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Ramat Ha-Shofet

RAMAT HA-SHOFET (Heb. רָמַת הַשּׁוֹפֵט), kibbutz in central Israel, on the Manasseh Hills near Ein ha-Shofet, affiliated with Kibbutz Arẓi ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir. It was founded by pioneers from Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria in 1941, with the aim of reinforcing the "bridge" of Jewish settlements between the Sharon and the Jezreel Valley. In 1970 the kibbutz had 530 inhabitants, increasing to 710 in the mid-1990s but then dropping to 557 in 2002. Farming included field crops (with Kibbutz *Ramot Menasheh), avocado plantations, poultry, and dairy cattle. The kibbutz also manufactured plastic and wood products and operated guest rooms. The local Beit Rishonim museum focuses on the history of the kibbutz. The name Ramat ha-Shofet, meaning "Height of the Judge," commemorates Judge Julian W. *Mack, U.S. Zionist leader.