Kokhav Ya'ir–Tzur Yig'al
|• ISO 259||K̇ŵkab Yåʾiyr Ṣẇr Yig°ʾål|
|• Also spelled||Kochav Yair (unofficial)|
|• Head of Municipality||Yuval Arad|
|• Total||3,072 dunams (3.072 km2 or 1.186 sq mi)|
|• Density||2,800/km2 (7,300/sq mi)|
|Name meaning||Named for Abraham "Yair" Stern|
Kokhav Ya'ir–Tzur Yig'al (Hebrew: כּוֹכַב יָאִיר-צוּר יִגְאָל, also Kochav Yair–Tzur Yigal) is a town (local council) in the Central District of Israel. Kokhav Ya'ir and the neighboring town of Tzur Yig'al (Hebrew: צו��ר יִגְאָל) merged in November 2003. In 2019 it had a population of 8,702.
Kokhav Ya'ir was established in 1981 by 15 families living in temporary quarters. Two years later, work began on infrastructure for a permanent town. In 1986, 550 families moved into permanent housing and the town was officially founded. Tzur Yig'al was founded in 1991, with the first families moving into permanent homes in the summer of 1994.
Kokhav Ya'ir (literally "Ya'ir's star") was named for Avraham Stern, who went by the alias Ya'ir. He was the founder and leader of the Lehi group, a militant Jewish underground active during the British Mandate of Palestine. Stern is also German for "star." Tzur Yig'al (literally "Yig'al's rock") was named for Israeli Knesset member Yigal Cohen.
Kokhav Ya'ir is exclusively Jewish, with a high income level. Kokhav Yair is a secular community with a religious minority. Religious tensions are virtually non-existent. Residents from English speaking countries comprise approximately 20% of the population.
Kokhav Ya'ir is located at lat. 32° 00' N, long. 35° 00' E, approximately 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) north-north-east of the city of Kfar Saba and 95 meters above sea level. Neighboring the municipality on its south-west border is kibbutz Eyal, approximately 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) north-west is the Israeli Arab city of Tira and approximately 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) south is the Palestinian Authority governed city of Qalqilyah.
Education and sports
Kokhav Ya'ir currently has four schools, two secular elementary schools ('Keshet' and 'Nof Tzurim'), one religious elementary school ('Dekel') and one middle school ('Ramon', named after the Astronaut Ilan Ramon). After finishing middle school students are usually directed to highschools in Ra'anana and Kfar Saba and Herzliya.
Kokhav Ya'ir's local basketball team, Elitzur Kokhav Ya'ir, has been a member of the Israel National Basketball League since 2008.
Kokhav Ya'ir's country club from 2010 to 2017 refused membership to “Israeli Arabs” (i.e. Palestinians with Israeli citizenship). After a petition from Tira, an Arab village nearby, the club decided to “sanitize” its racist policy by restricting membership to Kochav Yair–Tzur Yig'al's residents. A member of the local council said: “What drives people from the club isn’t the price, but the Arabs. We came to live in a community. Whether we’re racist or not, it doesn’t matter. The fact is that residents are leaving the community center because of the Arab children. It’s not clear why we can’t express our opinion.” The club is partially funded by the Israeli government.
- Ehud Barak
- Shaul Mofaz
- Michael Eitan
- Shlomi Haimy, Olympic mountain cyclist specializing in cross-country cycling
- Dani Yatom
- Gideon Ezra
- Michael Ratzon
- Uzi Dayan
- Nino Abesadze
- Dov Elbaum
- "Kokhav Ya'ir History" (in Hebrew). Kokhav Ya'ir municipality website. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
- "Population in the Localities 2019" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
- Mayor Kokhav Yair-Tzur Yig'al local council
- Or Kashti: Upscale Israeli Country Club Changes Rules to Prevent Arabs From Joining. In: Haaretz, 4 August 2017.
- Kochav Ya'ir's municipality site (in Hebrew)