DAFNAH (Heb. דַּפְנָה), kibbutz in the Ḥuleh Valley, N. Israel, affiliated with Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uḥad, founded in 1939 as a "*tower and stockade" village and as the first of a complex of settlements called the "Ussishkin fortresses" (named after M. *Ussishkin). The first settlers were pioneers from Lithuania and Poland, later joined by immigrants from various countries. In 1968 the kibbutz had 540 inhabitants. In the mid-1990s Dafnah's population was approximately 639, dropping to 553 in 2002. Its economy was based on intensive farming (field crops, avocado and apple orchards, citrus groves, fishery, and dairy cattle) and plastic goods and confection factories. The kibbutz had guest rooms and a park with recreational activities. Near the kibbutz is the Ḥurshat Tal park. The kibbutz is called after the Greek name of a villa suburb of Panaeas (Caesarea Philippi, *Bāniyās) lying 3 3/4 mi. (6 km.) further east; its name means "laurel tree."
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.