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Kefar Uriyyah

KEFAR URIYYAH (Heb. כְּפַר אוּרִיָּה), moshav in the Judean Foothills, Israel, 6 mi. (10 km.) N.E. of Bet-Shemesh, affiliated to Tenu'at ha-Moshavim. The land at Kefar Uriyyah was purchased by individuals in 1909, and a workers' group established a farm there in 1912. After World War I, some of the proprietors went to settle, but progress was slow, due to lack of water and difficulty of access. In the 1929 Arab riots, the village was abandoned. A group of Kurdish Jews, who had previously worked as stonecutters in Jerusalem, settled there in 1943. The isolated village came under frequent attacks from its Arab neighbors in the War of Independence and had to be evacuated (1948). In 1949, a moshav was set up there by immigrants from Bulgaria when the new road connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem provided access to the site. The initial difficulties confronting the moshav resulted in a frequent turnover of settlers. In the 1950s, ample groundwater resources were discovered and these eventually supplied the bulk of Jerusalem's water needs. The name is based on the Arabic Kafrūriyya, which may have its root in an ancient Hebrew name, perhaps Kefar Aryeh – "Lion's Village" (a nearby site was called in Arabic Khirbat al-Asad – "Lion's Ruin"). Remnants of ancient buildings and tombs were found there. Its population in 1968 was 255, rising to 315 in the mid-1990s and 416 in 2002.

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