We traveled north from Tel Aviv today to several Kibbutzim on our way to exploring the Golan Heights on Monday.

First we stopped at Kibbutz Ein Shemer about mid-way between Tel Aviv and Haifa, not far form the large Israeli Arab town of Umm Al-Fahm.

(Kibbutz Ein Shemer, Israel, map location)

(Kibbutz Ein Shemer, Israel, map location)

Founded in 1927, Ein Shemer is a fairly typical Kibbutz, about 650 people, with a variety of agriculture (dairy, cotton, etc.) as well as factories. Facing pressures facing many Kibbutzim, Ein Shemer voted a couple of years ago to allow limited “inequality” of income (up to 2.5 times what the Kibbutz pays members) for those with outside jobs in order to retain and attract younger residents.

(Kibbutz Ein Shemer residential courtyard)

(Kibbutz Ein Shemer residential courtyard)

We then went on to climb towards the Golan, stoping at the Mount Barkan lookout point, near Mount Gilboa, which has a tremendous view of the Galilee region of northern Israel.

(Mount Barkan Lookout Point, Israel, map)

(Mount Barkan Lookout Point, Israel, map location)

Mount Barkan Lookout Point

(Mount Barkan Lookout, Israel, view)

We then went to Kibbutz Gesher on the Jordan border, where we had a late lunch.

(Kibbutz Gesher, Israel, map location)

(Kibbutz Gesher, Israel, map location)

The actual border is a little bit beyond the fence, and the ruins, where what’s left of the Jordan River winds its way.

(Kibbutz Gesher, Israel)

(Kibbutz Gesher, Israel)

(Kibbutz Kesher, Israel, Jordan border gate)

(Kibbutz Kesher, Israel, Jordan border gate)

(Jordan River view from Kibbutz Gesher, Israel)

(Jordan River view from Kibbutz Gesher, Israel)

Then on to the first Kibbutz in Israel, Degania on the Sea of Galilee near Beit She’an, founded in 1909.

Former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan was born at Degania. The imposing nature of the Golan Heights over northern Israel can be appreciated from Degania and its fields.

(Golan Heights view form fields of Kibbutz Degania, Israel)

(Golan Heights view form fields of Kibbutz Degania, Israel)

(Golan Heights over Sea of Galilee)

(Golan Heights over Sea of Galilee)

Then onto Sha’ar HaGolan Kibbutz, the “gateway” to the Golan, where we are spending the night (no pics) before we head up to the Golan on Monday.

The full series of posts from my trip to Israel: