TIRAT ẒEVI (Heb. טִירַת צְבִי), kibbutz in central Israel, 6 mi. (10 km.) S.E. of Beth-Shean, affiliated with Ha-Kibbutz ha-Dati. Tirat Ẓevi was founded in 1937 as one of the first, and the southernmost, of the *stockade and watchtower outposts in the Beth-Shean Valley, by Ha-Po'el ha-Mizrachi pioneers from central Europe. In the 1936–39 Arab riots, Tirat Ẓevi had to repulse frequent attacks. In the early stage of the *War of Independence (1948), strong Arab forces commanded by Fawzi al-Kaukji assaulted Tirat Ẓevi but were beaten back after suffering heavy casualties. After the *Six-Day War (1967), the kibbutz became the object of repeated shelling from beyond the nearby Jordan border. Since its founding, Tirat Ẓevi has occupied a central place in the religious settlement movement, and its members are active in religious study and education. In 1968, the kibbutz had 385 inhabitants; in 2002, 666. Kibbutz farming was based on field corps, dates, olives, turkeys, and fishery. The kibbutz also operated a sausage and smoked-meat factory and catering service and developed tourism with a visitor's center and guest rooms. Its name, "Castle of Ẓevi," commemorates Rabbi Ẓevi Hirsh *Kalischer.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.