The Kinneret Region is a thriving and picturesque region in the North of Israel and the source of the precious water in the country and where in historic times famous Jewish texts were written, Christianity was born, great medieval battles were fought, and great prophets and sages are buried.
Kinneret Academic College is located on the shores of Lake Kinneret –
The Sea of Galilee from the north, the freshwater lake is fed by the Jordan River, which also flows out of the lake at its southern tip, at a scenic site not far from the college campus.
Lake Kinneret, more than 200 meters below sea level and its surrounding hills, were born of dramatic upheavals and volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. As a result, rich mineral water springs emerged which fed ancient, therapeutic spas. Today, they still benefit bathers at open sites and modern facilities. The Kinneret region has attracted people to its abundant waters, warm climate and fertile land. In the Bible, lake Kinneret is mentioned as a prominent boundary between Canaanite kingdoms and later the Hebrew tribes of Menashe and Naftali.
The importance of Lake Kinneret grew immensely during the Roman period when Tiberias, located on the western shore of the lake was founded. For several centuries, the town was the center of Jewish life
after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple during the Great Revolt. Tiberias was the last meeting place of the Sanhedrin, the ancient Jewish High Court. It was where great Rabbinical studies of the Jewish oral tradition were embodied into the written learning of the Mishna and the Jerusalem Talmud. The Hebrew punctuation symbols, which help Jews to read their Bible and prayer books accurately, were invented in Tiberias, and from here they spread to Jewish communities throughout the world.
Tiberias is the burial place of Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon, known as HaRambam or Maimonides, the great Jewish philosopher and physician of medieval times. Recognized by many as the greatest Jewish scholar of all times.
The Sea of Galilee is one of the holiest places for Christians world-wide. As related in the Gospels, this is where Jesus preached, inspired fishermen to be his apostles, walked across the sea, and performed many other miracles.
The Mount of Beatitudes overlooking the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee is believed to be the site of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus expounded his principles and beliefs. The central importance of the Sea of Galilee to early Christians inspired the establishment of many churches and monasteries on its shores.
According to the New Testament, in the Jordan River, Jesus was baptized. Tourists from all over the world flock to be baptized at a beautiful site close to the campus.
The area surrounding Lake Kinneret (called in Arabic “Bahairat Tabariyya” – Lake Tiberias), has historical significance for Muslims too. Here, in 1187 A.D, the great leader Salah al-Din won a decisive victory over the Crusaders in the battle at the Horns of Hittin overlooking the Lake – a defining moment in Middle Eastern history and in relations between the Christian West and the Muslim East. Also near Hittin is where the Arab Druze believe the prophet Shu’eib, founder of their religion is buried. The Tomb of “Nabi (the Prophet) Shu’eib” is the focal point of the most important annual Festival and celebrations of the Arab Druze community in Israel.
In the early 20th century, the southern shores of Lake Kinneret became the birthplace of the world-famous communal Kibbutz movement. The first Kibbutz, Deganya, was founded here in 1910, followed by Kvuzat Kinneret in 1912, and dozens of other kibbutzim.