, snakes and scorpions. At first the founders wanted to call their new village ‘Habonim’ after their youth group, but not everyone was from the youth group so they hit upon the suggestion of naming the village in honor of the first Israeli president, Dr. Chaim Wietzman (who was a British citizen). Dr. Wietzman kindly consented to the choice and the name has remained ever since.
1949 – Inception of Habonim factory (joinings and irrigation lines) and a sheep herd.
1952 – Local grade school opened.
1957 – Supplementary settlers group from British Habonim joins the Kibbutz. They are known as Garin Hey (5th Kernal).
1961 – Opening of the Kibbutz social center which included: offices, library, club room and self service (the first of it’s kind in the kibbutz movement!) dining hall - with a plant and koi pond in the center of the dining area.
1964 – Children go over to sleeping in parents’ houses instead of children's houses.
1988 – Local grade school is closed and children join a regional school system.
1991 – Hydroelectric plant opened on the Jordan River.
1998 – Book 'Habonim Kibbutz' (Building a Kibbutz) is published.
2002 – Community transforms from a communal society to a social security system.
2008 – First families buy into and join the residential community.
2010 – First Economically Independent members are accepted.
Work places that used to exist but have since ceased:
Reclaiming fields, kitchen garden, sheep herd, cow herd, vineyards, fishponds, Gamda (toy car factory), Village Fashions, medicinal plants, a Hebrew (Ulpan) study program and the B&B.
Current active work places:
Habonim Industrial Ball Valves, Hydroelectric plant (Maizad Aterat), litchi, pear and avocado orchards, poultry houses, field crops, juniper nursery and small private businesses. Many members are employed outside of Kfar Hanassi.
The infant education center still functions with: nurseries, a pre-kindergarten and two kindergartens - which service children of members and many children from the towns in the immediate vicinity. Grade school children now learn in the regional school (Mevo HaGalil) in Ayelet Hashachar, while the middle and high schoolers study in the Hula Valley regional school in Kfar Blum. After school hours there are a wide range of informal, educational activities for the grade schoolers carried on in the old children's houses.
Cultural and Social Life
Kfar Hanassi, called the last outpost of the British Empire, is known for its liberal views and warm welcome. The drink of choice in many households is still tea with milk. Most socializing now takes place around the holidays and festivals celebrated in Israel as a whole. There are two club areas: the central club room which functions as a meeting room cum synagogue cum private hall - and the Meeting Place (Mifgash) for the elderly/retired residents and hosts activities 6 days a week. Kfar Hanassi has a swimming pool that is open during the summer months (June-September), there is an auditorium for special occasions, a library (host to > 50,000 books, half of which are in English) that is open 6 mornings + two evenings a week, archives and has a weekly news sheet in both Hebrew and English. There are quite a few artists in residence who draw, sculpt, paint, do ceramics, embroidery, music, photography – and exhibitions are held several times a year. Field trips for the elderly/retired folk and family hikes for the younger families are usually organized on a monthly basis. Since it's 60th anniversary Kfar Hanassi is also active in preserving the environment and recycling.
COME FOR A VISIT
Kfar Hanassi has much to offer. Of interest are Park Ziv (facing the Golan Heights and Jordan Rift), alternative therapy practitioners, artist groups, children's farm, archeological garden, sheep walk and residential community.