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This is how it all began

 


Petach-Tikva was founded in the year 1878 by a group of pioneers from Jerusalem, who three years earlier had founded the society “Work the soil and redeem the land” with the aim to re­deem the land from its aridity, and the people from having to eat charity bread from the “Distri­bution” of those days. The three men to take the initiative from Jerusalem, in founding Petach-Tikva, were: Rabbi Yoel-Moshe Salomon, Rabbi David Gutmann and Yehoshua Stampfer.They called it Petah Tikva (gate of the hope) after the prophecy of the prophet Hosea (2:17): ” and I give way … the valley of Achor for a gate of the hope”. This was the first Jewish village in the country and was later known as “the mother of the Moshavot”. Thus Petach-Tikva became the mother of all settlements.

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The original settlers of Petah Tikva had soon to leave their just acquired country because of the malaria, a disappointing first harvest and the contradictions with each other.In 1883, emigrants tried a new settlement foundation. But they also were confronted with many problems: There was a lack of money and of experience about the cultivation of land; they moreover were frequently attacked by Arabian gangs and were exposed to continued persecution by the Turkish authorities. Most of these difficulties were overcome with the help of the prosperous French baron and philanthropist Edmund de Rothschild. He also financed the draining of the marshes.


T
en years after its establishment, in 1888, Baron Rothschild began to support the settle­ment by the purchase of land by helping the farmers of the settlement. Petach Tikva became the school for thousands of pioneer work­ers, who studied the craft of farming here before they ventured out to estab­lish tens of settle­ments in all parts of the country. In the beginning of the twenties of this century Petach-Tikva entered a process of urbanisation, including the development of industrial zones. In 1937 Petach-Tikva received the status of a city. With the establishment of the state the population of Petach-Tikva numbered around 22 thousand. Today the number of citizens amounts to around 180 thousand souls. The area of jurisdiction is 39 sq.km.(39,00 Donums), half of it built-up.  


The first Jewish village in Israel which was founded by the bearded pioneers under the name Petah Tikva over 130 years ago was the “gate of the hope” for a better life for generations of settlers, refugees and emigrants ! (Plantation workers; Photo of 1927)