Kfar Kama is an excellent place to encounter the Circassians, a Caucasian people of the Sunni Muslim faith who were forced out of their homes in the northern Caucasus – between the Black and Caspian Seas – as the Russian Empire expanded southward in the mid-1800s. A local museum features Circassian culture and history.
At least half a million Circassians found refuge in the Ottoman Empire. In 1876 some of them settled in Kfar Kama, one of only two Circassian villages in Israel (the other is Reyhaniye). The Circassians have always enjoyed good relations with their Jewish neighbours, and all Circassian men – long famed as fierce warriors – are drafted into the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). Signs around the spotless, well-off town are in Hebrew, Circassian (spoken at home and taught in school) and Arabic.