|Founded by||Russian 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.
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, where it absorbed groups from the Poale Zion movement and Hechalutz. 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.
During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Afikim was subjected to frequent shelling by Syrian and Iraqi forces, 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. 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.
Afikim grows bananas, date palms, avocados, olives, subtropical flora, and grains. It also engages in aquaculture and dairy farming. The kibbutz has 400 cows. It operates Afimilk, a dairy equipment company, and Afikim Electric Vehicles, a producer of electric vehicles. In the 1980s, Afikim went through an economic crisis and was partially privatized.
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. 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.
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.
Awards and recognition
In 2009, Assaf Inbari, a writer who grew up on the kibbutz, published Home, a novel based on the history of Afikim. It was awarded the 2010 Israel Book Publishers Association's Platinum Prize and was on the shortlist of finalists for the Sapir Prize for Literature.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Afikim.|
- "Population in the Localities 2018" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
- The secret of Israel's Milky Way
- Builders and Dreamers: Habonim Labor Zionist Youth in North America
- Yisrael Hofesh: Israel's oldest kibbutz member dies at 107
- Jewish National Fund (1949). Jewish Villages in Israel. Jerusalem: Hamadpis Liphshitz Press. p. 191.
- The Israeli Defence Forces and the Foundation of Israel: Utopia in Uniform. Ze'ev Drory
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- Israel's kibbutz movement comeback
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- Chávez’s Legacy: The Transformation from Democracy to a Mafia State, Ari Chaplin
- "Afikim tapped to set up giant dairy in Vietnam". Haaretz.com. 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2013-01-17.
- Vietnamese commercial milking venture nears completion
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- Afikim wins German design award