Moshav Nahalal Is Founded

September 11, 1921

Moshav Nahalal, the first moshav ha’ovdim (workers settlement), is founded in the northwest Jezreel valley about halfway between Haifa and Afula. The moshav was founded by 80 families who had come to the Land of Israel during the second aliyah (1904-1914) and who had lived and worked in a variety of villages and even some of the earliest kibbutzim.

The initial settlers in Nahalal wished to create a new type of agricultural settlement that blended some of the communal principles of the kibbutz but also allowed for private ownership of land. Each founding family received 25 acres of land. The founding principles of the moshav at Nahalal were:

A. National land – land given to settlers on lease, in order to prevent trade in land

B. Independent work – that the settler would work in his farm helped by his family, without paid work.

C. Mutual assistance – individual assistance when necessary, by physical work or financial assistance.

D. Communal buying and selling – enabled farmers to direct most of their energies to work on their farms, preventing the need to market the produce or buy the necessary farm needs. Also to prevent competition on prices of products between the members.

E. Hebrew Language

Nahala was also known for the layout of the moshav, which was designed by architect Richard Kaufman and which would be the model for many other moshavim. The layout was based on circles – public buildings were in the center, homes in the next circle and gardens in fields in the outer circle.

In 2021, 100 years after Nahalal’s founding, there are 450 such cooperative agricultural villages and communities in Israel.

Photo shows an aerial view of Moshav Nahalal.