It took almost 10 month into our stay in Israel, during this dam
Corona year, before we could visit David's beloved cousins in the kibbutz.
As was predicted, after 4 cycles of very restrictive lock-downs and closures, even
that of the airports, which coincided with the 4th upcoming Israeli elections (March 23rd) the Gov, relaxed edicts related to limitations on movements, and assemble.
So when the "green light" was signaled off from the Kibbutz, we were delighted to venture out from Tel-Aviv for the over-due family encounter, and to tour in the surrounding.
Located between Wadi Ara and the Carmel Range, toward Upper Yokneam i the Northern geographical region of Menashe Heights, its surrounding is a magnet to visitors.
Listed by UNESCO as a biosphere, Ramat Menashe is, now, dotted by beautiful pastoral vistas of planted forests, farm land, fields, 0rchards, springs, streams, villages , kibitzes and most beautiful open spaces.
The kibbutz of about 500 inhabitants now, was established in 1945, on the rocky barren hills by a nucleolus of GermanHaBonim members.and was originally named "Even Itzhak" (Itzhak Stone) a tribute to the South African philanthropist Yitzhak /Issac Ochberg (1879–1938) who privately bought and donated the land, on which the kibbutz was established.
Founding a kibbutz
Part of the current land, (14,500 Dunam total) had originally belonged to the neighboring Palestinian village of Hub'eza, which became depopulated in 1948. The kibbutz members refused to cooperate with the Etzel depopulation activities (following the
Dir Yasin events) and for-warned the Arab villagers,just before the military forces arrived, so most escaped and never returned.
Gal'ed (Memorial) is named in memory of the HaBonim members killed in World War II.
The First tents
Among its founders, were the couple Giora and Senetta Yoseftal, both MP’s and ministers, members of later, the Knesset.
So was David's uncle - Menachm a founder, also a German born, an ordained Rabbi, a mathematician and an esteemed educator who directed as a principle of the regional high-school for kibbutz children, in the district.
Menachem’s younger brother Zeev also left Germany , at the age of 14, just before starting high school . Zeev was one of the founders of Kibutz Matsuba in the Galilee and a goat herder of the Kibutz . While tending the goats he self-education and 30 years later was a renowned Professor of Ecology , teaching in the Technion and UC Berkeley .
This affinity to Berkeley led David to accept a job in Berkeley CA 50 years later .
His children -David cousins, had greatly contributed to the kibbutz industrialization in their own merit , One -Yoval, added several patents and inventions to the Plastic Netwarp Factory "Tama in collaboration with the neighboring Mishmar Haenak-Kibutz.
Tama is a highly profitable privately held company with sales of about $800M , with a value of several billion dollars , but the kibbutz members, who each have a virtual share in TAMA worth $20M live well , but modestly.
While the other -Ami founded and contributed to the Veterinary Diagnostic enterprise of "BioGal". In addition, the kibbutz traditional economy still strive on Beef growth for meat and dairy and on traditional farming..
The father of Menachem and Zeev and grandfather to David and cousins ,was the publisher of the first Hebrew weekly pictured magazine, called "Hachaim Halalu" (Those Lives) , modeled after “Life” magazine,
Menachem, Zeev are both, buried in a family plot in a pine grove, in the Kibutz ..
David spent, many vacations in the kibbutz, in his youth chasing after his elder cousins, riding the tractor ,and milking the cows, So he bears very strong sentiments to the place his father's brother chose to reside, shape, and leave a mark in.
It is the best season to visit the kibbutz as all its surroundings get covered with an amazing colorful tapestry of spring flower bloom., and carpets of green plume.
Throughout our walk along the Kibbutz paths and the external trails, the following was
There are archeological sites and prehistorical findings in the area, which were excavated by the amateur kibbutz member Micael Meir. His private collection is now stored since he died in 1999, at the small Kibbutz museum
The "Raz reservoir" and Raz stream set in the kibbutz vicinity were full of water.
And the popular attraction to visitors Cyclamen Hill, before the entrance to the kibbutz, is well worth the visit.
The collective Dinning Hall, which was closed for dining in public, all throughout the past year, to all kibbutz members, opened just the previous day, so we lucked out and had a great lunch, sitting with the family, along with other kibbutz members, at the recently opened and remodeled hall.
A segregated fenced off, dinning area, with separate food service station, was designated to the younger un-vaccinated children.
At the porch
And the Dog resides in peace with the Cat
And more flowers