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Sha'ar HaAmakim
Sha'ar HaAmakim in 2008
Sha'ar HaAmakim in 2008
Sha'ar HaAmakim is located in Haifa region of Israel
Sha'ar HaAmakim
Sha'ar HaAmakim
Coordinates: 32°43′23″N 35°6′48″E / 32.72306°N 35.11333°E / 32.72306; 35.11333Coordinates: 32°43′23″N 35°6′48″E / 32.72306°N 35.11333°E / 32.72306; 35.11333
Grid position 160/236 PAL
District Haifa
Council Zevulun Regional Council
Affiliation Kibbutz Movement
Founded 1935
Founded by Romanian and Yugoslavian immigrants
Population (2016)[1] 712

Sha'ar HaAmakim (Hebrew: שַׁעַר הַעֲמָקִים‬, lit. Gate of the Valleys) is a kibbutz in northern Israel associated with the Hashomer Hatzair movement founded in 1935. Located near Kiryat Tiv'on, it falls under the jurisdiction of Zevulun Regional Council. In 2016 it had a population of 712.[1]



Hellenistic era site near the kibbutz

Human habitation in the area dates at least as far back as the Hellenistic period.[2]

Crusader era[edit]

In 1283, during the hudna ("truce") between the Crusaders based in Acre and the Mamluk sultan al-Mansur Qalawun, this location was named el Harathiyah and was described as part of the domain of the Crusaders.[3]

Ottoman era[edit]

During the Ottoman era, a Muslim village at the site was called el Hâritheh.[4] The village appeared as El Harti on the map of Pierre Jacotin compiled in 1799.[5] In 1859, the population was recorded as 120 with tillable land of 12 feddans.[6] In 1875, Victor Guérin reported about 40 houses.[7] In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described it as an adobe hamlet.[6]

A population list from about 1887 showed that Harithiyeh had about 120 inhabitants; all Muslims.[8]

British Mandate era[edit]

Horse-drawn and mechanical vehicles at the kibbutz' flour mill in the 1950s

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, the Al Zubaidat, who cultivated the Hartieh land, numbered 363, all Muslims.[9]

In 1925 a Zionist organisation purchased 50 feddans in Hartieh from the Sursock family of Beirut. At the time, there were 60 families living there.[10] In the 1931 census, the Arab Zubeidat was counted under the Shefa-'Amr suburbs.[11]

From 1931, and lasting several years, the Jewish Agency struggled to evict the Arab El Zubeidat, who were tenant farmers at Hartiya.[12][13][14][15] According to Avneri, Hartiya land was to become Sha'ar HaAmakim.[12] According to the Department of Statistics, however, Sha'ar HaAmakim had previously been part of Sheikh Bureik.[16][17]

Kibbutz Sha'ar HaAmakim was founded in 1935 by immigrants from Romania and Yugoslavia. Its name was derived from the nearby confluence of the Jezreel and Zevulun valleys.[18] By 1945 it had a population of 360, all Jews.[16][17]

State of Israel[edit]

Sha'ar HaAmakim hosted volunteers from around the world, including France and the United States, who worked at the kibbutz and participated in cultural exchanges.[19] In the 1960s, there were up to 100 volunteers each year.[20] Bernie Sanders, who later became a U.S. Senator, worked at the kibbutz for several months in 1963.[21][20]


According to a 2016 report, the kibbutz derives most of its income from its solar water heater factory. It also makes money from agriculture, including dairy farming.[19] For over five decades, the kibbutz has produced and processed sunflower seeds which it markets under its name both in Israel and for export.[22] It also has a fish pond and orchards producing apples, peaches, and pears.[20]


  1. ^ a b "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved September 26, 2017. 
  2. ^ Segal, Arthur; Młynarczyk, Jolanta; Burdajewicz, Mariusz; Bar-Oz, Guy (2009). Excavations of the Hellenistic site in Kibbutz Sha'ar-Ha'Amakim. Haifa: Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa. ISBN 9789659041879. 
  3. ^ Barag, 1979, p. 204
  4. ^ ”the ploughed land”, Palmer, 1881, p. 109
  5. ^ Karmon, 1960, p. 163
  6. ^ a b Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 270
  7. ^ Guérin, 1880, pp. 399-400
  8. ^ Schumacher, 1888, p. 175
  9. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Haifa, p. 34
  10. ^ List of villages sold by Sursocks and their partners to the Zionists since British occupation of Palestine Evidence to the Shaw Commission, 1930
  11. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 90.
  12. ^ a b Avneri, 1984, pp. 156-7
  13. ^ 26 February 1935, House of Commons
  14. ^ PALESTINE. 24 March 1936, House of Commons
  15. ^ Bernie Sanders Stint at 'Stalinist' Kibbutz Draws Red-Baiting From Right, Nathan Guttman, February 5, 2016 The Forward
  16. ^ a b Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 15
  17. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 49
  18. ^ History Sha'ar HaAmakim Seeds
  19. ^ a b Erlanger, Steven (February 5, 2016). "Bernie Sanders's Kibbutz Found. Surprise: It's Socialist". The New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2016. 
  20. ^ a b c Sales, Ben (February 8, 2016). "50 years on, Bernie Sanders still champions values of his Israeli kibbutz". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved February 8, 2016. 
  21. ^ Aderet, Ofer (4 February 2016). "Mystery Solved? Haaretz Archive Reveals Which Kibbutz Bernie Sanders Volunteered On". Haaretz. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  22. ^ "Shaar Haamakim Seeds". Sha'ar Ha'amakim Seeds, Ltd. Retrieved February 6, 2016. 


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