• Issue: April 1962
  • Designer: M. & G. Shamir
  • Plate no.: 60
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

Rosh Pinnah, one of the first pioneering colonies established in Eretz Israel, was founded by a group of exalted Jewish settlers who wished to transform the desolate rocks of the Holy Land into productive soil and a source of livelihood for themselves and their descendants.

The pioneers of Rosh Pinnah wrote a chapter of great daring in the history of Jewish revival. A group of Jews settled by the side of the Arab villagers of Je'uni in the poor houses they had purchased together with the land. Armed with great hopes but without experience of agricultural life, they started a grueling undertaking with which they were unable to cope. They altered the name of the village to Ge Oni - "Valley of my Strength" in Hebrew. After only a short time, when their meager resources were exhausted, the remote little settlement disintegrated and its dispirited inhabitants abandoned the place.

At the same time as the little village was struggling for survival, the Jewish population of far-away Romania was experiencing a Zionist revival. Many decided to sail to Eretz Israel and settle on the land. In 1882, after many tribulations, a small caravan of immigrants reached desolate Ge Oni. With high hopes they started building new homes. The barren soil did not dampen their enthusiasm. Confident in ultimate victory and in their ability to lay the cornerstone of a new and better life for generations to come, they called their settlement Rosh Pinnah.

Conditions were hard beyond imagination but, by tenacity and sheer will to survive, the settlers by and by overcame all difficulties, and the little remote village continued its precarious existence. For many years it could be reached only on foot or horseback over a number of perilous pathways. Later, when a somewhat wider track was laid, carts harnessed to donkeys or mules could be used, and along this primitive carriage way, the settlers moved to and from their village, dogged by constant dangers everywhere. Gradually the village became a base for other pioneers coming to settle in the surroundings and it slowly emerged from its loneliness and turned into a center of colonization for the whole of Upper Galilee.

Today Rosh Pinnah stands at an important cross-road in Upper Galilee, where the Tiberias - Metullah highway, the main thoroughfare in northern Israel, bifurcates west to Safed (Zefat), then continues over the heights of Galilee to the shore of the Mediterranean Sea.

Rosh Pinnah lies 637 meters above the level of the nearby Sea of Galilee. It commands a striking view of the snowy top of Mount Hermon in the north-east, over the Huleh valley, once a swampy waste, now dotted by many villages, to the mountains of Golan and Bashan in the east.

top top

80 Years Rosh Pinna Settlement