NIR DAVID (Heb. נִיר דָּוִד; nir – "Plowed Field"), kibbutz in central Israel, at the foot of Mt. Gilboa, affiliated with Kibbutz Arẓi ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir, founded in 1936 as the first *stockade and watchtower outpost in the Beth-Shean Valley. The settlers, Israel-born youth and pioneers from Poland, set up camp on the site a year earlier but after the outbreak of the Arab riots had to live temporarily at neighboring *Bet Alfa while continuing to cultivate their land. Nir David repelled Arab attacks and soon became a model farming community, pioneering in carp breeding in ponds and in growing crops adapted to its hot climate. Kibbutz farming also included field crops, plantations, and poultry. In addition, it opened factories for farm equipment and plastic tubes. Later it began to develop tourism, opening 26 guest rooms and an Australian zoo with animals such as kangaroos and koalas. Nir David also had a local museum. In 2002 the population was 534. The name commemorates the Zionist leader David *Wolffsohn.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.