Rosh Pinah is located in the Upper Galilee on the eastern slopes of Mount Kna’an in the Northern District of Israel. It is approximately 2 km east of the city of Safed and is 420 m above sea level
The town has a population of around 2,800 people. The town was founded in 1882 by thirty families who immigrated from Romania, making it one of the oldest Zionist settlements in Israel. It was preceded at the same location by the settlement of Gei Oni, ‘Valley of My Strength’ which was established by local Jews from Safed in 1878, which had been however almost fully abandoned by 1882.
Rosh Pinah, ראש פנה, which means cornerstone was one of the first modern Jewish agricultural settlements in history of the Land of Israel, then part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Rosh Pinah was established near the Arab village of al-Ja’una. In 1883, it became the first Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel to come under the patronage of the Baron Edmond James de Rothschild.
Gei Oni was founded in 1878 by Jews from Safed, some of whom were descended from Spanish Jews exiled in 1492. However, most of the original two to three dozen families left after three years of drought, though three families remained: Keller, Friedman, and Schwartz. A year later, in 1882, a group of Romanian Jews, most of them coming from Moineşti and led by Moshe David Shuv, joined the three families of Gei Oni, enlarged the village, and renamed it Rosh Pina, as per Psalm 118:22: ,
‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’.
Moshe David Shuv (born 1854 in Moineşti, Moldavia had been sent ahead to find and purchase an appropriate piece of land for the colonists. Born as Moşe David Iancovici, in Palestine he became known as שו”ב, Shuv, a Hebrew abbreviation of the name of his profession, שוחט ובודק, read ‘shochet ve-bodék’, butcher and examiner of kosher meat; ‘shuv’ has the Hebrew meaning of ‘once again’ or ‘return!’, an allusion to the main principle of Zionism.
Eventually the village had to be saved financially by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, who then imposed his economic concept on the colonists. An old synagogue which was commissioned by the Baron, also has been preserved. The Baron Rothschild’ gardens. The gardens were designed by a French landscape architect and planted in 1886. Many plants such as Bougainvillea and pine trees were brought from France.
Rosh Pina had the first Hebrew School in 1899.
Ben Ya’akov Airport is located 2.1 km (1 mi) away from Rosh Pina.
The Mifne Center, which means turning point, a program for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder, is situated in Rosh Pina.
Mitzpe HaYamim, a world-class spa, is located on a mountainside in Rosh Pinna. Amenities include a range of health and cosmetic treatments, an art gallery where guests can view artists at work, art workshops and an organic garden.
The House of Dignitaries is a structure built in 1882 and used as a centre of administration and finance for Rosh Pinah and other towns in the Galilee region. From this building, a loudspeaker was used to broadcast the local news.
The Mer house was the home of Professor Gideon Mer, an expert on malaria, epidemiologist and an important contributor to the eradication of malaria in the 1930s. The house presents a room dedicated to his memory and an exhibit of ancient items from various periods, such as old ploughs, laboratory equipment and textbooks.
PICA House provides an audio-visual presentation that tells the story of Rosh Pina. PICA House served as an administrative centre and residence for Baron Rothschild’s clerks, advisors, and agricultural counsellors.
The grave of Honi HaM’agel, a Jewish scholar, is located on the outskirts of Hatzor HaGlilit, a few kilometers from Rosh Pinah.
Coordinates: 32°58′12.01″N 35°32′31.72″E