AVIḤAYIL (Heb. אֲבִיחַיִל; "father of strength"), moshav in central Israel, N.E. of Netanyah. In 1921 veterans of the jewish legion of World War I settled on desert land allocated to it by the British Mandatory government in the northeastern Negev, near Tel Arad. This effort failed when no water was found. On July 19, 1932, they founded Aviḥayil on a wasteland stretch of sand dunes in the Ḥefer Plain. In 1946 Aviḥayil merged with the neighboring moshav, Ein ha-Oved. Its settlers were from Ereẓ Israel, Russia, the United States, Canada, and other countries. In 1967 there were 605 inhabitants. The economy was based on intensive mixed farming including citrus. In the mid-1990s the population of Aviḥayil was approximately 880, increasing to 1,090 in 2002. It established "Bet ha-Gedudim," a museum of the Jewish Legion and clubhouse for veterans. (Efraim Orni)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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