ביצות בעמק
עמק חרוד - צילום אסף סלומון
עין חרוד איחוד - היום
ריקור - מבט אלכסוני
חדר האוכל
מחנה אוהלים - עין חרוד
מעיין חרוד - 1923
בית חולים בעין חרוד - 1926
עין חרוד איחוד מבט מהגבעה
עין חרוד בשנות ה 30
ריקור 2006
מחנה אוהלים - עין חרוד
עין חרוד ליד המעיין
אדמות עין חרוד טרם יישובן
עמק חרוד - צילום אסף סלומון
אמא אדמה
עין חרוד - 1937
החברה טובלים - 1924
העמק הוא חלום
En Harod Ihud
Kibbutz Ein Harod Ihud
18960 Israel
Tel: 972-4-6486981972-4-6486981.
Fax: 972-4-6486563

Kibbutz Ein Harod is situated in the Jezreel Valley in the north of Israel, a place rich in biblical sites. The name Ein Harod is identified with the Spring of Harod mentioned in the Book of Judges, where Gideon chose his warriors before doing battle with the Midianites ( Judges 7:1).
Mount Gilboa commands the view to the south. It was on this mountain that King Saul and his sons were killed in a battle with the Philistines (1 Samuel 31). On the eve of the battle Saul visited the soothsayer at Ein Dor (1 Samuel 28:4-7) and must have passed close to where the kibbutz stands today.
When the first Jewish settlers arrived in this part of the Jezreel Valley in 1921, they found a land which had been neglected for hundreds of years. Erosion of the hills had silted up the springs, blocked the natural flow of water and created a huge swamp. The bleak landscape formed by the swamp in the valley and the bare hills to the north and the south, was a far cry from the biblical description of “… a land flowing with milk and honey”. The swamp was a breeding ground for the Anopheles mosquito and the few Arabs who lived in the area suffered terribly from malaria.
Mark Twain came here in 1869; his impressions of the Jezreel Valley are recorded in his book “Innocents Abroad” – “Of all the lands for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince. The hills are barren, the valleys unsightly deserts….it is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land…” Forty years later the British High Commissioner’s report portrays the same scene on the eve of the first Jewish settlement – “When first I saw it in 1920 it was desolation. Four or five small squalid Arab villages, long distances apart from each other, could be seen on the summits of low hills here and there. For the rest, not a tree…….the country was infested with malaria…”
The swamp, the depressing landscape, the disease and hardship were formidable challenges which the young settlers were determined to overcome. The draining of the swamp took precedence over all other work and only when it had been completed were the pioneers able to farm the Jezreel valley.
Today looking across the valley from the same vantage point where Mark Twain stood, the view seen must certainly be one of the most beautiful in Israel. A patchwork of fields, citrus groves, orchards and fish ponds, has replaced the swamplands. This pastoral vista, this idyllic setting, could by no stretch of the imagination have been conjured up by the early pioneers.
Ein Harod is part of this landscape. Above all it is a human landscape. It is the dreary swampland transformed to a verdant panorama by decades of toil and tenacious effort.
The kibbutz has emerged as a multi-generation society, a vibrant community with its social activity and rich cultural life. The Jewish festivals have taken on new meaning in the special kibbutz way of celebrating them, and with the passage of time they have become a tradition.
The kibbutz provides a wide variety of services and facilities enabling a varied cultural and recreational life. Local cultural facilities, two museums (adjacent to the kibbutz) as well as tennis courts, a basketball court and swimming pool, form a very special socio-cultural infra-structure contributing to a high quality of life.
Both young and old are cared for in a way which is certainly unique and unparalleled. The babies and pre-school age children are cared for in special day-care centres situated in the very hub of the kibbutz.
A district comprehensive school incorporates elementary, intermediary and secondary schools in one framework which includes a technical high school. This educational complex is situated close to Ein Harod.
Our senior citizens lead a full and active life. The senior citizens centre provides a wide range of facilities and enables convenient round-the-clock supervision and medical care.
Kibbutz Ein Harod Ihud is situated in a relatively arid part of Israel. An enclave of the Arabian Desert lies only 20 miles to the east and the average annual rainfall is only 16 inches. Nevertheless, the efficient utilization of our water resources including the conservation of the winter rains has made it possible to grow a great variety of crops.
The agricultural branches include a variety of field crops that are marketed and also supplied as fodder for our livestock. Varieties of citrus fruit are grown mainly in the groves close to the foot of Mt. Gilboa. Our fish ponds situated in the Jezreel valley produce large quantities of fresh water fish, mainly carp.
We have a large dairy and our herd is listed among the top yielding herds in the country. Our sheep flock holds the world record for the average annual milk yield per ewe.
All the agricultural branches are profitable; however the total net profit of the non-industrial sector barely manages to sustain and improve the welfare of the community.
The limitations affecting agriculture in Israel, namely- water, arable land and production quotas have caused kibbutz communities to develop industries in order to supplement their income.
The founding fathers wisely sought to complement the plough-share with the lathe. Repair shops developed into fledgling industries and with the passage of time a large metal-works factory evolved. Palbam our stainless steel kitchen-ware factory has diversified to meet changing market demands.
Two score years and more ago a small department was set up to provide services for the storage of liquid gases. Today it is a separate industry called Ricor and manufactures cryogenic and vacuum systems. An increasing volume of Ricor’s products are exported to customers all over the world.
An atmosphere of growth and prosperity pervades this industrial facility.
The industrial sector has further expanded with the formation of subsidiaries. Aero-Magnesium which produces magnesium alloy parts and sub-assemblies to the civil aerospace industry. Meanwhile another industry, Qnergy, a subsidiary of Ricor develops and manufactures highly efficient, reliable and cost-effective Stirling engines for various applications.
We are one of the pioneers in harnessing solar energy, selling electricity to the Israel Electric Company. The electricity is produced by solar panels installed on the roofs of our cowsheds, sheep pens and in industrial facilities.
Although agriculture was and still is our raison d'être, a large part of Ein Harod Ihud's income is derived from our industries.
The kibbutz is a unique community functioning both as a society with all its social, cultural and educational facets and as an economic entity involving agriculture, industry tourism and service facilities.
The general impression gained is that Ein Harod is a well established and active community; nevertheless, the kibbutz faces many challenges. There is a continuous effort to maintain the achievements and to lay the foundations for the future.
The principle of mutuality, the reciprocity of trust and aid, is possibly the most intrinsic quality of the kibbutz.
Collective and cooperative communities are defined by law. The kibbutz in particular constitutes a separate category defined for a number of purposes including the way it functions. The rights and obligations of kibbutz members are clearly described in a codex of statutes and ordinances. Every principle change has to be ratified by an absolute majority vote of the kibbutz members. There is limited leeway permitted with regard to the extent of the principle changes instituted.
The founding fathers built their society without a blue-print or manifesto. The collective nature of the kibbutz was self-evident and required no precise legal definition. The kibbutz statutory compilation of ordinances was printed many decades after the first tentative collective community was established at Degania near the Sea of Galilee. Initially the kibbutz codex of statutes and ordinances was required by law, however it is used more and more by the kibbutz itself to demarcate its boundaries and define the reciprocal relationship between the community and its members.
Change has always been an intrinsic part of the kibbutz way of life.
Admittedly, most of the changes that took place in the past were minor adaptations; nevertheless, they established the principle of change within the confines of the community’s collective nature.
Various degrees of privatization have been implemented in many of the kibbutz communities. It's difficult to predict how kibbutz Ein Harod Ihud will change in the future. Notwithstanding an element of uncertainty, we look back on the past with pride and face the future with confidence.

For further details, please contact: benik@en-harod.org.