100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

December 11, 1987 - Image 46

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-12-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ISRAEL

Executive Gifts
"Museum of Modern Art Item
Italian Paper Specialities
Les Must de Cartier

THE

From Dune To Suburbia:
Rishon Turns 105

Together,
there's so much
good we can do.

SALE YOU CANT HOW
A CANDLE TO.

Beautiful bracelets. Gorgeous rings.
Personal and perfect gifts to set a heart on fire.
On sale.

30 to 40% OFF ENTIRE STOCK

BRUCE
WEISS

USTOM JEWELRY

U HAVE IT MADE

26325 TWELVE MILE ROAD, SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN

IN THE MAYFAIR SHOPS AT NORTHWESI ERN HIGHWAY

HOLIDAY HOURS

MONDAY THRU FRIDAY 10:00-9:00
SAT. 10:00-6:00 & SUN. 11:00-6:00

a

46 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1987

(313) 353-1424

!ws,4
1111111111SW

SIMON GRIVER

R

ishon Lezion is cele-
brating the 105th an-
niversary of its foun-
ding. As its name, "first to
Zion," suggests, Rishon Le-
zion was the first modern set-
tlement to be established in
Eretz Yisrael by Jewish im-
migrants from the Diaspora.
Today Rishon Lezion boasts a
population of 120,000 and is
the country's fastest growing
city.
It is unlikely that the har-
dy, romantic Eastern Euro-
pean Jewish Pioneers, like
Zalman David Levontin who
founded Rishon Lezion in
1882, could have envisaged
where their endeavors would
lead. Where they dreamed of
cultivated fields, concrete
apartment blocks have
sprung up, along with
fashionable villas, industrial
developments and flourishing
stores.
In the heart of Rishon, a
new commercial center is
almost complete, while to the
west of the city a new residen-
tial neighborhood and
science-based industrial park
are currently under construc-
tion. The city's poplation is
growing by two to three thou-
sand each year and the
municipal masterplan is for a
city of 200,000 residents.
In the undeveloped parts of
Rishon, pristine dunes re-
main. This hilly and harshly
arid landscape must have con-
fronted but not daunted
Levontin and 100 other set-
tlers who came to Eretz
Yisrael from Russia and
Romania. Like all early
Zionists, they dreamed of a
Jewish state, free from
pogroms and persecution,
where they could farm their
own lands.
However, the inhospitable
climate proved just as
troublesome, as did the set-
tlers' lack of agricultural ex-
perience. But with the finan-
cial help of Baron Edmond de
Rothschild, grapes and
almonds were succesfully
grown and eventually in 1889
a wine cellar was established.
In 1897 the settlement had
a population of 500, swelling
to 2,130 in 1917 and 10,200 in
1948. By this time citrus had
become the principle farming
activity with an abundance of
orange groves. Most of these
groves remain today, surroun-
ding the city and lending it
the fragrance of orange
blossom during the winter
and spring.
By 1970 the population had
climbed to 46,500.

Rishon Lezion's water tower, built
in 1890 by Baron Rothschild.

To many, however, Rishon
Lezion no longer has its own
distinct identity but is mere-
ly another suburb of Tel Aviv.
On a Friday evening, a
nightbird seeking entertain-
ment in Rishon would have a
hard time finding a restau-
rant open. Not because of
respect for Jewish orthodoxy
(12 percent of the population
is Orthodox) but because
Rishon's residents have
poured into Tel Aviv. "To
some extent it is true," says
municipal spokesman Yisrael
Canaan, "that Rishon's
residents sleep in the city and
work and play in Tel Aviv, but
the phenomenon is exag-
gerated. Our policy is to build
as many commercial and in-
dustrial facilities- within
Rishon as possible, creating
more job options here. Many
people already come from
other towns to work in
Rishon. Ultimately we cannot
change the fact that we are so
close to Tel Aviv with all the
opportunities that a
metropolis offers."
If the original settlers were
Eastern European, the in-
gathering of the exiles to
Rishon has encompassed
dozens of Diaspora com-
munities.
In 1980, a policy of school
integration was introduced to
ensure that there was an
ethnic mix in all the mun-
cipality's schools.
Project Renewal has also
helped close social gaps. With
the aid of New Jersey Jewry
in the Ramat Eliahu quarter
and Australian Jewry in
Shikun Hamizrach, the open-
ing of dozens of new com-
munity facilities has helped
alleviate social deprivation.

World Zionist Press Service

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan