[Photo Credit: מיכאל יעקובסון]
The community of Nokdim is located south of Bethlehem in the northern Judean Mountains, about a 30 minute drive from Jerusalem. The community was founded by residents of Tekoa, which is located just west of Nokdim. Nokdim was founded on 5 July 1982 by residents of Tekoa. The name that was originally given to the community was El-David in memory of two residents of Tekoa – Eli Pressman, a new immigrant from France who was killed in the 1982 Lebanon War, and David Rosenfeld, manager of the tourist site at Herodium (Judea) who was murdered in July 1982 by two of his Arab employees. The name was rejected by the government naming committee who suggested the name Nokdim, which was accepted by the new community members. The name Nokdim is a reference to the Biblical phrase in the Bible (Amos 1:1), which referred to the prophet Amos, who lived in Tekoa. The Biblical passage reads, “Amos, who was among the nokdim (shepherds) of Tekoa”.
The community prides itself on the diversity of its members. There are about 250 families living in the community, comprised of religious and secular lifestyles, elderly and young couples, in addition to new immigrants and veteran citizens. As a cohesive community, the community center in Nokdim hosts cultural and recreational activities, synagogues, youth groups, a public library, a mikveh (Jewish ritual bathhouse), a soccer field, as well as Parks and playgrounds
Nokdim is also home to Knesset Member Avigdor Liberman (from the right-wing Israel our Home party), who is particularly well known for his advocacy on behalf of sovereignty for Judea and Samaria and for Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem. In February, the Israel Security Agency (also known as Shin Bet or Shabak for short) announced that members of an Islamic Jihad terror cell planned to assassinate Israel’s Defense Minister. The terrorists were apprehended and have been brought to justice.
The community of Nokdim falls under the jurisdiction of the Gush Etzion Regional Council. In 2016 it had a population of 2,052. The community is located in the portion of Israel that was designated for the tribe of Yehudah (Judah).