The Area

Kanatir Farm overlooks the Sea of Galilee from the Golan Heights, and is surrounded by the wild landscape scattered with thousand-year-old historical sites.

North of the farm is the Gamla nature reserve, Daliyot and Samakh streams. To the east, Rujm el-Hiri. In the south there is Nov Iris nature reserve swamp and the El-Al stream. And in the west, adjacent to the farm, is an archeological site of an ancient Jewish village – “Umm el Kanatir” – which inspired the farm’s name.

Umm el Kanatir sits just above one of the main streambeds descending from the Golan to the Sea of Galilee, Samakh stream. Just a short walk north of the farm, another major streambed winds its way down to the Kineret, the El-Al stream, with its several waterfalls including the Black Waterfall, the White Waterfall and cool water pools.

 

Umm el-Kanatir – the mother of arches

Umm el-Kanatir was a Jewish village from the time of the Mishnah and Talmud. The original name of the village is unknown, but it earned its nickname thanks to three massive arches standing near the spring within the village, arches which inspired the winery’s logo.

The site’s highlight is the ancient and impressive synagogue, probably built in the fifth century. This is one of the most beautiful and imposing synagogues ever uncovered in Israel, and the only one with a fully preserved Ark platform, towering to a height of 6 meters. Excavations also uncovered Aramaic inscriptions, decorated columns with a relief of the seven-branched menorah, a shofar and more.

One can learn about the wealth of the villagers from the grandeur and size of the synagogue (about 13 meters wide, 18 meters in length, and 12 meters high). In recent years, researchers and archaeologists have been working on reconstructing “Umm el Kanatir” to make it the oldest active synagogue in the world.