Ein Tzurim

Ein Tzurim

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Ein Tzurim is a religious kibbutz
A kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. Today, farming has been partly supplanted by other economic branches, including industrial plants and high-tech enterprises. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism and Zionism...

 in southern Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. Located south of Kiryat Malakhi, it falls under the jurisdiction of Shafir Regional Council
Shafir Regional Council
Shafir Regional Council is a regional council in the South District of Israel near the city of Kiryat Gat.The council is bordered on the north by the Be'er Tuvia Regional Council, on the east by Yoav Regional Council and Kiryat Gat, on the south by Lakhish Regional Council, and on the west by Hof...

, and is a member of the Religious Kibbutz Movement
Religious Kibbutz Movement
The Religious Kibbutz Movement is an organizational framework for Orthodox kibbutzim in Israel. Its membership includes 19 communities, 16 of them traditional kibbutzim, and two others in the category of moshav shitufi , meaning that they have no communal dining hall or children's house but...

. In 2007 it had a population of 1,100.

Original kibbutz

The kibbutz was founded on 23 October 1946 as a new settlement in Gush Etzion
Gush Etzion
Gush Etzion is a cluster of Israeli settlements located in the Judaean Mountains directly south of Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the West Bank, Palestinian territories. The core group includes four agricultural villages that were founded in 1940-1947 on property purchased in the 1920s and 1930s, and ...

 (east of the present-day location). Its founders were Palestinian-born members of the fifth group (Gar'in) of Bnei Akiva
Bnei Akiva
Bnei Akiva is the largest religious Zionist youth movement in the world, with over 125,000 members in 37 countries. It was established in Mandate Palestine in 1929.-History:...

 that had formed in Tirat Zvi
Tirat Zvi
Tirat Zvi is a religious kibbutz in the Beit She'an Valley, ten kilometers south of the city of Beit She'an, Israel, just west of the Jordan River and the Israel-Jordan border. It falls under the jurisdiction of Valley of Springs Regional Council. In 2006, the kibbutz had a population of...


In 1947, the kibbutz had a population of 80 people. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli war
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

, the kibbutz was destroyed along with all the other settlements in Gush Etzion, by the Jordanian army
Royal Jordanian Land Force
The Royal Jordanian Land Force is part of the Jordanian Armed Forces . It draws its origins from units first formed in the British Mandate of Transjordan in the 1920s. It has seen combat against Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973...

. The men who stayed there to fight were captured as prisoners of war, and taken to the Mafrak P.O.W.
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...


With the renewal of Jewish settlement in Gush Etzion after the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

, a new kibbutz called Rosh Tzurim
Rosh Tzurim
Rosh Tzurim is a religious Israeli settlement and kibbutz in the West Bank. A member of the Religious Kibbutz Movement, it falls under the jurisdiction of Gush Etzion Regional Council. In 2008 it had a population of around 130 families...

 was founded on the original location of Ein Tzurim.

Modern location

In 1949 the people who left Ein Tzurim founded a new settlement in south-central Israel near the existing settlements of Zerahia
Zrahia is a religious moshav in southern Israel. Located near Kiryat Malakhi, it falls under the jurisdiction of Shafir Regional Council. In 2006, it had a population of 568....

, Shafir
Shafir is a moshav in southern Israel. Located in the Shephelah near Kiryat Malakhi, it falls under the jurisdiction of Shafir Regional Council. In 2006, it had a population of 499....

 and Merkaz Shapira
Merkaz Shapira
Merkaz Shapira , also Shapira Center, is a religious village in the South District of Israel. Located in the southern Shephelah between Kiryat Malakhi and Ashkelon, it falls under the jurisdiction of Shafir Regional Council...

, and they named it "Ein Tzurim" as a symbol of continuity.

In the 1980s two major educational centers were built in the area of the kibbutz: Yeshivat Kibbutz HaDati and the Yaakov Herzog
Yaakov Herzog
Yaakov Herzog was an Israeli diplomat.-Biography:Yitzhak Herzog was born in Dublin, Ireland. His father was Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, the second Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, and his brother, Chaim Herzog, became the sixth President of Israel. The family immigrated to Mandate Palestine in 1937...

 center for the study of Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

. In 2008, the yeshiva closed due to insufficient enrollment. However, every Yom Kippur former students from all over Israel return to pray together.

After the Gaza disengagement
Israel's unilateral disengagement plan
Israel's unilateral disengagement plan , also known as the "Disengagement plan", "Gaza expulsion plan", and "Hitnatkut", was a proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, adopted by the government on June 6, 2004 and enacted in August 2005, to evict all Israelis from the Gaza Strip and from...

 in 2005, some evacuees from Gush Katif
Gush Katif
Gush Katif was a bloc of 17 Israeli settlements in the southern Gaza strip. Gush Katif was specifically mentioned by Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister who fell victim to an assassin in 1995, as essential to Israel's security border. In August 2005, the Israeli army moved the 8,600...

 moved into a trailer park
Trailer park
A trailer park is a semi-permanent or permanent area for mobile homes or travel trailers. The main reasons for living in such trailer parks are the often lower cost compared to other housing, and the ability to move to a new area more quickly and easily, for example when changing jobs to another...

near the kibbutz and plans were drawn up for permanent housing.


The economy is based on fruit orchards, (lemon and persimmon), vegetable crops (artichokes), dairy farming and turkey-breeding. The kibbutz also has an air-conditioner factory and runs a guesthouse.

Further reading

  • Between Jerusalem and Hebron: Jewish Settlement in the Pre-State Period, Yossi Katz

External links