Rishon LeZionRishon LeZion
(ראשון לציון) is a city in Israel
, on the central coastal strip, just south of Tel Aviv, and part of the Tel Aviv
metropolitan area (Gush Dan
). It has about 227,000 residents.
Rishon was founded in 1882 by a group of Hovevey Zion (Zion lovers) from Russia. It is considered (along with Petah Tikva) as the first Zionist settlement in Israel.
The new settlers faced a lot of difficulties: sandy soil, lack of water, poverty and mainly the lack of agricultural experience. After digging the Great Well and a wave of new settlers arrived (The Biluim) the new settlement started to establish itself. It was later given to the custody of Baron Edmond James de Rothschild who supported the settlement and help developed there agriculture, citrus fruits ("Pri Adar") and wine industry.
Rishon-LeZion, literly means "The first for Zion (Israel)", was a pioneer not only in erecting houses but also in cultural life. In Rishon, the first Hebrew school and first Hebrew kindergarten where funded. In Rishon, the national anthem of Israel, Hatikvah (The Hope), was written and the Israeli flag was created.
Important people in Rishon's history:
- Zeev Abrahamovich - one of Rishon's funders.
- Fani Belkind - member of Bilu group who settled in Rishon.
- Israel Belkind- member of Bilu group who settled in Rishon.
- Samason Belkind - member of Bilu group who settled in Rishon.
- David Ben Gurion - a workers' leader in the Yekev and the Israel first prime minister.
- Eliezer Ben Yehuda - the father of modern Hebrew language and a teacher in Rishon LeZion.
- Yoel Drubin - member of Bilu group who settled in Rishon.
- Israel Fineberg - defended Rishon from Arab and Beduin bandits.
- Yossef Fineberg - chemist and one of Rishon's funders.
- Hananya Gibstein - Rishon's mayor before Nitzan.
- Yehuda Hankin - one of Rishon's funders.
- Dov Lubman Haviv - A teacher in the first Hebrew school.
- Mordechai Lubman Haviv - educational inspector.
- Zrubabel Haviv - son of Dov Lubman.
- Dr Haim Hissin - member of Bilu group who settled in Rishon.
- Zalman David Levontin - buyer of Rishon's territory from the Ottoman empire.
- Zvi Ha-Cohen Levontin - one of Rishon's funders.
- Meir Nitzan - Rishon's mayor since 1980, consindered as one of the best mayors in Israel.
- Baron Edmond James de Rothschild - the French Jewish philanthropist who supported Rishon.
- Reuven Yudalevich - one of Rishon's funders.
- David Yudilovich - member of Bilu group who settled in Rishon.
=Rishon Le-Zion Today=
Rishon-LeZion's main quarters are:
- The Old City - the whole area around Herzl street and Jabotinsky street. The center of the Old City is Rotschild street, near the Midrehov ([padestrian mall]) and the old Gan-HaMoshava (The City Park).
- Shikun(ey) Ha-Mizrah (The Eastern Resident) - located in the eastern part of Rishon.
- Old Mabat - "The Old Industrial Zone" which officially named "Mis'har, Biluy, Taasia" (commerce, entertainment and industry) was full of light industry and glass factories. Today it is the center of motor garages, large food stores and has a vidid night-life in a pedestrian mall filled with bars and cafes. The Old Mabat is located in northern part of Rishon, near HaMaccabim road (the road is called "Kvish Beit-Dagan" by the locals).
- Maarav Rishon (The New West) - built in the 1980s and was mostly populated in the 1990s, the New West is a block of new neighborhoods, connected with modern and wide roads between each other. The New West is the modern part of Rishon and has many parks and community-centers. It considered to be very aesthetic and prestigious and in last than a decade it was filled with more than 100,000 residents, doubling Rishon's population.
- New Mabat - two new industrial zones in the New West.
Today, Rishon-LeZion is the 4th most populated city and Israel and is known for its high life-quality. Its main industries are wine, construction, services and commerce.
Places to see in the Old City of Rishon:
- The Midrehov.
- Gan-HaMoshava (also called "Gan Ha-Nadiv").
- The Great Synagouge.
- The Great Well ("Mazanu Mayim").
- The Old Water Tower.
- The Rishon LeZion Histoey Museum.
- The first Hebrew school - Beit Sefer Haviv.
- Yekev Carmel Mizrahi - the old wine factory.
- Beit Yad LeBanim - originally was the baron's offices but now it serves as a Memorial center to Rishon's sons who fell in Israel's wars.
- Heichal Ha-Tarbut (Hall of Culture) - a modern center for concerts, theatre and culture events. It has one main hall for shows and two small halls for artistic workshops.
- The Superland - Rishon's amusement park (allocated in the New West).