[Image Source: קיבוץ מגדל עוז – הזמנה פתוחה]
Migdal Oz (Tower of Strength) is located approximately twenty eight kilometers south of Jerusalem, in the area of of Judea known as Gush Etzion (or Eztion Block). All of the communities of Gush Etzion are adjacent or connected to a road called Derech Avot (road of the fathers). This road, which still exists, gets its name from the fact that it is the road that all of the Jewish patriarchs traveled while they resided in Israel.
Migdal Oz is a religious Kibbutz (cooperative community). The community was established in 1977 on the site of Migdal Eder, a Jewish village destroyed 50 years earlier during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. The community was the first one established in the “New Gush Etzion” or the Eastern section of the Etzion Block. The name Migdal Oz is taken from the Biblical phrase (Proverbs 18:10), “The name of the Lord is a tower of strength; the righteous runs into it and is strengthened.”
The main agricultural centers of the collective include three turkey coops, each containing some 16,000 birds, a dairy farm housing 260 cows – one of the largest in the country, and fruit orchards. Along with neighboring Rosh Tzurim, and Kfar Etzion, Migdal Oz jointly farms six square kilometers of olive groves near Kiryat Malakhi and Lakhish in the valley.
Migdal Oz is also home to some high tech and light industry, in addition to Beit Midrash L’Nashim Migdal Oz, an advanced women’s seminary for Torah study, which was opened in 1997. Most advanced seminary’s for Torah study are reserved for men, making Beit Midrah L’Nashim Migdal Oz a unique institution.
Migdal Oz is located within the jurisdiction of the Gush Etzion Regional Council. In 2016 it had a population of 605. The city is located in the portion of Israel that was designated for the tribe of Judah.