OR AKIVA (Heb. אוֹר עֲקִיבָא; "Light of R. Akiva"), immigrant development town in the northern Sharon, 1½ mi. E. of *Caesarea. Construction of the town began in 1951 with the aim of providing permanent housing for the inhabitants of the Caesarea *ma'barah (immigrant transit camp). In 1968, Or Akiva had 6,000 inhabitants, as compared with 3,208 in 1961. In the mid-1990s the population was approximately 11,500, increasing to 15,700 in 2002 and occupying an area of 1.2 sq. mi. (3 sq. km.). In 2001 Or Akiva received city status. A new Performing Arts Center produced a cultural awakening in the town. Its economy was based mainly on mediumsize industry (carpet weaving, silk weaving; fur coats, rubber mattresses, etc.). Further employment was provided by the tourist enterprises of Caesarea. Income was about half the national average.
[Shlomo Hasson /
Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]