KEFAR BARAM (Heb. כְּפַר כַּרְעָם), locality in Upper Galilee, 7 mi. (11 km.) N.W. of Safed. Its Jewish settlement is mentioned only in the Middle Ages (by R. Samuel b. Samson, 1210, and R. Jacob, mid-13th century). Later travelers (including R. Moses Basola, 1522) mention two synagogues there. In 1762 Kefar Baram was destroyed; Maronites resettled the village in the 19th century. The remains of a synagogue from the third century C.E. were found, built on the highest point of the village. It measures 59 ft. (18 m.) by 43 ft. (13 m.). In front of the main building stands a porch with a row of six columns, of which one has survived in situ. The building, entered through three ornate doorways, contains two rows of columns joined by one transverse row. Traces of stairs leading to an upper (women's) gallery have been found in the northwestern corner. The lintels of the doors and the window pediments are elaborately decorated with floral ornaments; two angels holding a wreath above the main entrance have been hammered away. An inscription below a window mentions the builder as Eleazar b. Judan. The synagogue has been partly restored by the Israel Department of Antiquities. Kibbutz Baram, affiliated to Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uḥad, was founded near the ruins of Kefar Baram in 1949 by former members of the *Palmaḥ. The main farming branches included fruit orchards, poultry, dairy cattle, and field crops. The kibbutz owns a plastics factory producing medical equipment. Its tourist attractions include a spa and alternative medicine center. A small museum with a Judaica collection is located in the kibbutz. In 2002 the population of Kibbutz Baram was 488.
H. Kohl and C. Watzinger, Antike Synagogen in Galilaea (1916), 89ff. WEBSITE: www.galil-elion.org.il.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.