From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Afikim is located in Northeast Israel
Coordinates: 32°40′46.56″N 35°34′40.08″E / 32.6796000°N 35.5778000°E / 32.6796000; 35.5778000Coordinates: 32°40′46.56″N 35°34′40.08″E / 32.6796000°N 35.5778000°E / 32.6796000; 35.5778000
RegionJordan Valley
AffiliationKibbutz Movement
Founded byRussian members of Hashomer Hatzair

Afikim (Hebrew: אֲפִיקִים) is an Israeli kibbutz affiliated with the Kibbutz Movement located in the Jordan Valley three kilometers from the Sea of Galilee. It is within the jurisdiction of the Emek HaYarden Regional Council. In 2018 it had a population of 1,494.[1]


The name Afikim means "riverbeds", and refers to the Jordan River and its tributary, the Yarmuk River.


Russian Jews affiliated with the Hashomer Hatzair movement organised in 1924 and settled in the area of Wazia in the Upper Galilee. In 1932 the group moved to its current location on a tract of land belonging to Degania Bet,[2] where it absorbed groups from the Poale Zion movement and Hechalutz.[3] Yisrael Hofesh, one of the founders of the kibbutz, who died in 2011 at the age of 107, helped to establish the banana industry and worked in the plywood factory run by the kibbutz.[4]

Afikim, 1948. Photograph from Palmach archive

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Afikim was subjected to frequent shelling by Syrian and Iraqi forces,[5] and was a stronghold of Palmach activity. Afterwards it was a center for agricultural training for IDF soldiers who planned to join kibbutzim after demobilization.[6] During the split of the Kibbutz Meuhad movement, Afikim, unlike many other kibbutzim, did not split up into two villages. Rather it joined the Mapai-affiliated faction which went on to found the Ihud Kibbutzim. In 1977, Afikim hosted 66 refugees from Vietnam. In 2011, the kibbutz accepted 100 new members.[7]

Kibbutz children in the children's house, 1960s


Afikim dairy

Afikim grows bananas, date palms, avocados, olives, subtropical flora, and grains. It also engages in aquaculture and dairy farming.[8] The kibbutz has 400 cows. It operates Afimilk, a dairy equipment company, and Afikim Electric Vehicles,[9] a producer of electric vehicles. In the 1980s, Afikim went through an economic crisis and was partially privatized.[10]

In 2010, Afikim announced its partnership in a half-billion-dollar milk production project in Vietnam. The project involved establishing a dairy operation of 30,000 cows to supply 500,000 liters of milk a day, about 40% of Vietnam's present milk consumption. Afikim was responsible for all stages of the enterprise, including breeding and preparing land for crops used as feed.[11] In addition to a demonstration farm with 174 cows established for educational purposes, a commercial milk farm with 20,000 cows, the TH Milk facility, was built in stages by 2015. The milk output per cow is 9,300 liters of milk annually despite tropical conditions.[12]


The first electronic milk meter, which measures how many liters of milk a cow has produced, was invented at Afikim. Other inventions include the pedometer, which counts the number of steps a cow takes, indicating the right time for insemination; AfiFarm, a milking and dairy herd management software program; AfiAct, a fertility detection system; and AfiLab, a device that analyses the components of the milk and detects bacteria.[7]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2009, Assaf Inbari, a writer who grew up on the kibbutz, published Home, a novel based on the history of Afikim.[13] It was awarded the 2010 Israel Book Publishers Association's Platinum Prize[14] and was on the shortlist of finalists for the Sapir Prize for Literature.[15]

In 2011, Afikim Electric Vehicles' Breeze-S scooter won Germany's Red Dot design award in the life science and medicine category.[16]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Population in the Localities 2018" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  2. ^ The secret of Israel's Milky Way
  3. ^ Builders and Dreamers: Habonim Labor Zionist Youth in North America
  4. ^ Yisrael Hofesh: Israel's oldest kibbutz member dies at 107
  5. ^ Jewish National Fund (1949). Jewish Villages in Israel. Jerusalem: Hamadpis Liphshitz Press. p. 191.
  6. ^ The Israeli Defence Forces and the Foundation of Israel: Utopia in Uniform. Ze'ev Drory
  7. ^ a b Ben, Coby (2011-06-17). "The secret of Israel's Milky Way". Retrieved 2013-01-17.
  8. ^ Israel's kibbutz movement comeback
  9. ^ "Afikim Mobility scooters". Retrieved 2013-01-17.
  10. ^ Chávez’s Legacy: The Transformation from Democracy to a Mafia State, Ari Chaplin
  11. ^ "Afikim tapped to set up giant dairy in Vietnam". 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2013-01-17.
  12. ^ Vietnamese commercial milking venture nears completion
  13. ^ Shula Keshet, "Producing the (Eretz-) Israeli Place: On the Documentary Urge in Kibbutz Literature" (2011), Vol. 52, Hebrew Studies, pp. 235-58 (retrieved 17 November 2012).
  14. ^ Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature, "Assaf Inbari"[permanent dead link] (retrieved 17 November 2012).
  15. ^ Greer Fay Cashman (25 March 2011), "Yoram Kaniuk's War of Independence memoir wins Sapir Prize", The Jerusalem Post (retrieved 17 November 2012).
  16. ^ Afikim wins German design award

Further reading[edit]