KARMI'EL

KARMI'EL (Heb. כַּרְמִיאֵל; "Vineyard of God," alluding to the Bet ha-Kerem Valley and neighboring Majd al-Kurūm), town in Israel, 14 mi. (22 km.) E. of Acre. Its construction as a development town, in connection with the Central Galilee Development Project, began in 1963, and the first inhabitants arrived in 1964. In 1969, Karmi'el had 1,740 inhabitants, comprised of about 40% veteran Israelis, 40% immigrants from Eastern Europe (mainly Romania), and 20% immigrants from North Africa and North and South America. Anticipated to serve as an urban center for existing Arab villages of a fairly wide periphery and Jewish villages to be founded in the area, Karmi'el hardly exercised these functions in its initial years. On the other hand, its economic development was satisfactory, with 75% of its manpower employed in local industrial enterprises and workshops. In 1984 Karmi'el received municipal status. By the mid-1990s its population had risen to approximately 30,800, further increasing to 42,400 in 2002, including 17,000 new immigrants. Commensurate with its population increase, Karmi'el underwent vast expansion, with seven new neighborhoods created and a municipal area extending over 10 sq. mi. (26 sq. km.). ORT'S Braude College of Engineering, with approximately 3,500 students, is located in the city. Every summer Karmi'el hosts an international folk dancing festival. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. Spiegel, New Towns in Israel (Eng. and Germ., 1966), 173–8. WEBSITE: www.karmiel.muni.il\>\> . (Efraim Orni / Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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