ḤADERAH (Heb. חֲדֵרָה), town in central Israel, in the northern Sharon, founded in 1890 by members of Ḥovevei Zion from Vilna, Kovno, and Riga who had bought the land a few months earlier. The area was swampy and infested with malaria, and the settlers underwent great suffering, with more than half dying of malaria in the first 20 years of Ḥaderah's existence. In 1895 Baron Edmond de *Rothschild began aiding the village, sending Egyptian workers to lay out the first drainage network and planting large eucalyptus groves; the eucalyptus tree soon became Ḥaderah's symbol. Dr. Hillel *Joffe worked indefatigably in combating the malaria in Ḥaderah. Although the disease ceased to constitute a problem from the late 1920s, the last vestiges of the swamps disappeared only in 1945, when a larger canal leading to the sea was dug. Whereas field and vegetable garden crops initially constituted main farm branches, citrus groves began to be planted before World War i and were greatly enlarged in the 1920s and 1930s. With the construction of the Lydda-Haifa railway in 1918–19, Ḥaderah became a railway station, and with the completion of the Ḥaderah–Petaḥ Tikvah highway in 1937, it also became an important crossroads, connected with Haifa in the north and the Jezreel Valley in the east. The number of inhabitants increased from 152 in 1898 to 320 in 1914, 450 in 1922, 3,372 in 1931, and 11,819 in 1948. Ḥaderah became a regional center, receiving municipal council status in 1936 and municipal status in 1952. During the first years of Israel's independence, after 1948, Ḥaderah doubled its population. In 1961 it had 26,000 and, in 1968, 31,100 inhabitants; of the latter, 40% were Israeliborn, 33% hailed from Europe and America, and 27% from Asia and Africa. In the mid-1990s, the population was approximately 56,100 and by the end of 2002 it was already 74,000. Although agriculture (carp ponds, bananas, cattle, poultry, beehives, flowers, etc., in addition to citrus and various field and garden crops) continued to develop, industry became the main element in the town's economy. Concentrated on a dune area in the northwest, it included the American Israel Paper Mills and Alliance Tire and Rubber Company (each with over 1,000 employed in 1970), food-preserve plants, and other enterprises. Near the estuary of the Ḥaderah River there is a large electric power station run by Israel's Electric Company. As the center of a sub-district, Ḥaderah fulfills administrative functions and has the Hillel Joffe hospital and educational institutions. The large municipal area of 20 sq. mi. (50 sq. km.), extending over the sand dunes west to the seashore, provides ample space for expansion of residential and industrial quarters. During the al-Aqsa Intifada, commencing in 2001, Ḥaderah came under a number of terrorist attacks, including a suicide bombing at a bar mitzvah, which killed six and wounded 35.
The name Ḥaderah is derived from the Arabic al-Khaḍrāʾ("the Green"), referring to the color of the former swamp vegetation and to the algae-covered water of Naḥal Ḥaderah. The area around Ḥaderah was first settled in the Chalcolithic period; house-shaped pottery ossuaries with painted decorations from this time were found in excavations there in 1936. Bronze Age remains, as well as ruins of buildings, mosaics, and a Roman bridge, were also discovered. In the Crusader period the city was called Lictera after the Arabic name al-Khuḍayra. Because of the many swamps in its vicinity, the site was abandoned after the Crusades.
L.I. Shneorson, Mi-Pi Rishonim (1963); E. Hadani, Ḥaderah, 1891–1951 (Heb., 1951); Yedi'ot Ḥaderah, nos. 1–3 (1965–68); M. Smilansky, Ḥaderah (Heb. 1930, 19362); Histadrut ha-Ovedim ha-Ivrim ha-Kelalit be-Ereẓ-Yisrael, Ḥaderah ha-Ovedet-le-Yovlah 1891–1941 (1941).
[Shlomo Hasson /
Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]