Ofra - The People of Israel returning home
Ofra is located 25 km. south of the place where God promised Abraham that his offspring would be given this land. Eight kilometers south of Shiloh, where the Mishkan (the Tabernacle) was set up after the Tribes of Israel fought for, and attained, Eretz Yisrael, and eleven kilometers north of where our country's capital stood in the days of King Saul, the first king of Israel. From the mountaintops close to Ofra, you can see today's Jerusalem--the capital where King David and King Solomon reigned.
Samuel, Jeremiah, Elijah, Elisha, and other prophets, traversed the cities of Binyamin carrying the words of God and his chastisements about the imminent destruction of the first Bet Mikdash (the Temple.)
The battles of the Hashmonaim led by Judah Maccabee, were fought in the region surrounding Ofra, and until the destruction of the Second Temple this area thrived with Jewish life.
During the long Gallut (exile) this land was desolate.
In the aftermath of the War of Independence (1948), this area came under Jordanian occupation.
On the 9th of Iyar, 5735 - April 20, 1975 - the settlement of Ofra was founded.
Twentyseven years after statehood, and eight years after the liberation of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the Golan, in the Six-Day War - a war that threatened to destroy Israel.
Young Jews - members of the Gush Emunim Bloc - succeeded in settling in the Shomron (Samaria) and in renewing Jewish life in the land of the Bible.
Following in Ofra's footsteps, scores of settlements have been established in the Binyamin region. These Jewish settlements have bloomed and prospered; the Land of the Bible overjoyed with its returning sons.
Currently (2012), Ofra is a thriving community with a population of close to 4000, with institutions of education and research, of culture and sport, and many dozens of private enterprises amongst them, boutique wineries of international acclaim.
Over the years, Ofra has absorbed Jews who have made Aliyah from all over the Diaspora, and who have taken upon themselves missions of national importance. Among its residents are people in the fields of science and halacha, the media and institutions of higher learning, art and farming, finance and industry, and, of course, security and the military. Ofra attracts young couples and families, and many of Ofra's second generation have chosen Ofra as the place to build their homes.
Ofra faces many challenges and is determined to continue to grow and to develop. Ofra is well aware of the privilege it has been given - to renew the life that flourished here in Biblical times.