This week’s feature is the modern city of Karmiel in Israel’s north.
Karmiel (also spelled Carmiel) – situated on the Acre-Safed road in the heart of the Beit Kerem Valley, a region on the north side of the Lower Galilee – has been awarded five stars in an Israeli contest for Israel’s most beautiful city.
Resting 250 meters above sea level amidst a stunning, mountainous landscape, Karmiel – Hebrew for “God’s Vineyards” – encompasses an area of 24,000 dunam (9.266 square miles); it is positioned 35 km. from Tiberius, 22 km. from Akko and 45 km. from Haifa. The climate is dry, breezy and comfortable.
Founded in 1964, Karmiel was one of the first cities in Israel to be established according to an urban master plan. Boasting a standard of living higher than the national average, it has been given numerous national prizes in areas such as quality of life, management, road safety and immigrant absorption, and it is annually awarded the Minister of Interior Prize for Financial Management.
Impeccably clean, Karmiel has enacted by-laws to protect the environment and prevent pollution. It has become a center for clean industries and advanced technology enterprises that abide by these standards.
According to the master plan, Karmiel’s population, currently at 50,000, will reach approximately 120,000 by the year 2020. Roughly forty percent of its residents are immigrants from 75 countries.
The city is famous for the Karmiel Dance Festival, an annual, three-day event in July that began in 1988 as a celebration of Israeli folk dance. The Festival now features international dance performances of diverse genres, attracting thousands of dancers and hundreds of thousands of guests from around the world.
Recognized as the capital of the Central Galilee and renowned for its natural beauty, Karmiel is also known for the ORT Braude College of Engineering, which has a student body of 3,500 and will soon open a biotechnology research and development center.
At the entrance to the city lies the Holocaust Memorial Park with bronze sculptures created by late artist Nicky Imber. Other attractions include a cultural center, a children’s village, a country club, the Museum of Heroism, a petting zoo, a home for seniors, an amphitheater and, most notably, stunning parks and a biking trail surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Its logo features the quintessentially Israeli calanit – anemone, in English – one of Israel’s most beloved flowers that has been popularized in Israeli music and which was crowned last month as the country’s “national flower.”
Author: United with Israel Staff
(With files from Nefesh b’Nefesh and the Karmiel website)
Date: Dec. 16, 2013