Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

Kefar Kanna

KEFAR KANNA (Kenna; Ar. Kafr Kanna), a village in Galilee, 4 mi. (6½ km.) N.E. of Nazareth. Owing to its convenient position on the main Nazareth-Tiberias road, it has been identified since Byzantine times with the *Kanah of the Gospels. A mosaic inscription found in the present church of the village indicates that it stands on the ruins of a Byzantine synagogue whose mosaic pavement, according to the inscription, was made by Yose, the son of Tanḥ um, and his sons. A Jewish settlement existed in Kefar Kanna in the 15th–16th centuries; in 1481 there were 80 families there and in 1522, 40 families (as attested by the travelers Obadiah of *Bertinoro and Moses b. Mordecai *Basola). Since its identification with the Kana of the Gospels was firmly established by Quaresmius in the 17th century, several churches were erected in the village and it has been included in the itineraries of pilgrims. It has recently been proposed to identify it with Garis (Jos., Wars, 3:129; 5:474; Life, 395, 412). In 1968, the village numbered 4,550 inhabitants, the majority Christian (Greek-Orthodox, Roman, and Greek Catholic), and the rest Muslim. Over the years, the ratio between Christians and Muslims has been reversed, so that by the end of 2002 the majority of Kefar Kanna's population (16,100 residents) were Muslims. The population growth rate is a high 2.7% per year. Income in 2000 was about half the national average. In 1968 Kefar Kanna received municipal council status. Its jurisdiction extends over 4.1 sq. mi. (10.7 sq. km.). In the vicinity of Kefar Kanna there is a large industrial area employing workers from all over the region and including cinder block and tire factories.


Clermont-Ganneau, in: PEFQS, 43 (1901), 374ff.; P.D. Baldi, Enchiridien Locorum Sanctorum (1955), 205ff.; Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 291–2.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.