Established as a Nahal settlement in 1970, it was recognised by the state in 1977, and began operating as a kibbutz. It was named a memorial (Hebrew: yad) to Yitzhak Tabenkin, one of the leaders of the Israeli kibbutz movement, it subsequently reorganized into a moshav shitufi (though remaining within the Kibbutz Movement), whose members today are immigrants from the former Soviet Union (34 families). Subtropical agriculture is the main economic activity in Yitav (dates, bananas, vegetables), although some members have outside jobs in the surrounding area or in Jerusalem.
Yitav Nature Reserve located 4 km south of Yitav covers the canyon of Nahal Yitav (Wadi al-Auja) with its springs.
Yitav on Bik'at HaYarden Regional Council site (Hebrew).