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MAḤANAYIM (Heb. מַחֲנַיִם; "Two Camps," allusion to Gen. 32:3 and other verses, although biblical *Mahanaim was in Transjordan), kibbutz in northern Israel in the Ḥuleh Valley, affiliated with Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uḥad. First founded as a moshavah for Orthodox Jews in 1898, but soon abandoned. In 1902, the *Jewish Colonization Association (ICA) settled a small group there whose economy was to be based on tobacco cultivation. The attempt failed, as did another plan to settle Jews from the Caucasus on the site to raise beef cattle. A further attempt was made in 1918, when a laborers' group set out to establish a moshav there. Finally, in 1939, the present kibbutz was established, when the Jewish institutions stepped up settlement on the land as a reply to the British *White Paper (1939). In 1970 Maḥanayim's economy was based on intensive farming. At the outset of the 21st century its economy included a few farming branches and industry based on Diuk Technology, a leading manufacturer of building profiles and metal components for solar heaters. In addition, Mahanayim had guest rooms and an interest in a nearby tourist site. Also nearby was the Maḥanayim airfield, servicing the northeastern part of the country. In the mid-1990s, the kibbutz population was approximately 440, declining to 361 in 2002.

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