Mahanayim (Hebrew: מחניים, מַחֲנַיִם‎) is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located in the Korazim Plateau, around three kilometres northeast of Rosh Pinna, it falls under the jurisdiction of Upper Galilee Regional Council. In 2019 it had a population of 818.[1]

Mahanayim is located in Northeast Israel
Coordinates: 32°59′21.48″N 35°34′13.08″E / 32.9893000°N 35.5703000°E / 32.9893000; 35.5703000Coordinates: 32°59′21.48″N 35°34′13.08″E / 32.9893000°N 35.5703000°E / 32.9893000; 35.5703000
CouncilUpper Galilee
AffiliationKibbutz Movement
Founded1898 (first establishment)
1916 (first re-establishment)
1939 (second re-establishment)
Founded byGalician immigrants (1898)
Poale Zion members (1916)
Yodfat members (1939)


The land on which Mahanayim stands was purchased in 1892 by the Ahavat Zion (Love of Zion) Hovevei Zion organization, with the aim of establishing a moshava in the area. In 1898 a number of families from Galicia settled in the area, naming it Mahanayim after the biblical city in Gilead, where Jacob stayed before he met again with his brother Esau and saw angels, therefore calling it Mahanayim (camps) of God (Genesis 32:2). However, it was not a success, largely due to the settlers' lack of familiarity with the region, a shortage of money, and a lack of professionalism, resulting in the community disintegrating. The Jewish Colonization Association ran a trial of growing tobacco in the area, but it too was a failure, and the village was abandoned in 1912.

In 1916 a kvutza of Poale Zion members arrived in the area, establishing the first working settlement in the Upper Galilee. According to the 1922 census of Palestine by the British Mandate authorities, Mahanayim had a population of 30 Jews.[2] In the same year it became a moshav, but was abandoned in 1928. The village was established for a third time in 1939 by members of kibbutz "Yodfat" from Safed.

Starting in 1979, the community's metalworks was used by Meir Dagan (later head of the Mossad) as a site to secretly assemble bombs to be used by proxies in the civil war in nearby Lebanon.[3]


Kibbutz Mahanayim operates a guesthouse offering alternative medical treatments. A sculpture studio and stained glass workshop on the grounds of the kibbutz are open to guests.[4]

Ben Ya'akov Airport is located to the south of the kibbutz.

Notable residentsEdit

  • Israel Tal, IDF commander and pioneer in tank warfare.
  • In 2013, a member of Mahanayim, Penny Ur, was awarded an OBE by the Queen of the United Kingdom for her contribution to English language teaching.[5]
  • Meir Dagan (later head of the Mossad)[6]


  1. ^ a b "Population in the Localities 2019" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  2. ^ J. B. Barron (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Jerusalem: Greek Convent Press. p. 41.
  3. ^ Bergman, Ronen (30 January 2018). Rise and Kill First. 4164: Random House.CS1 maint: location (link)
  4. ^ Irit Rosenblum (24 July 2001). "Chirping birds on the way to the old dining hall". Haaretz.
  5. ^ Alona Ferber (4 January 2013). "Three Brits with Israeli ties on Queen's honours list". Haaretz.
  6. ^ Bergman, Ronen (30 January 2018). Rise and Kill First. 4164: Random House.CS1 maint: location (link)

External linksEdit