Barkan [Image Source: תמר מרום]

Barkan is a quiet community located in Samaria, approximately twenty five kilometers east of Tel Aviv. The name “Barkan” is taken from the name “Churbat Barak” (or the ruins of Barak) site, which refers to a site containing the remains of an Israeli community dating back to the time of the first and second Temples. The original name of the community was “Beit Abba,” named after Abba Ahimeir – one of the leaders of the early Lehi and Brit Habiryonim Zionist movements.

Founded in June 1981 by secular Israelis from the Beitar and Herut movements, Barkan lies adjacent to the Barkan Industrial Park. The park, established in 1982, has 120 businesses and factories manufacturing plastics, metal-work, food, textile, and more. This past Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of the Samaria Regional Council gathered at the Barkan Industrial Park to celebrate the 50th year anniversary since Jewish life returned to Samaria. During the event, Netanyahu pledged to continue to build in Samaria and to never again uproot another community in Judea and Samaria.

Barkan Wine Cellars, Israel’s second largest winery, producing 5-9 million bottles per year, is named after the Barkan Industrial Park. The name was given to the winery in 1990, after the relatively new winery located at the Barkan Industrial Park was purchased from the Stock liqueur company and subsequently renamed.

Barkan is located within the jurisdiction of the Samaria Regional Council. In 2015 it had a population of 1,741. The city is located in the portion of Israel that was designated for the tribe of Ephraim.