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Geography of Israel:
Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim


Geography: Table of Contents | Jerusalem | Tel Aviv


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In the west, at the time, the only settlements on the one road to Jerusalem from the Judean foothills were Motza and Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim, some 10 kilometers from the city and next to the Arab village of Abu Gosh.

In 1910 Arthur Ruppin, head of the Zionist Movement's Palestine Office, negotiated with two Arabs from Abu Gosh on the purchase of a 2,000-dunam tract of land in the vicinity of Dilb, so called because of a grove of plane (dolev) trees growing there. The land was transferred to JNF and, after World War I, in 1920, Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim rose at the site. For many years it was the only Jewish settlement in the country attempting to live off hilly agriculture. Kibbutz members planted a forest, developed hillside orchards and dairy and poultry farming; and to diversify their income, they built one of the first kibbutz guest houses. In 1954 the population of Kiryat Anavim numbered nearly 400 people. Over the years JNF bought other lands in the area.

At the end of 1938, the peak of the Arab riots, workers set out to plant a forest for JNF in the vicinity of Abu Gosh. They were ambushed, and five of them were killed. Half a year later, at the same spot near Kiryat Anavim, a new kibbutz rose and was named for the five fallen - Maaleh HaHamisha. It, too, lived off hilly agriculture and, by the mid-Forties, numbered some 230 people. These two kibbutzim, on the slopes leading up to Jerusalem, were joined in 1946 by a third - Neveh Ilan - former members of the French underground in World War II.


Sources: Shmuel Even-Or Orenstein, "A Crown for Jerusalem," JNF, 1996

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