|Small historical village located northwest of Tzfat.
Many Safed residents are finding that they can live in Biriya and commute easily to work and school in Tzfat. Biriya is officially part of the Merom HaGalil Regional Authority but its proximity to Tzfat makes it an attractive residential location for area residents who are looking for a comfortable home in a rural atmosphere.
While the exact dates of Tzfat’s Jewish community settlement are questionable, archaeologists are certain of the dates that Jews lived in the area which is today the Biriya forest.
 Early History
Excavations indicate that the Naburiya synagogue, west of Amuka in the Biriya forest, existed during the first and second temple periods, was destroyed in a fourth century earthquake and was later reconstructed. The inscription on the synagogue doorpost stated “Built four hundred and ninety four years after the destruction of the temple under the leadership of Hanina ben Lizar and Luliana bar Yuden”.
 16th Century
Rabbi Yosef Caro, author of the Shulhan Aruch, lived in Biriya during the time that he served as the head of the “Beit Din” Rabbinical Court in Tzfat. Some accounts relate that he chose to live outside of the city because of the plague that claimed so many lives in Tzfat, including that of The ARI. The location of his home is not known.
 Pre-State Struggle
Biriya became famous during the British rule of the area when youth groups attempted to establish a farming community on the mountaintop. Although the British evicted them several times, the Bnai Akiva teens continued to return until the British finally allowed them to stay.
During the Safed War of Independence “Haganah” -- Jewish defense -- fighters descended into Tzfat from these hilltops to defend the city.
Biriya is accessible within a five minute drive of Tzfat’s center. To reach Biriya, drive out of Tzfat along Ha’Atzmaut Road. There are two entrances to Biriya. You can either enter to the right immediately after you exit left out of Tzfat at the main Tzfat junction (also known as “the Biriya Junction”). Alternately, you can cross the Biriya junction and continue up the road for approximately 300 meters and turn left immediately after the gravesite of Benaihu Ben Yehoyada.
Biriya is a rural neighborhood and a growing community of single-family homes. There are day care centers and kindergartens in Biriya and elementary-aged children can attend school in the regional Merom HaGalil Hemed school or at the school of their choice in Tzfat. High school-aged children may also attend a Tzfat school, the Ulpana or Yeshiva at Meron or at Kibbutz Sasa.There are synagogues in Biriya and the population is mainly secular or affiliated with the National Religious movement, though there are some Ultra-Orthodox families who live in the area as well.