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Ḥolon

ḤOLON

ḤOLON (Heb. חוֹלוֹן, name derived from ḥol, "sand," indicating the sand dunes upon which the town stands), city in Israel's Coastal Plain, 2.5 mi. (4 km.) S.E. of Tel Aviv. The area of Ḥolon was first settled in 1925, when groups of Ẓe'irei Mizrachi and Ohel Sadeh acquired land there. To guard their property, they set up modest huts on the spot, calling their suburb "Shekhunat Green," which then constituted part of the Jaffa municipality. A second stage was reached in the years 1934–36, when further, but still isolated, quarters were built by the public firms Agrobank and Shikkun, which had acquired large holdings on the vast sand-dune area. These suburbs attracted mainly working-class families that could not afford housing in Tel Aviv proper. The quarters continued to expand, in spite of the 1936–39 Arab riots. In 1940 there were five quarters (Agrobank, Kiryat Avodah, Shekhunat Am, Shekhunat Green, Moledet) with a combined population of 1,800, most of them workers. In the same year, Ḥolon received local council status. Until 1948 the population grew to 7,000 with the absorption of new immigrants and first industrial enterprises. In the War of Independence (1948), Ḥolon was at first completely isolated, but the fall of Arab Jaffa provided the much-needed link with Tel Aviv. Further land was added to Ḥolon's municipal area, bringing its total to 19,500 dunams, and it received municipal council status in 1950. Many new suburbs were built from 1949, and Ḥolon became a major industrial center. Its geographical advantages were the proximity of Tel Aviv, the railway line, major highways, the Tel Aviv harbor and later the Ashdod port, as well as the large dune areas that were easily adapted for industrial and residential construction. Ḥolon's share in the absorption of the mass immigration is indicated by its population increase from 15,000 in 1950 to 84,700 at the end of 1969. In 2002 the population was 165,800, making it the eighth largest city in Israel. It occupies a municipal area of 7.4 sq. mi. (19.2 sq. km.).

Ḥolon's position within the Tel Aviv conurbation deeply influenced this city's development. In matters of financial, commercial, and many other services, including some aspects of education, recreation, and health, Ḥolon depends on Tel Aviv. Also, Tel Aviv provides employment to many of Ḥolon's inhabitants. Ḥolon's own economy has been principally based on its industry, concentrated mainly in a special area where large, medium, and small enterprises are located.

The city has large public parks and irrigated lawns covering an area of over 100 acres. Among cultural institutions are Yad la-Banim, a cultural center in memory of local youth who fell in the country's defense, as well as a number of ulpanim. Ḥolon has a *Samaritan community. In 2003/4 the city opened a number of cultural institutions, such as the Ḥolon Theater, the Children's Museum, the Interdisciplinary Center for the Arts and Sciences, and the Center for Digital Art.

bibliography:

Ḥolon 1959 (Heb., Eng., and Fr., 1959); I.M. Emanuel, Yadan Ḥolon (1961); Shesh Shenot Ma'aseh (photographs, 1965). website: www.holon.muni.il.

[Shlomo Hasson /

Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]

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