Bar’am, בַּרְעָם, which means ‘Son of the People’ is a kibbutz in north of Israel. It is approximately 300 meters from the border with Lebanon near the ruins of the ancient Jewish village of Kfar Bar’am. Bar’am National Park is known for the remains of one of Israel’s oldest synagogues. The kibbutz falls under the jurisdiction of Upper Galilee Regional Council.
Bar’am was established in ancient times. Sometime after the Arab conquest in the seventh century the Jews left the village and it became a mixed village of Christians and Muslims called Kafr Bir’im. It was abandoned in 1948.
Bar’am was founded on 14 June 1949 to guard and hold the border with Lebanon by demobilized Palmach soldiers. The Muslim population was forcefully evicted and despite a legal ruling in favour of the local Christian population the village was bombed and destroyed by the Israeli air force. The kibbutz was established as a secular settlement of the Hashomer Hatzair movement. The kibbutz, with more than 250 members and 200 children, continues to expand despite its proximity to Israel’s northern border.
Bar’am has orchards where apples, pears, nectarines, plums, and kiwi are grown, and a packing plant, where the fruit is sorted, packed and kept in cold storage until it is delivered to markets throughout Israel. Other crops include corn, peanuts and sunflower seeds. In addition, the kibbutz has ponds for fish farming. The kibbutz also has land holdings cultivated with cotton in the Hula Valley, near Ne’ot Mordehai.
Part of the kibbutz income comes from a factory, Elcam that manufactures plastics for medical uses. It makes precision injection-moulded, disposable medical devices.
The Bar David Museum is run by the kibbutz. It is known for it’s bi-annual exhibitions from the large permanent collection of paintings and Jewish ritual objects, plus temporary exhibitions of fine art, sculpture and photography. It also houses a small archaeological collection of ceramic and glass artefacts and jewellery and statuettes from the local area.