Coordinates: 31° 44' 9.78" N 34° 43' 25.81" E
Be'er Tuvia, (Tuvia's Well), is a moshava located in the southern region of Israel. It was founded in 1887 by members of the First Aliyah who came from Bessarabia. The original name of the moshava was Qastina, the same name as a nearby Arab village. The moshava was sited in a region with little water, which was one of the factors that led to its poor performance. Other factors were attacks by local Arabs; being far from other Jewish settlements; and friction between the pioneers and Baron Edmond de Rothschild, who provided administrative and financial support.
After nine years, the moshava was purchased by an Odessa-based organization, Hovevei Zion1, that brought in new settlers and changed the moshava's name to Be'er Tuvia2, an adaptation of the area's Arabic name of Bir Ta'abya. Despite the efforts of the new settlers, by 1910, the moshava was again in financial distress. As a consequence, a proposal was made for the Jewish National Fund to purchase the land; nothing came of the proposal. However, in 1913, the Jewish National Fund bought out the farmers and brought in a third wave of new farmers from Hulda with a consequent improvement in the farm's productivity.
By 1922, the settlement's population had increased to one-hundred-twelve Jews. Nine years later, during the British Mandate Census of 1931, the number of Jews had increased by almost eighty-four percent. Census details can be seen on the Census page.
The Palestine Riots of 19293 destroyed the moshava and it was abandoned. The year after the riots, Jewish Legion veterans and kibbutzniks re-established the settlement. Most of these people came from Kfar Giladi and Merhavia. Be'er Tuviya had a major turn-around, becoming one of the most prosperous moshavim in the country, after water was discovered.
During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War Be'er Tuviya was used as a base for the Israel Defense Forces fighting the Egyptians in the Negev.
Leah Haber Gedalia
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Created: 18 Oct 2017
Last Modified: 05-19-2018
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