In The Begining...
The Temporary Settlement
Kibbutz Dalia was created by uniting two kibbutzim affiliated with "Hashomer Hatzair". The first kibbutz, "Bamaaleh", was comprised of members from Romania and Transilvania. Many of them finished training in agriculture and industry in their respective countries, and were later united as a group for immigration. The first immigrants arrived in Israel in 1933, and stayed mainly in Magdiel and in Malal Village in Hadar Ramatayim. They worked in agriculture and various other temporary jobs while waiting for permission from The Jewish Agency to settle permanently. In addition to cultural and communal activities, the members were also intensively engaged in energetic political activities. The second kibbutz, "Bamifneh" in Karkur, was comprised of members from Germany. Before immigrating, most of them finished training in agriculture in Denmark, while others had studied in Germany, France and England. The first members immigrated in 1933, while other members arrived in "Bamifneh", the settlement, where they expected to lay the foundation of their new kibbutz. In "Bamifneh" the members worked in agriculture, mainly tending vegetable gardens in the area, about 40 dunams, along with construction work at Gan Hashomron and porterage in Haifa Port. In the settlement, cultural and communal activities were vigorous. Once a month, they went to see movies or a theater performance, and every three weeks they went on foot to Kibbutz Ein-Shemer to listen to political lectures. The decision to unify these two kibbutzim was made in the Secretariat of Kibbutz Hashomer Hatzair on 26th April, 1939. Several days later, on the 1st of May, the two kibbutzim settled in Ramat Menashe to build an independent kibbutz of their own. Thus, the dreams of their youth and the national pioneering task in Israel were realized.
Kibbutz Dalia was founded in the last wave of the Movement called "Wall and Tower". In the beginning, members set up their tents in "Migdal", a temporary camp which was eventually changed for living quarters called "Migdalia". In the summer of 1940, the construction of a permanent settlement was begun near Daliat-El-Ruha, an Arab village whose inhabitants, compensated by the Jewish National Fund through "Tzur" company, had left prior to the members' arrival. A single fig tree stood in the settlement area, and on the surrounding hillsides lay only a wilderness of stones.
In the Kibbutz, there were 160 members and 14 children. The soil alloted to the Kibbutz was poor, shallow, and thickly covered with stone. The only water source was the spring in Daliat-El-Ruha, which supplied 3 cubic meters of water per hour. Most of the land was spread across steep slopes and was not suitable for farming. Members were mainly occupied with preparing the soil through stone-removal, of forestation, and planting vegetable gardens. Experts maintained that there was little hope of a future in agriculture for this area. Despite the hardships of life and the negative opinion of experts, members did not lose hope. They held fast to the homeland, with love, hoes, and pickaxes. In defiance of the rugged landscape they looked for alternative kind of work and proceeded to develop a blacksmith's shop, "a soaping kettle", and the craft shops which had already been started in the earlier temporary settlements. From the blacksmith's shop developed "Arad", a factory for water meters, and from "the soaping kettle" came the "Zohar", factory for soap and detergents. Without realizing it, the members of Kibbutz Dalia had become pioneers in kibbutz-industy. The hard life of the early years, combined with these successes, created a strong bond with the land, together with hope for a better future.
From the beginning, the Kibbutz successfully solved the problems of social integration. Differences in origin and culture of the two groups forced the new kibbutz to find ways of suitable cooperation in order to achieve full partnership. In the fields, efforts in soil preparation continued. After every ploughing, removal of stones was carried out repeatedly. Over 600 dunam of forests were planted with pine, cypress, and carob. Likewise new agricultural branches were established; crops, orchards - apples, plums, olives, and wine grapes, flocks of sheep, a dairy for milking, poultry, and beehives. However, there was not enough water for the whole area, so that the kibbutz had an insufficient supply and continued its struggle for existence. Cultural and communal activities flourished, however, even in these hard conditions. The first festival of folk-dancing was held at the "Khan" on the very soil of the kibbutz, during the Harvest festival (Hag Habikurim). The Book of Ruth (Megilat Ruth) was the theme of the festival, and residents of the various settlements in this region took part. Three years later, in 1947, the second dance festival was held in the natural amphitheater beside the kibbutz. At this festival, several hundred dancers participated, watched by some ten thousand people from all over the country.
The Turning Point
1950 1950 will always be remembered as a turning point, not only in the development of the Kibbutz, but also in the region as a whole. It was at this time that the appearance of the area changed completely. The National Water Source Company drilled for water near the amphitheater for the dance festival, and from a depth of 374 meters, a powerful stream of water burst forth, supplying 300 cube per hour. After this success, additional drills followed, supplying the precious liquid to Dalia and the settlements in the area. This water is still used today to improve the quality of the water from the National Water Supply System which passes near the kibbutz. Water has brought about an essential change in the character of the agriculture and outlook of the settlement. Lawns, gardens and groves were planted, and the bare land was gradually covered by veils of greenery. Industrial factories were also established and consolidated, supplying the members with a variety of work. In 1950, "Harei Efraim", the regional educational institute, was also established near Kibbutz En-Hashofet, as a common school for kibbutzim in the region. It was here that our first sons and daughters from the "Zamir" group were educated. .
Back to Dalia's homepage