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Amir, Israel


Amir, Israel


Coordinates: 33°10′42.24″N 35°37′14.88″E / 33.1784000°N 35.6208000°E / 33.1784000; 35.6208000Coordinates: 33°10′42.24″N 35°37′14.88″E / 33.1784000°N 35.6208000°E / 33.1784000; 35.6208000

Council Upper Galilee
Region Finger of the Galilee
Affiliation Kibbutz Movement
Founded 29 October 1939
Founded by Lithuanian and Polish immigrants
Population (2011) 536[1]

Amir (Hebrew: עָמִיר, lit. Sheaf) is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located in the Finger of the Galilee near Kiryat Shmona, it falls under the jurisdiction of Upper Galilee Regional Council. In 2011 it had a population of 536.[1] The kibbutz is on the eastern bank of the Jordan River in the Hula Valley, and has views of snow-topped Mount Hermon to the northeast, and the Ramat Naftali to the west.

The village was established on 29 October 1939 on land, purchased by the Jewish National Fund from the Arab village of Khiyam al-Walid. It was the last of the tower and stockade settlements, and the only one to be established during World War II.[2] Its founders were immigrants from Lithuania and Poland, later joined by German and Yugoslav settlers.[3] Initially they suffered from outbreaks of malaria, but managed to establish an intensively cultivated farm. According to a 1949 report from the Jewish National Fund, a clinic was opened at Amir for the treatment of malaria and eye diseases by a professor from Hebrew University. Until the beginning of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war treatment there for neighboring Arab villagers was free. [3]

A photo in the June 1940 edition of Life Magazine shows a kibbutz member plowing the heavy soil with a primitive plow pulled by two water buffalo. Due to its location, the kibbutz was affected by floods every winter, and in 1942 was moved to its present location on land bought from another Arab village, al-Dawwara.

Several important women artists are associated with Kibbutz Amir. Israeli jewelry artist Deganit Stern Schocken was born at Kibbutz Amir in 1947; she now teaches and works in Hadera. Israeli ceramicist, designer and filmmaker Shlomit Bauman was born at Kibbutz Amir in 1962; she now lives and works in Jaffa. American photographer Annie Leibovitz worked as a volunteer at Kibbutz Amir in 1969, and gelatin silver prints of her photos taken during her stay are now part of the collection of the Jewish Museum in New York.

A disposable diaper factory, originally owned by the kibbutz, was privatized in 2003. On July 15, 2006 a missile fired from Lebanon hit Kibbutz Amir, destroying the factory. The missile struck on Saturday, so no one was in the factory at the time and no lives were lost. The factory was located about 400 meters from the residential part of the kibbutz. Four days later, another missile hit a cow shed, killing two dozen dairy cows; again no people were killed or injured despite the proximity of the explosion to the residential part of the kibbutz.


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