Kfar Tavor

Kfar Tavor
  • כְּפַר תַּבוֹר
  • كفر تافور

Watchmen's Square in Kfar Tavor

Kfar Tavor
Coordinates: 32°41′13″N 35°25′15″E / 32.68694°N 35.42083°E / 32.68694; 35.42083Coordinates: 32°41′13″N 35°25′15″E / 32.68694°N 35.42083°E / 32.68694; 35.42083
Grid position 189/232 PAL
District Northern
Founded 1901
  Type Local council (from 1949)
  Head of Municipality Yosef Dola
  Total 1,231 dunams (1.231 km2 or 304 acres)
Population (2015)[1]
  Total 3,796

Kfar Tavor (Hebrew: כְּפַר תַּבוֹר, Arabic: كفر تافور) is a village in the Lower Galilee region of Northern Israel, at the foot of Mount Tabor. Founded in 1901, it was awarded local council status in 1949. In 2015 it had a population of 3,796.


Ceramics from the Byzantine era have been found here.[2]

Ottoman era

In the Ottoman era was here a village called Mes'ha.[3] In 1596 the village appeared under the name of "Masha" in the tax registers as part of the nahiya (subdistrict) of Tabariyya in the Sanjak (district) of Safad. It was noted as "hali"(=empty), but a fixed tax-rate of 25% on agricultural product was paid. These products included wheat, barley and cotton; the taxes totalled 3,300 akçe.[4] In 1799 it appeared as Mechi on the map Pierre Jacotin compiled that year.[5]

In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described "Meshah" village with a population of 100 Muslims, with houses chiefly of basalt stone, and a few of adobe and stone. The village was situated on an arable plain, without trees. The water supply was from a cistern in the village.[6]

Kfar Tavor was established in 1901 by pioneers of the First Aliya under the auspices of the Jewish Colonization Association.[7] Twenty-eight farmers settled in the area with the assistance of the philanthropist Baron Edmond de Rothschild. The new settlement was originally known as Mes'ha, the name of the nearby Arab village. It was renamed in 1903 at the urging of Zionist leader Menachem Ussishkin who visited the site and was surprised to find it had no Hebrew name.[8] At first, there was some debate over whether to use the term kfar ("village"), which some residents thought would bode badly for future growth. Ussishkin responded that he had visited the German town of Düsseldorf, which had also originated as a Dorf, or village, but was now a full-fledged city. The Rothschild administration determined that the site was ideal for cultivating grapes. The vineyards of Kfar Tavor became a supplier of grapes to the country's wineries.

British Mandate era

Kfar Tavor History Museum

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Mesha (Kufr Tabur) had a population of 274; all Jews.[9]

In 1945 Kfar Tavor had 230 inhabitants, all Jews. Mas-ha was noted as an alternative name.[10][11]


In the Hameyasdim neighborhood, the core of the village, there is a museum and other sites, including the HaShomer house, the first school and teacher's house (now a library) and a synagogue that was built in 1937. Another school, built in 1911, now serves as the Shenkar Tzfira Music Center. The main street of the neighborhood has houses left from the village's early days, as well as parts of the wall that surrounded it.[8]

Notable residents

Major General Yigal Allon (1948–49)


  1. "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  2. Dauphin, 1998, p. 730
  3. "The place of unction", according to Palmer, 1881, p. 131
  4. Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 187
  5. Karmon, 1960, p. 167
  6. Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 361
  7. Ben-Porat, Amir (1991). "Immigration, proletarianization, and deproletarianization A case study of the Jewish working class in Palestine, 1882–1914". Theory and Society (20): 244.
  8. 1 2 http://www.hooha.co.il/place_english.htm
  9. Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Tiberias, p. 39
  10. Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 8
  11. Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 62


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