One of Israel’s most beautiful and most charming spots is the small moshava (rural settlement) of Rosh Pinna. The charm of Rosh Pinna stems from the blend of architecture, art, culture, history, nature and fine cuisine. Called the Capital of the Galilee, Rosh Pinna has known ups and downs ever since it was founded nearly a century and a half ago. Due to its uniqueness and its location among the hills of Galilee on the ancient road linking Tiberias and Safed, Rosh Pinna was considered an attractive site for rural settlement as early as 1878 when a group of Jewish pioneers decided to make it their home. Over the years, Rosh Pinna has preserved its character as one of Israel’s first Jewish rural settlements and thus it is almost literally soaked in history, as you will be able to experience when you wander through its narrow alleyways and when you visit the reconstruction of the original rural settlement that has been chosen as a national heritage site.
Rosh Pinna was founded in 1878 when a group of Jewish pioneers decided to change their way of life and establish a rural community where they could work the land. The name they chose, Gai Oni (valley of my strength), echoed the name of an adjacent Arab village. However, their lack of agricultural experience, combined with drought, famine and disease, led the settlers to abandon the site. However, a few years ago, they returned and renamed the new rural settlement Rosh Pinna, two words that appear in the Book of Psalms – “The stone which the builders rejected is become the chief corner-stone (Rosh Pinna)” (Psalms 118:22) – and which expressed the settlers’ desire to lay a foundation stone on the site where they would renew Jewish rural settlement and would turn their previous failure into a success. Their unique, fascinating story, so full of the inspiration of the early Zionist and proto-Zionist settlers, is told in the book written by author Shulamit Lapid and entitled Gai Oni (Valley of My Strength).
Rosh Pinna offers every visitor a unique experience: old versus new, architecture in the heart of nature, fine cuisine alongside art, and Rosh Pinna’s exquisite bed-and-breakfast rural resorts attract tourists from Israel and abroad. In addition to its restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, galleries and museums, Rosh Pinna hosts several festivals. The most famous is the Rosh Pinna Festival, an annual professional conference for people in the local television industry that was first launched in 1999 and which has become one of the most celebrated events in Israel’s world of media and communications. The festival, which is of several days’ duration, attracts many media people, as well as politicians and well-known figures in Israel, and offers its participants panel discussions, screenings of films and videos, lectures and meetings on the core issues in Israeli television.
If you are wine lovers, you will be delighted to visit the annual Rosh Pinna Wine Festival. Rosh Pinna’s location between the hills of Galilee and the Golan Heights and the many boutique wineries situated nearby led the community’s leaders to launch this annual wine festival, in whose framework winemakers display their products to professionals and the general public. Each year the Rosh Pinna Wine Festival attracts some 30 wineries – large and small alike – from the Galilee region and the Golan Heights. In addition to viewing the impressive display of wine bottles, visitors can attend lectures and panel discussions where experts in the local winemaking industry focus on topics connected with this industry. The festival is held in The Baron’s Gardens next to the site of the original rural settlement. This blending of history with nature, architecture with fine cuisine and winemaking turn any visit to Rosh Pinna into a unique, pleasurable and truly magical experience.