SHEFAYIM (Heb. שְׁפָיִים), kibbutz in central Israel, 2½ mi.(4 km.) N. of Herzliyyah, affiliated with Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uḥad. Shefayim was founded in 1931 by pioneers from Poland. Initially the kibbutz members earned a livelihood mostly as hired laborers. In the late 1930s and in the 1940s, Shefayim served as a clandestine landing for *"illegal" immigration. In 1945 it was subjected to severe searches by British forces. In 1970 the kibbutz numbered 550 inhabitants, increasing to 780 in the mid-1990s and 883 in 2002. Farming is highly intensive and fully irrigated. The kibbutz also ran a 168-room hotel and water park. Another mainstay of its economy was a big shopping center kept open on the Sabbath and holidays and attracting people from all over the center of the country. The name is taken from Isaiah 41:18.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.