Tirat Tzvi


The "tower" of Tirat Tzvi (PHG\1023315)On June 30, 1937, the first religious kibbutz, "Tirat-Tzvi" was established in the south of Beit Shean valley as one of the Wall and Tower (Homa v'Migdal) settlements; Mussa El Almi, a British mandate official, who sold his failing farm to the JNF, left them a two-storey building surrounded by mud bricks. This "tower" gave the kibbutz its name. The name Tzvi commemorates Rabbi Zevi Kalischer, one of the rabbis of religious Zionism at the beginning of the 19th century. The founders of the kibbutz were immigrants from Romania, Poland and Germany, graduates of the training groups of Shahal, Rodgers and Kfar Yavetz. They wished to establish a kibbutz that will combine a life of Torah and labor. For many years, the kibbutz marked the southern borders of the Jewish Jordan valley.
Life in a tower
The distance from other Jewish settlements and the proximity to hostile population posed an existential threat on the founders of the kibbutz. On About eight months after the establishment of the kibbutz, a group of Arabs invaded the kibbutz, and reached a defense point within it. The members demonstrated bravery and ingenuity and succeeded in defending the kibbutz and pushing back the attackers. The steadfastness of the kibbutz members made a strong impression on Arthur Wukoph, the British high commissioner in the Land of Israel. Lord Wingate visited the kibbutz after the attack to hear their tales of bravery.
In the beginning of the War of Independence, on February 16, 1948, the kibbutz members fought the troops of the Arab Rescue Force under the command of Fauzi Kaukgi. A short while after the launching of the attack, heavy rain began to fall. The members of the kibbutz took advantage of the recess in order to deploy for the oncoming assault; however, the weapons of the Arab fighters were damaged by the rain, and they were compelled to retreat. "General Winter" decided the outcome of the battle.
Nowadays, the kiubbutz makes a living from agriculture and from the food industry: the "Tiv Tirat Tzvi" plant is located within its grounds.