Kibbutz Beit Alfa
Kibutz Beit Alpha is a part of the Nationwide Kibbutz movement associated with Hashomer Hatzair. It is located in the east of the Jezreel Valley at the foot of Mount Gilboa, in the Harod Valley near the Garden of three – “Sahne”, approximately 75 m below sea level.
Origin of the name: The name is of an ancient Jewish settlement of the 6th century AD, on which an arab town named Ailfa was built. The interpretation of the ancient name has two theories: one from the word ‘champion’ which translate in Hebrew to an ox, i.e. a place where bulls were raised. The second word ‘Ulpana’, which means a place of study, school.
History: The kibbutz was founded by members of the Hashomer Hatzair battalion A, members of Bitanya Illit group, and individuals from Poland and Galicia. It’s the first kibbutz that was founded by members of Hashomer Hatzair movement. Established on November 4 1922 after a training period in Geva. In 1940 there has been Ideological dispute followed by exchange of members with Kibbutz Ramat Yohanan. Members of Hashomer Hatzair came to Beit Alpha, and Mapai members to Ramat Yohanan.
Economy: The kibbutz owns the Gilboa quarry limestone quarry, “Beit Alpha Technologies” factory assembling fire trucks and other special vehicles, carpentry, agricultural sectors and rural accommodation and B&Bs. Near the kibbutz, the educational institution Gilboa was established for children and youth of the Kibbutz Artzi movement of the area (Beit Alfa, Reshafim, Mesilot and Nir David). The institution was closed as a school in 2003, but an immigrant absorption center was established there, instead.