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Rishon Le-Zion

RISHON LE-ZION

Town in central Israel, seven miles southeast of Tel Aviv, stretching to the Mediterranean coastline.

Formerly known as Ayun Qara, Rishon le-Zion was founded in 1882 by ten Zionist settlers from Russia under the leadership of Zalman Levontin. They were soon joined by 100 additional pioneers. They experienced severe difficulties in the early years, including lack of funds and water resources, but financial support provided by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, who bought back the land from them and provided monthly stipends and funds to plant vineyards, culminated in 1889 in the opening of Carmel wine cellars. The first Hebrew kindergarten and elementary school opened in Rishon le-Zion during the 1880s; the first agricultural workers' association was founded there in 1887.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Rishon le-Zion became a cultural and social center, with its own orchestra and choir. The lyrics of the national anthem were written there by Naphtali Imber. The Jewish National Fund was founded there and the first telephone system and electrical generator were installed in Rishon. The town's urbanization began in the 1950s and by the 1970s Rishon had become a densely populated urban center. By the end of 2002, the population had surpassed 211,500 and the town was considered part of the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

see also levontin, zalman; rothschild, edmond de; tel aviv.

bryan daves
updated by yehuda gradus

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Rishon le-Zion

Rishon le-Zion (Heb., ‘First of Zion’). Hebrew title of the Sephardi head of the rabbis of Israel. From 1920, the Rishon le-Zion was given the additional title of hakham bashi (Chief Rabbi) of Erez Israel.

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"Rishon le-Zion." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved February 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/rishon-le-zion

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