geographical history

Nevoraya, a Jewish village that existed until the Arab-Muslim Period / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

(Translated to English by Dafna O'neill)
The village Nevoraya was located in the Upper Galilee, approximately 4 kilometres North-East of Safed. It stood by a spring that flowed from a cave, in which were carved troughs for washing clothes and watering sheep. The remains of Nevoraya were discovered in the Birya forest. The site was excavated in 1905 and 1981/82.

THE FIRST TEMPLE PERIOD (10th century BCE – 586 BCE)
The excavations uncovered remains from the Iron Age, indicating that the village was established during the First Temple Period.



Part Two

THE OTTOMAN PERIOD (1516 – 1918)

At the beginning of the Ottoman period Acre was a small and poor town. The Ottomans did not continue its reconstruction. Acre’s Jewish community was small, its members engaged in trade. At the middle of the 16th century they served as middlemen between the Galilean Jews and Europe, trading with Syria and Jerusalem. In his book, The Land of Israel and Its Settlement, Yitzhak ben Zvi brings the story of the Jewish merchant, Yeshayah HaCohen, who was harassed by the governor of Acre until he was forced to leave the city.



Jews lived in Acre continuously from the 3rd century BCE until massacred by the Byzantines in the 7th century CE. Jews returned to Acre in the 10th or 11th century, remaining there until its conquest and destruction by the Mamluk in the 13th century. Jews lived in Acre continuously from the 14th century until 1936. Jews returned to Acre since 1948.

Migdal Was A Jewish Town Up to the 7th Century CE/ DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Translated to english by Dafna O'Neill

Present-day Midgal is situated west of the Lake of Galilee, on the road leading south to Tiberias. Its population numbers approximately 1500 people.

During the Second Temple Period there were many Jewish towns and villages along the shores of the Lake of Galilee. Fishing and farming were the main occupations.

The Persian Perios (538 – 333 BCE)

Today's Yafa was An Israeli/Jewish Town for About 2,000 Years / Dr.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Note:the article was translated to English by Dafna O'Neill
Yaffa, formerly the Jewish Yafia, is today an Arabic village in the lower Glilee, south-west of Nazareth, with a population of about 16,600. Nowadays the village is included in the municipality of Nazareth. Two-thirds of its population are Muslim, the rest Christian.
The Hebrew name Yafia means a place of magnificence. This was also the name of the king of Lakhish in Joshua’s time (the Book of Joshua, chapter 10, verse 3).

Deir Hanna Was the Jewish Kfar Hanun(or Kfar Yohanna) / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Deir Hanna is situated in the Sakhnin Valley in the lower Galilee, close to Sakhnin and Arabbe. Nowadays it is a large Arabic village with about 9,100 residents, 90% of whom are Muslim and the rest Christian. Bedouins have also settled in it.
The name Deir Hanna has several origins:
After Hanna, the commander of the Crusader force that conquered the village.
Deir – meaning ‘monastery’ – and Hanna, the name of a Christian saint;
Kfar Hanun, or Kfar Yohanna – the Jewish village that existed on this site during the period of the Mishna and Talmud.

Arabic Fassouta Was Once A Jewish Village /DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

The Arabic village of Fassouta is located in the western Galilee, North-East of Ma’alot-Tarshiha, about two kilometres from the Lebanese border. Most of its 3000 residents are Greek-Orthodox Christians. The village was founded during the Ottoman period, about 150 years ago, at the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the 19th century, by immigrants who, most likely, came from Lebanon.

Fassouta’s ancient Hebrew name was Mafshata.

Umm El Fahem Denies the Jews the Right to a National State / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak and DR.Shaul Bartal

Umm El Fahem of our time is an Israeli Arab city located in the Valley of Arra, east of the Hadera-Afula road. It gained the status of a city in 1985, and its 43,000 Muslim residents are members of four clans: Agabriya, Jabrin, Mahajna, and Mahamid.

“Umm El Fahem” means “mother of coal”. This name indicates the occupation of the city’s residents at the time of its foundation.

Dalton Was Jewish in the Past and is Now Jewish Again / Dr.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Dalton is located in the Upper Galilee not far from Safed. Nowadays it is a cooperative settlement that was established in 1950 by Jewish immigrants from Tripoli, Libya. The settlement was built on the ruins of the Arabic village El Dalata (the Arabic translation of the Hebrew Dalton), which itself had been built on the ruins of the Jewish village Dalton. The settlement is famous for its winery and its population numbers 750.

The Roman & Byzantine Periods (70CE – 640CE)

Meyron was Jewish until the 12th Century and resettled from the 18th / DR.Rivka Lissak

Meyron (ancient Marrom) is situated at the foot of Mt Meyron on the Acre-Saffed road. A cooperative settlement was established not far from ancient Meyron in 1949 by Jewish Hungarian and Polish members of the “Hapoel Hamizrahi” organisation. The settlers lived on the ancient site for the first three years before moving to the present location in 1952. They worked in forestry and stone clearing. Meyron has a population of 500 to 750 people, a religious high school and a Yeshiva.

Biriya was a Jewish Village and is Resettled Today / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Biriya today is now a communial settlement, with about 600 residents.

The First Temple Period (1000 BCE – 587 BCE)

The is no information about an Israeli settlement on the Biriya site during the First Temple Period. But, an ancient tomb was found on the site, and according to an old tradition this is the tomb of Beniahu Ben Yehoyada, chief stuff of King David.

The Second Temple, the Roman and the Byzantine Periods (538 BCE – 640 CE)

Akbara, the Arabic Village was a Jewish town until the 11th Century / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Akbara was until recently an Arab village in the upper-eastern Galilee, not far from Safed. About 1,000 people lived in the village. However, in 1982 the village was annexed to Safed and became a city neighborhood.

The First Temple Period (1,000 – 587BCE)

Akbara was an Israeli village. Prof.Benyamin Mazar found the name of Akbara on Tiglath Pilesser the 3rd monument from 732 BCE. The

Safed's Jewish Population: From the First Temple to Modern Times / DR.R.S.Lissak

Safed was a Jewish city until the Crusaders period when Christians settled in Safed. Muslims began to settle in the 13th century by invitation of the Mamelukes who conquered the country from the Crusaders around 1260 CE. Jews lived in Safed most of the time between around 1000 BCE and today.

Today Safed is a Jewish city numbering about 28,600 residents. Since the establishment of the State of Israel Safed’s Jewish community has been enlarged by Jewish immigrants from various countries.

The Village Sha'ab was Jewish Sha'av until the 11th Century / DR.R.S.Lissak

The village Sha’ab is situated in the Lower Galilee, near the Segev region, and is now an Arabic settlement whose 6,000 residents are mostly Muslim. There are two churches and a mosque in Sha’ab. The village is located where a Jewish town, called Sha-av, existed until the 11th century.

The site has been continuously occupied since an undated stage during the Bronze Age (3000BCE – 1200 BCE). Since Sha-av is not mentioned in Egyptian sources nor in the Old Testament, it is plausible that it was established towards the late Bronze Age (1550BCE – 1200BCE), although its population changed

The Jewish Village Ma'ariya has become the Mostly Druze Village Marar / DR.R.S.Lissak

The village Ma'ariya was established, according to archaeologists during the 4th century BCE, and has been continually populated ever since.

The village Marar is situated in the Lower Galilee, about 4 KM south of the Hananya junction. The village is home to about 19,000 residents: 58% are Druze, who are the village’s oldest inhabitants. 22% are Christians and 20% are Muslims. The village population includes also Bedouins who have pitched their tents near Marar, and have recently, since the year 2000, begun building large houses on the outskirts of the village.

Eilaboun was Jewish Eylabu until the 12th century / DR.R.S,Lissak

Eilaboun is an Arabic village in the Lower Galilee, east of the valley of Netofa. The village has a population of about 4,600, mostly Christian with a Muslim minority. The Muslims are Bedouins who settled in the village in the 1980's.

Second Temple Period (538 BCE – 70 CE)

Eylabu (the Hebrew name of Eilaboun) was founded some time during the Second Temple period. Its name originates from Ein (spring) Lavon.

The Roman & Byznatine Periods (70 CE – 640 CE)

Sakhnin was a Jewish Town until the 7th Century CE / DR.R.S.Lissak

The Arabic Sakhnin was Jewish Sakhni from Biblical times, until the end of the Byzantine period (about 1000 BCE – 628 CE).

Present day Sakhnin is an Arabic city, situated in the Lower Galilee, about 6 kilometres south of the city Carmiel, and has a population of about 25,000. Sakhnin has recently become famous for its soccer club. Sakhnin is also famous for the violent riots in March 1976 and 0ctober 2000.

Arabbe was the Jewish Town Arav until the 7th Century / DR.R.S.Lissak

Nowadays Arabbe is an Arabic town, situated in the centre of the Lower Galilee, 6 kilometres south of Carmiel. It is situated on the site of the Jewish town Arav. About 21,100 people live in Arabbe, most of them are Muslims.

The name Arabbe is the Arabic translation of the Hebrew Arav, but according to the town's residents the meaning of name in Arabic is "situated on a hill".

The First Temple Period (1,000 – 587 BCE)

Eyn Zeytoun was Jewish Eyn Zeytim until the 17th Century / DR.R.S.Lissak

Eyn Zeytoun was Jewish Eyn Zeytim until the 17th Century / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

The ancient site of Jewish Eyn Zeytim is located west of Safed, not far from the ruins of Arabic Eyn Zeytoun. Jewish occupancy in Eyn Zeytim continued unbroken from the time of the Mishna and Talmud to the 17th or 18th century. It is not clear, however, at what date it was established nor at what date was it abandoned, and why. Nowadays it is used as a barracks of the Israeli Defense Forces.

The Roman Period (70 CE – 324 CE)

Tzipori was a Jewish City for about 2,000 Years / DR.R.S.Lissak

Tzipori was a Jewish city from the 12th century BCE until the 5th century CE, but a Jewish community survived until the 11th century within the Christian majority. Jews lived in Tzipory around 2000 years. The Arabic village Sefuryia was established in the 16th century.

Tzipori is today an Israeli village. It was established in 1949 by Jewish immigrants from Bulgaria and Turkey. Latter, they were replaced by Jews from Romania.

The Israeli Occupation of Canaan (about 1200 BCE)

Kfar Manda was Jewish Kfar Mandi until the 14th Century / DR.R.S.Lissak

Today, Kfar Manda is an Arabic village, situated at the foot of Mount Etzmon, north of the Bet Netofa reservoir in the Lower Galilee. The village's population, as of 2008, is 17,000. Most of the population is Muslim.

There are various explanations of the name’s origins:
An Arabic tradition holds that the name was derived from Midyan, after Jethro who lived in the village 2000 years ago, and that his daughter Zipora, Moses’s wife, is buried there (this is historically impossible).

Bar'am was a Jewish Village until the 13th Century and Now Again / DR.R.S.Lissak

Close to modern day Kibbutz Bar’am are the remains of a Christian- Maronite village that was evacuated in 1948. That village was situated on the ruins of the Jewish village Bar'am, of the Second Temple period.

Kfar Manda was Jewish Kfar Mandi until the 14th Century / DR.R.S.Lissak

kfar Manda was Jewish Kfar Mandi until the 14th Century/ DR.R.S.Lissak

Today, Kfar Manda is an Arabic village, situated at the foot of Mount Etzmon, north of the Bet Netofa reservoir in the Lower Galilee. The village's population, as of 2008, is 17,000. Most of the population is Muslim.

There are various explanations of the name’s origins:
An Arabic tradition holds that the name was derived from Midyan, after Jethro who lived in the village 2000 years ago, and that his daughter Zipora, Moses’s wife, is buried there (this is historically impossible).

corazim was a Jewish Town and was Resettled Twice since than / DR.R.S.Lissak

Nowadays, Corazim is a communal settlement established in 1990-1991 as a union between the village Corazim (established 1982, about 2 KM east of the ruins of ancient Corazim) and the communal settlement Ma’of (established 1983). The unified village is home to 370 residents.

Its name Corazim is thought to be derived from the word “Caroz”, a herald. It is also called by its Aramaic name Corazin. In the New Testament it is mentioned as Corazin, the town whose inhabitants Christ tried to convert to his teachings and cursed when they refused.

Kfar Yassif was formerly a Jewish village / DR.R.S.Lissak

Kfar Yassif was formerly a Jewish Village and Sephardic Jews lived there from the 16th century until 1870.

Kfar Yassif today is a large Arabic village in the Western Galilee, east of Acre. Its population of 9100 is comprised of 48% Christians, 48% Muslims, and the rest are Druze. There are 5 churches in the village, 2 mosques, and a holy Druze Maqam, El Khader.

Shfar'am was Jewish in the Past and Jews lived There until 1920 / DR.R.S.Lissak

The Galilean City, Shafar‘am, was formerly a Jewish town, with some Jewish families still living there at the beginning of the 20th century. The last Jew left in 1920.

Today, Shfar’am is an Arabic city in the Lower Galilee. Its population numbers about 33,500 residents, 45% Christian, 35% Muslim, and 20% Druze.

Al Jish, Gush Halav was a Jewish village for about 1,'700 years / DR.R.S.Lissak

Today, Gesh is a Christian- Maronite village with a Greek Orthodox minority, with a few Muslim residents. The Maronite Christians arrived in Israel in the 18th century and settled in Gush Halav and Bir’am. At that time, there were still Jewish towns and villages in the area, such as Meyron, Safsufa, Bir’am, Sasa, and others. Jews lived in Gesh continuosly until about the middle of the 19th century .

Peqiin,Galilee,Jewish Presence in the village from the Second Temple to Modern Day/ DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Margalit Zeynatti is the last remnant of the original inhabitants of the Jewish village of Peqiin; During the British Mandate period there were still 52 Jews in the village.

The village Peqiin is situated in the upper Galilee. It was mentioned by its ancient name, Tekoa, in the Talmud. In the book Hazohar (the book of Kabbalah), it was called Peqiin, and the Arabs translated it into Al-Buquiya.The meaning of the name is: a valley between mountains.

Modern Alma was a Jewish Town Until the 17th Century/DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

The Jewish village (Moshav) Alma is located today on the site of a Jewish town that existed from the 1st century CE until the 17th century. The Arabic village Alma, was established in the 19th century and existed until 1948.

Arabic Alma, which was destroyed during Israel’s War of Independence, had been established by refugees from Algiers who fled the French occupation during the 19th century and had been given permission by the Ottoman Sultan to settle in the Land of Israel.

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