Home of the Circassians
Kfar Kama is a Circassian village that was established in 1878 by Circassian immigrants who came from the Caucasus Mountains after their expulsion from the Russian Empire. The village is in a central position in the Galilee region. It provides a rural experience within a short drive of major cities while preserving its thousand-year-old culture and traditions by promoting them through events.
In recent years, the Circassian Heritage Center was established in the village. It serves as a visitor centre, and as a site for the preservation of Circassian heritage and a museum where the municipality invests in marketing and advertising, by establishing a tourism website, mobilizing resources for the development of tourism and nature sites, and has established a forum with the participation of local tourism entrepreneurs.
The village has also developed a tourist digitization process where visitors can take a self-guided tour via an app on their phones. The tour takes them into the old and picturesque part of the village, and along the route they can learn about the different historical village sites. The app features videos with tutorials explaining about the buildings and stations. Furthermore, the village provides clean transportation and has a large presence of electric vehicles, such as golf carts and utility vehicles.
The village has launched an initiative for the preservation and exposure of the unique Circassian culture by turning the village into a regional multicultural centre. The council established the Circassian Heritage Centre as a tourism centre that also serves as a museum and heritage preservation site in the village. The centre holds festivals and cultural events which attract more than 30,000 visitors per year.
The municipality invests in marketing and advertising activities to help promote the Almond Festival. “Almond” has been one of the biggest treasures in Israel with the event taking place annually during the almond blossom period.
Alongside this festival, Kfar Kama has seen an influx of visitors and, as a result, local businesses have been incentivised to facilitate business licensing and to providing buildings for rental purposes to tourism enterprises.
The Ambassadors programme
Women are in key positions in all areas of life as a legacy of the Circassian tradition. Young women serve in the visitor centre and receive the necessary training for their field of work. A training programme for teenagers and young people enables them to guide visitors on peak days such as festivals and holidays.
Additionally, the Ambassadors programme has incorporated folklore and language learning classes whereby students from different backgrounds are taught the importance of preserving Circassian culture.