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GA'ATON (Heb. גַּעֲתוֹן), kibbutz in the hills of northern lsrael, east of *Nahariyyah, affiliated with Kibbutz Arẓi Ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir. It was founded in October 1948 while under fire from nearby Arab positions. The founding group of settlers hailed from Hungary; later, Israeli-born members and immigrants from Egypt and other countries formed the majority. Kibbutz factories manufacture cardboard and medical equipment. A boarding school for the performing arts, mainly dance, is located in the kibbutz. In 2002 the population was 422.

The name is historical, mentioned (Tosef., Shev. 4:11) as an enclave on the northern border of the area occupied by the returning exiles from Babylonia, having been preserved in the Arabic names of the nearby ruin Khirbat Jaʿtūn and the Ga'aton brook, which runs down from there to its outlet in Nahariyyah.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.