Monday, June 18, 2012

Ultra-Orthodox Jews also Established Agricultural Communities in the Holy Land -- Kfar Chassidim

The blacksmith of Kfar Chassidim and former
resident of a Polish shtetl.  (1935)
Many of the kibbutz and moshav agricultural communities established in Palestine in the early 1900s were based on socialist ideals.  A large number of the new settlers discarded the old religious traditions of their parents and ancestors.

The fields of Kfar Chassidim, (c. 1935)
 a community founded 10 years earlier

The ark in the synagogue

Exterior of the synagogue
But the Zionist enterprise and the promise to return to the "holy land" also inspired ultra-Orthodox Jews in Poland to establish a farming community in Israel's north called Kfar Chassidim, or "village of the devout."

Click on photos to enlarge.  Click on caption to see original photo

The blacksmith in his shop
The settlers, many followers of the Kuznetz chassidic dynasty of Poland, first organized in 1922 while still in Poland.  They purchased the land in Palestine and established Kfar Chassidim in 1924.  But the land was swampland, and the community was hard hit by malaria and a lack of agricultural training. 

The Jewish National Fund aided the community in drying the swamps, paid off their debts and sent agricultural experts to train the new farmers.

Today, the community has approximately 600 residents.

1 comment:

  1. It's hard to imagine these people building the kinds of industry without the advent of technology we have now. Imagine crafting furniture, tools and kit without indexers, instructions that are easily found from the web, and other architectural tools.