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A. Members of Kibbutz Kfar Masaryk prepare for ceremony
A. Members of Kibbutz Kfar Masaryk prepare for ceremony 
 
B. 'This is the bread of affliction'
B. 'This is the bread of affliction' 
 
C. Concrete-mixer for bricks
C. Concrete-mixer for bricks 
 
D. Casting machine for bricks
D. Casting machine for bricks 
 
E. Furnace for burning bricks
E. Furnace for burning bricks 
 
 

Naaman factory: Settlement's building blocks

Cornerstone for foundation of one of kibbutz industry's first factories laid in 1939. Naaman brick factory supplied population's growing need for construction materials. Series of photos documents its establishment

Nadav Man
Published: 02.15.09, 10:53 / Israel Travel

The Shomer Hatzair movement's archive in Givat Haviva has an interesting photo collection documenting the establishment of one of the first factories of the kibbutz industry – the Naaman factory for the production of clay brick, which was built near the northern city of Akko.

 

In the 1930s, when the pioneers arrived in the Land of Israel and engaged in construction, the need arose for a factory manufacturing construction materials, particularly bricks.

 

One of the biggest initiators of the factory was a modest pioneer named Mordechai Shenhavi (1900, Ukraine-1983, Israel). Little has been written on Shenhavi because he didn’t talk much but did a lot.

 

He was one of the first people who immigrated to Israel as part of the Third Aliyah and one of the founders of the Shomer Hatzair movement. He was a member of the movement's Kibbutz Beit Alfa and founded the educational institution in Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek. He also founded industry factories in the 1930s, the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Foundation.

 

For the foundation of the Naaman factory, Shenhavi – who was good in starting friendly relations – raised funds from several European tycoons.

 

The cornerstone ceremony was held in 1939, and in 1940 the factory began producing bricks used for construction across the country. The factory developed and matured, and over the years it turned into Naaman Porcelain, which is famous in the fields of houseware, kitchenware and giftware.

 

The collection of photos shows the factory's cornerstone ceremony and several pictures documenting the production of bricks.

 

Cornerstone ceremony


 

1. It's 1939, and bloody events are taking place in the Land of Israel. The factory is built near the city of Akko and Arab villages, and guards are brought to protect the property and laborers


 

2. Guests and dignitaries arrive for the factory's cornerstone ceremony


 

3. Journalists and dignitaries wait for the guests. Up front (with his sleeves rolled up) – Mordechai Shenhavi


 

4. The refreshments for the guests and guards include bottles of beer manufactured by Nesher


 

5. The guests enjoy drinks


 

6. The guests enjoy drinks


 

7. Cold water served from a jug


 

8. The members of Kibbutz Kfar Masaryk prepare for the ceremony. The kibbutz assembled in 1932 in Petah Tikva. Its members came from Czechoslovakia and Lithuania, so its first name was "Czecho-Lita". In 1933, the kibbutz moved to Bat Galim in Haifa and later to Kiryat Haim, west of the railway, when its members changed its name to "Mishmar Zevulun".

 

In 1938, the members established their community using the Homa Umigdal (tower and stockade) method, and decided to call it Kfar Masaryk after Czech President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, who was a Zionist fighter for the people of Israel's freedom and return to their homeland, and in solidarity with Czechoslovakia, which was conquered by the Nazis.


 

9. The kibbutz's female members prepare for the ceremony


 

10. Mordechai Shenhavi (third from the right) with the ceremony's guests


 

11. Mordechai Shenhavi explains the importance of the event to the journalists


 

12. Mordechai Shenhavi with noblemen


 

13. David Hacohen, one of the directors of the Solel Boneh construction company, is also among the dignitaries


 

14. The factory's founding scroll

 

Documentation of factory's work


 

15. The clay for the bricks was dug near the Naaman River


 

16. Laborers move the clay to railway cars


 

17. The railway cars with the clay cross the Naaman River on a cable on their way to the factory. The sand for the mixture would be brought from the nearby beach


 

18. The railway cars carrying the clay enter the factory hanging on a cable


 

19. The concrete-mixer for the bricks

 

  • For all trips to the past – click here

 

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