Degania Bet

Degania Bet is a kibbutz founded in 1920 in northern Israel. It is located to the south of the Sea of Galilee adjacent to Degania Alef, it falls under the jurisdiction of Emek HaYarden Regional Council. In 2008 it had a population of 514.

The kibbutz was founded by immigrants from the Second Aliyah, led by Levi Brevda (Levi Ben Amitai). It was the first planned kibbutz and was designed and built by the German Jewish architect Fritz Kornberg. One of its founders was Levi Eshkol. During the 1920 Palestine riots it was attacked and abandoned for several months.

During the 1936-39 Arab revolt it served as a base for establishing tower and stockade settlements. [citation needed] During the Battles of the Kinarot Valley in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War the residents of Degania Alef and Bet succeeded in halting the advance of the Syrian army into the Jordan Valley.

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In addition to its 350 cow dairy herd, crop fields, almond orchards, banana, date and avocado plantations, Degania Bet industrialized in the 1960s with Degania Sprayers, now a green industry; in 1984 it opened the Degania Silicone factory. An additional source of income is its kibbutz cottage tourist accommodation, and it specializes in organized bicycle tours.

Famous residents include Levi Eshkol (1895-1969), the third Prime Minister of Israel (1963-1969); Kadish Luz, Minister of Agriculture (1955-1959) and Speaker of the Knesset (1959-1969), acting President for one month in 1963; Michael Kolganov, Soviet-born Israeli sprint canoeist, world champion, bronze medalist at 2000 Summer Olympics.