Carmei Yosef was established in 1984, named after Yosef Sapir, deceased president of the Farmers' Association. Carmei Yosef is spread out over approx. 1640 dunams [approx. 410 acres] and is inhabited by about 430 families – some 2,000 persons [according to 2005 census] and is part of the Gezer Local Council.
The settlement is located on a hill just south of Tel Gezer, 200-260 above sea level, and borders the Ayalon Valley and the Meginim Forest. The weather is pleasant.
Carmei Yosef's history
Carmei Yosef is situated in the midst of agricultural lands, mostly vineyards growing grapes for wine and eating, as well as fruit and olive groves, covering some 7500 dunams [1875 acres]. The agricultural land belongs mostly to farmers living in the surrounding towns of Rechovot, Rishon Le-Tzion and Nes Ziona.
The original plan, in 1974, had been to establish a settlement on Tel Gezer however, since this location was destined to become an archeological site, the location was moved just south, on a rocky hi. The building of the settlement took 10 years because of the difficulties in preparing the ground for construction – removing the rocks, preparing the ground for the laying of the infrastructure was carried out and financed by the future residents themselves – the Jewish Agency provided planning and surveying services – but the bulk of the burden fell on the shoulders of the "pioneers".
In 1977, plans for the establishment of the settlement were approved by the Ministers' Settlement Committee, and the cornerstone of the newest settlement in the State of Israel was laid on 28 July 1980, in the presence of representatives from many government ministries and organizations. The cornerstone of the first public building to be built in Carmei Yosef was laid on 30 March 1983. On the eve of Rosh Hashana 1984, Sima and Eli Shimoni, the first settlers of Carmei Yosef, moved into their house, and it was only on the eve of Passover of that year, that they were joined by others. Twenty families moved to Carmei Yosef that first year.
Carmei Yosef has a small shopping center with a synagogue, playgrounds, health services, a community center, nursery schools as well as kindergartens. School-age children are bused to the regional schools in nearby Beit Hashmonay. One can also find family owned vineyards, olive presses and a plant producing dried fruits.