Petach-Tikva comprises more than 300 educational institutions, from kindergarten up to high schools, from every facet of education, secular, religious and ultra-religious. The number of pupils in the city amounts to 43 thousand, and the number of teachers about 2,400. Special education receives special attention in this city. Most schools have turned into community centres, and in the afternoons and evenings cultural, artistic, sportive and social events take place for the benefit of the population. The educational system in the city is characterised by pedagogic innovation and the strive for excellence of the educational institutions. Many of the schools in the city serve as regional and nation-wide examples in their innovative teaching methods, in community projects in the struggle against violence and drug abuse, and in the training and assimilation of progressive technologies, computer and multi-media. New and modern school buildings are erected in the new suburbs of the city, together with the development of buildings and installations in the centre of town. In the last few years the municipal education administration has undergone are-organisation and adjustment in order to lead the municipal educational system in the realms of education, values and pedagogy, alongside the traditional responsibility to the buildings and the administration.
Petach-Tikva is blessed with a large number of public institutions. The most outstanding of these institutions is the museum complex, which includes the Yad Labanim Museum, The Museum of man and his Environment-and, connecting them-a new and beautiful zoo, a Museum of biology, and the Afek Museum. Besides that, 17 libraries are scattered across the city and its periphery, the municipal conservatory, the Abraham Shapira House, the Neta House, the Shlomo House, the Rashish House, the “Sharet” Hall, the Mofet Hall, and others. Thousands of the city’s inhabitants, and guests from other towns, visit the city’s cultural institutions each day.
Industry and Commerce
Petach-Tikva comprises more than 2,000 enterprises and workshops in a variety of fields, over a total area of one million square meters! Petach-Tikva is the most industrialized city in Israel, and only Haifa (including the Krayot towns and Haifa bay!) is ahead of her. About half of its 21,000 industrial workers are employed in the textile, metal, food and wood industry. In the past years there has been a continuous rise in the number of enterprises in the area of hi-tech in Israel, who moved their location to the industrial zones of Kiryat Aryeh and into the area of Segula, where wide development work involving high investment was completed lately. These projects, and encouragement steps taken by the municipality, turn Petach-Tikva into a magnet for industrialists.
Society and Youth
Around fifteen thousand children and youth take part in the broad variety of activities, offered to them by 22 student houses and 12 municipal youth centres scattered across the city and its suburbs. In these frameworks, which are active throughout the year, a wide range of programmes are offered, for ages ranging from infants to teenagers, including: many educational programmes, music, sport, camps, arts and crafts. Almost 4,000 holiday-makers take part in the municipal leisure programmes, which are active during the summer and Passover vacations. An additional special project of the Social and Youth department of the municipality of Petach-Tikva is the school for youth instruction with 1,000 pupils. Petach-Tikva is also favoured with 35 regional groups in the realms of song, movement and drama, besides the groups of the city itself. Among these is the Pikud Malabes Group: Avar Hove Atid: Neve Shir, Pirche Petach-Tikva, Akkord Hadash, Shmone Ve’asara. In addition, two groups have been established to cater for the orthodox population. Around 600 children and youth are active in the framework of the groups.
Welfare Services and Immigration Absorption
A wide ranged system of social services is active in Petach-Tikva-for the individual, the family and the community, and for the mentally disabled. The department for social services activates many volunteer groups. An outstanding institution-exclusive in Israel-was founded in Petach-Tikva in 1990: the house of the volunteer associations, which pools all the activities of the different volunteer associations and even serves as dormitory for some of them. In the area of absorption Petach-Tikva has welcomed in its open arms around twenty thousand immigrants from the Independent States, Ethiopia and other countries. The municipality has set up a unit for the absorption of immigrants, and it offers the immigrants absorption centres, Hebrew language schools (ulpanim) and clubs, and helps them find work and solve housing problems. In addition, it offers cultural and social activities. More than 250 synagogues for the different religious communities are scattered over the city. There are also a few Yeshivot in Petach-Tikva, which are outstanding in the world of the Torah. The Religious Council, with the support of the municipality, offers a wide range of religious services: Eruv, Mikves, preparation for Bar Mitzva, Torah lessons, study events and support in Torah activities.
Empire of Health
Petach-tikva is the largest health centre in the hospitals “Beilinson”, Geha”, Hasharon”, Beth Rivka”, for geriatrics, Ramat Marpe” Institute for medical research of the General Health Insurance, and the crown jewel: The Schneider Centre for Pediatry in Israel (in proximity to Beilinson), the largest and most beautiful of its kind in the Middle East. 17 stations for family health are working in the city and its suburbs, besides the many clinics of the different health insurance companies.
The realm of sport in Petach-Tikva has undergone an astonishing surge in the past years. Its crown jewel is the municipal sports hall, where both local and international events are carried out. At the same time, large municipal recreation and sports centres have been erected, such as: “Hasportan”, culture, youth and sports centres (CYSC) and swimming pools in the different neighbourhoods (the cysc in Amishav, Kiryat Matalon and Yoseftal-Dado deserve special mention). Likewise, 15 mini football arenas have been set up in different locations in the city. In Petach-Tikva the sports associations of Hapoel, Maccabi, Betar and Elizur are active in the different sports events. Some of them represent the city in the national leagues and in lower leagues. A wide range of sports activities is taking place in dozens of circles and with thousands of participants, mostly adults, in the sports palace and in the sports arenas that are at the disposal of the citizens.
Parks and Landscape
Many “green Lungs” are scattered across the city. Almost 2 sq.km.(!)-one twentieth of the municipal area-are covered with gardens, trees, greenery and parks. Around 180 public parks and 150 playgrounds are scattered in the city and its suburbs. The crown jewel is the Yarkon river sources National Park- Petach-Tikva, with annually 100,000 visitors. The pride of the Parks and landscape department is the new zoo, which was constructed in place of the old zoo, and the Farmers Garden: in this park more that 20 agricultural instruments have been installed, representing agriculture from the time of the founding of Petach-Tikva, M other of all settlements. The Founders Square too, in the middle of the city, changed its face in 1991/2. In the last year special emphasis was put of the placing of hanging flower pots in many places in the city, and in the planting of seasonal flowers in the entrance (and exit) roads of Petach-Tikva, and in many other parts of the city.