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The Jewish town of Korazim 

The ruins of the ancient Jewish village of Korazim are of interest because of the synagogue and restored dwellings. Most of the ruins are from the Roman and Byzantine periods, from the time of the Mishnah and Talmud. A gravel footpath has been laid around the village and with its impressive views of Lake Kinneret makes for a very pleasant walk. Together with Capernaum and Bethsaida, Korazim is mentioned in the New Testament as one of the places cursed by Jesus for rejecting his message (Mathew 11:20-24 and Luke 10:13-15).

You will notice that all the buildings in this town are constructed from dark basalt stone and that the village is located on a hill, even though it is in the Jordan Rift Valley. How can this be? It is because volcanic magna flowed from the Golan into the Rift Valley and created an expanse of basalt called the Korazim Plateau. This plateau is bounded to the north by the Hula Valley, to the south by Lake Kinneret, to the west by Mount Canaan, and to the east by the Jordan River. This basalt rock impeded the flow of the Jordan River and created Lake Hula and the wetlands to the north of it.


The village was first settled by Jews in the 1st century CE, and it expanded in the 3rd to 6th century when Jews migrated to the Galilee. It was partially destroyed during the 4th century, probably due to a severe earthquake, but was rebuilt. Another period of Jewish growth occurred in the Islamic period in the 8th century and again in the 13th and 15th centuries. Prior to Israel's 1948 War of Independence, a Bedouin tribe lived here.

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Directions: Enter “Korazim” into Waze.

Admission: This is a site of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Hours are Sunday to Thursday and Saturday 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and Friday and holiday eves 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. It closes 1 hour earlier in the winter. A brochure with a map is available in English. Their store sells drinks and snacks. Their telephone number is 04 693-4982. This is their website.

Public transport: Enter "Korazim" into Moovit. There is a close bus stop at which a bus between Hatsor Hagliglit and Almagor stops a few times a day. There are also buses to Amiad Junction, which is a 1.5 Km/18-minute walk away.

Olive press.jpeg

An olive presss

How did the townspeople of Korazim support themselves?


The ground around Korazim is quite rocky and the scenery resembles the Golan Heights. This is to be expected since both places are composed of volcanic rock. The rainfall here is also quite low at 400 mm/year. Nevertheless, as can be seen from the ancient agricultural machinery found here, the people who lived here were clearly involved in agriculture. 


An ancient mill for grinding wheat can be seen just inside the entrance to the village. The superior quality of Korazim’s wheat is even mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud (Menahot 85a). A reconstructed olive press is also seen at the edge of the village’s western quarter and there is another in a reconstructed building.


The town had sources of water. There is a spring close by. There is not much water flowing, but the situation may have been different hundreds of years ago. Water cisterns have also been found close to some of the buildings.


It is suggested to first go around the village on the footpath. The turning to the path is just before the ritual bath. This path will bring you back into the village by a dwelling with a paved courtyard close to the synagogue. The length of the footpath is almost a kilometer and the walk takes about 15 minutes.


The synagogue was built in the early 4th century CE, was destroyed by an earthquake, rebuilt, and remained in use until the 8th century. As for other synagogues in the Galilee, it faces towards Jerusalem. The bima (raised platform) and Torah Ark were in the hall on either side of the main entrance. Notice the archway of the synagogue, 5 of its original 12 pillars, and lion figures.


The arched buildings nearby are from the Mamluke period from the 14th and 15th centuries.



A hiking trail has been opened from Korazim that descends from the side of the Korazim Plateau to Lake Kinneret. It is described as being intermediate in terms of difficulty, is fairly steep, is a distance of 4 Km, and should take about 2 hours. The gate to the trail from the village is a one-way revolving gate.

Mill for grinding wheat.jpeg
Agricultural machinery.jpeg

This is a mill for grinding wheat. Rotating the grinder would have been done by agricultural animals. 

A sign showing the agricultural machinery found here.

Links to the HOME PAGE and best family activities, hikes and historic sites in the GOLAN, EASTERN GALILEE, UPPER GALILEE, LOWER GALILEE, JORDAN VALLEY & LAKE KINNERET, the SHEFELAH, TEL AVIV-YAFFO and surroundings, NORTH of TEL AVIV, and SOUTH of TEL AVIV.

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