BET HA-EMEK


BET HA-EMEK
BET HA-EMEK (Heb. בֵּית הָעֵמֶק), kibbutz in northern Israel, northeast of Acre, affiliated with Iḥud ha-Kibbutzim. Bet ha-Emek was founded on Jan. 4, 1949, by young survivors of the Holocaust from Hungary and Slovakia. Later, immigrant youth from England and Holland joined the settlement to form the majority of its members. The kibbutz has a number of cultural institutions set up with contributions from England and other countries. In addition to highly intensive farming (field crops, fruit plantations, dairy cattle and poultry), Bet ha-Emek had a plant laboratory and biomedical, silk, and shoe factories. A nearby mound is supposed to be identical with biblical Beth-Emek (Josh. 19:27), which belonged to the tribe of Asher and was also inhabited in the time of the Talmud. The village ʿAmqa, abandoned by its Arab inhabitants during the War of Independence (1948), preserved the ancient name; and antique columns, capitals, ashlars, etc. were used in the construction of its dwellings. In 1970 Bet ha-Emek numbered 286 inhabitants; in 2002 the population was 444. (Efraim Orni)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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