Rishon LeZion
Overview
 
Rishon LeZion is the fourth-largest city in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, located along the central Israeli coastal plain
Israeli Coastal Plain
The Israeli coastal plain is the narrow coastal plain along Israel's Mediterranean Sea coast which houses 70% of the country's population. The plain extends north to south and is divided into a number of areas; the Plain of Zebulun , Hof HaCarmel , the Sharon plain , and the Plain of Judea The...

 12 kilometers south of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

. It is part of the Gush Dan
Gush Dan
The Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area , or Gush Dan , is a metropolitan area including areas from both the Tel Aviv and the Central Districts of Israel. The area is closely linked to the city of Tel Aviv through social, economic, and cultural ties. It is located along the Israeli Mediterranean coastline...

 metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

.

The city had a population of 228,200 at the end of 2009. Founded in 1882 by European Jewish immigrants, it was the second Jewish farm colony established in Land of Israel
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...

 in the 19th century, after Petah Tikva
Petah Tikva
Petah Tikva known as Em HaMoshavot , is a city in the Center District of Israel, east of Tel Aviv.According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, at the end of 2009, the city's population stood at 209,600. The population density is approximately...

.
The name Rishon LeZion is derived from a biblical
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 verse: "First to Zion are they, and I shall give herald to Jerusalem" (Isaiah
Book of Isaiah
The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, preceding the books of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the Book of the Twelve...

 41:27) and literally translates as "First to Zion".
Rishon LeZion was founded on July 31, 1882 by ten Hovevei Zion
Hovevei Zion
Hovevei Zion , also known as Hibbat Zion , refers to organizations that are now considered the forerunners and foundation-builders of modern Zionism....

 pioneers from Kharkov, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 (then the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

) headed by Zalman David Levontin.
Encyclopedia
Rishon LeZion is the fourth-largest city in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, located along the central Israeli coastal plain
Israeli Coastal Plain
The Israeli coastal plain is the narrow coastal plain along Israel's Mediterranean Sea coast which houses 70% of the country's population. The plain extends north to south and is divided into a number of areas; the Plain of Zebulun , Hof HaCarmel , the Sharon plain , and the Plain of Judea The...

 12 kilometers south of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

. It is part of the Gush Dan
Gush Dan
The Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area , or Gush Dan , is a metropolitan area including areas from both the Tel Aviv and the Central Districts of Israel. The area is closely linked to the city of Tel Aviv through social, economic, and cultural ties. It is located along the Israeli Mediterranean coastline...

 metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

.

The city had a population of 228,200 at the end of 2009. Founded in 1882 by European Jewish immigrants, it was the second Jewish farm colony established in Land of Israel
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...

 in the 19th century, after Petah Tikva
Petah Tikva
Petah Tikva known as Em HaMoshavot , is a city in the Center District of Israel, east of Tel Aviv.According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, at the end of 2009, the city's population stood at 209,600. The population density is approximately...

.

Etymology

The name Rishon LeZion is derived from a biblical
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 verse: "First to Zion are they, and I shall give herald to Jerusalem" (Isaiah
Book of Isaiah
The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, preceding the books of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the Book of the Twelve...

 41:27) and literally translates as "First to Zion".

History

Rishon LeZion was founded on July 31, 1882 by ten Hovevei Zion
Hovevei Zion
Hovevei Zion , also known as Hibbat Zion , refers to organizations that are now considered the forerunners and foundation-builders of modern Zionism....

 pioneers from Kharkov, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 (then the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

) headed by Zalman David Levontin. Reuven Yudalevich
Reuven Yudalevich
Reuven Yudalevich , was a funder and founder of the city of Rishon Le Zion, Israel. He was born in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, to his father Yehuda. He eventually married Batya Wissel, daughter of Avraham Wissel and had one son, Moshe, before leaving Ukraine. He received a traditional education and began...

 was also a member of the group. The pioneers purchased 835 acre (337.91 ha) of land southeast of present-day Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

, part of the townland of the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 village of Ayun Kara (literally ' fountain of the crier'). Ayun Kara was the scene of a bloody battle between Turkish and New Zealand troops on November 14, 1917.
A stone cenotaph was erected by the people of Richon Le Zion to the memory of the New Zealanders who fell that day, but it has since been destroyed.

The founders faced numerous difficulties. The soil was sandy, water was scarce and the settlers had no agricultural experience. After a well was dug and more pioneers arrived – the Bilu
Bilu
Bilu was a movement whose goal was the agricultural settlement of the Land of Israel. "Bilu" is an acronym based on a verse from the Book of Isaiah "בית יעקב לכו ונלכה" Beit Ya'akov Lekhu Venelkha...

im – the colony slowly took shape. Notable members of this group include Fani Belkind, Israel Belkind
Israel Belkind
Israel Belkind was a Jewish educator, author, writer, historian and founder of the Bilu movement. A pioneer of the First Aliyah, Belkind founded the Biluim, a group of Jewish idealists aspiring to settle in the Land of Israel with the political purpose to redeem Eretz Yisrael and re-establish the...

, Shimshon Belkind, Yoel Drubin
Yoel Drubin
Yoel Drubin was a member of the Bilu group, which was a group of Jews that fled persecution in Russia by joining the Political Zionist movement and migrating to Palestine. There, he became an important founder of the city of Rishon LeZion, Israel's fourth largest city after Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and...

, Dr. Haim Hissin, and David Yudilovich. When Baron Edmond James de Rothschild
Edmond James de Rothschild
Baron Edmond Benjamin James de Rothschild was a French member of the Rothschild banking family. A strong supporter of Zionism, his generous donations lent significant support to the movement during its early years, which helped lead to the establishment of the State of Israel.- Early years :A...

 took over, sending in his administrators, major progress was made in the spheres of agriculture, citrus and viticulture. Under Rothschild's patronage, the Carmel-Mizrahi Winery was established in 1886.

David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
' was the first Prime Minister of Israel.Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946...

 was head of workers' union at the winery before later becoming Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

's first prime minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

. The first Hebrew school in the country opened in Rishon Lezion in 1889. Dov Lubman Haviv taught there and Mordechai Lubman Haviv was an educational inspector. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda
Eliezer Ben-Yehuda
Eliezer Ben‑Yehuda was a Jewish lexicographer and newspaper editor. He was the driving spirit behind the revival of the Hebrew language in the modern era.-Biography:...

, known as the father of modern Hebrew, was a teacher in Rishon LeZion. In 1890, Rishon Lezion had a population of 359. Five years later, the figure had risen to 380, and by 1900, to 526. In 1911, 4,000 dunams of land in Rishon Lezion were planted with grapes and 254 dunams with other fruit orchards.

Development was hindered by the lack of a water source. Baron Rothschild
Nathan Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschild
Nathan Mayer Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschild, Baron de Rothschild was a British banker and politician from the international Rothschild financial dynasty.-Life and family:...

 brought in experts who located water at 42 meters below ground. The groundwater table in the area was found to be uneven and wells were mostly constructed at between 20 and 25 meters in depth. Orchards were then developed around the settlement, and by the late 1920s the city developed a burgeoning citrus industry.

Rishon was declared a city in 1950. By 1983 it had a population of 103,000. In 2006, 222,300 people were living in the city. By 2020, the population is expected to reach 315,000. In 2007, the Rishon LeZion Municipality was awarded the Ministry of Interior Prize for Proper Management.

Demographics

According to data from the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics
Israel Central Bureau of Statistics
The Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , abbreviated CBS, is an Israeli government office established in 1949 to carry out research and publish statistical data on all aspects of Israeli life, including population, society, economy, industry, education and physical infrastructure.It is headed by a...

 as of December 2009, the number of residents in Rishon LeZion is 228,200. The annual growth of the population stands at 0.6%. The predominant majority of the city's residents are Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

.

Economy

Rishon Lezion's main industries today are wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

, construction
Construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

, services and commerce
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

. Factories and workshops are located in the old industrial zone, which has become a popular venue for pubs, dance clubs and restaurants. Industry in the city is largely divided into two industrial centers: the old industrial zone in the north of the city and the new industrial zone in the west of the city.

The two major malls in Rishon LeZion are Rothschild Center in the old downtown center and Gold Mall (Kenyon HaZahav) in the New West district. Companies such as Coca Cola, Gazit Globe, Volvo
Volvo
AB Volvo is a Swedish builder of commercial vehicles, including trucks, buses and construction equipment. Volvo also supplies marine and industrial drive systems, aerospace components and financial services...

 and Fiat
Fiat
FIAT, an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino , is an Italian automobile manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial, and industrial group based in Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont. Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli...

 are expected to open in the Maayan Sorek area. As part of the city's 5-year plan to be completely water-independent, construction of a desalination plant is planned for Rishon which will produce 3.7 million cubic meters of water per year, whilst the city already hosts the large Shafdan recycling plant.

Mayors

  • Eliakum Ostashinski (1950–51)
  • Aryeh Sheftel (1951)
  • Moshe Gavin (1952–55)
  • Gershon Man Mankov (1955)
  • Hana Levin (1955–60)
  • Aryeh Sheftel (1960–62)
  • Noam Laoner (1962–65)
  • Aryeh Sheftel (1965–69)
  • Hananya Gibstein (1969–83)
  • Meir Nitzan
    Meir Nitzan
    Meir Nitzan is an Israeli politician. He was mayor of Rishon Lezion for five consecutive terms.-Biography:Nitzan was born in Bucharest, Romania. He lived in a displaced persons' camp in Cyprus before making Aliyah at age 16. Upon his arrival in Israel, he lived in the then-transit camp Pardes Hanna...

     (1983–2008)
  • Dov Tzur
    Dov Tzur
    -Career:Tzur was elected on November 11, 2008 and surpassed Meir Nizan, who had headed the city for 25 years. Tzur received 52.75% of the vote.-References:...

     (2008–present)


Education and culture

Rishon LeZion has twenty-three elementary schools, nine middle schools and twelve high schools. Rishon Lezion's College of Management has a student population of 10,000. Sixty percentage of twelve graders in the city qualify for a matriculation certificate.

Rishon LeZion holds an annual wine festival. The Rishon LeZion Amphitheatre has hosted overseas artists such as Sting, Metallica
Metallica
Metallica is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement that drummer Lars Ulrich had posted in a local newspaper. The current line-up features long-time lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo ...

, Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette
Alanis Nadine Morissette is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and actress. She has won 16 Juno Awards and seven Grammy Awards, was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and also shortlisted for an Academy Award nomination...

 and Sean Paul
Sean Paul
Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques , who performs under stage name Sean Paul, is a Jamaican pop rap and reggae singer.-1973–1996: Early life:...

. The city has a municipal zoo
Zoo
A zoological garden, zoological park, menagerie, or zoo is a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred....

, an amusement park (Superland), and a beach promenade. Heychal HaTarbut (Hall of Culture) is a venue for classical concerts
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

, theatre performances
Theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

 and cultural events. It has a larger theatre for shows and two smaller ones for artistic workshops. The Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Lezion, has participated in music festivals all over the world. It was awarded the ACUM prize in 1991.

Landmarks

Landmarks in Rishon LeZion include the history museum; the Carmel Winery
Carmel Winery
Carmel Winery is a vineyard and winery in Israel. Founded in 1882 by Edmond James de Rothschild, its products are exported to over 40 countries.- Overview :...

; the administrative center of Edmond James de Rothschild
Edmond James de Rothschild
Baron Edmond Benjamin James de Rothschild was a French member of the Rothschild banking family. A strong supporter of Zionism, his generous donations lent significant support to the movement during its early years, which helped lead to the establishment of the State of Israel.- Early years :A...

, now a soldiers' memorial; the Great Synagogue; the Well; the old water tower; and Beit Sefer Haviv, the first Hebrew School.

Geography

Rishon LeZion is located on the Israeli Mediterranean Coastal Plain
Israeli Coastal Plain
The Israeli coastal plain is the narrow coastal plain along Israel's Mediterranean Sea coast which houses 70% of the country's population. The plain extends north to south and is divided into a number of areas; the Plain of Zebulun , Hof HaCarmel , the Sharon plain , and the Plain of Judea The...

 and the northern Shephelah
Shephelah
The Shephelah is a designation usually applied to the region in south-central Israel of 10-15 km of low hills between the central Mount Hebron and the coastal plains of Philistia within the area of the Judea, at an altitude of 120-450 metres above sea level. The area is fertile, and a temperate...

. The city experiences hot, dry summers, and cool, wet winters.


Neighborhoods

Rishon LeZion can be divided into four main quarters: the old city, the eastern housing projects, the northern (old) industrial zone, and Western Rishon LeZion. There is also an industrial zone on the southern tip of the city, next to Gan Sorek
Gan Sorek
Gan Sorek is a moshav in central Israel. Located in the coastal plain around four kilometres south-west of Rishon LeZion and covering 700 dunams, it falls under the jurisdiction of Gan Raveh Regional Council...

.

Old city

The old city of Rishon includes the original neighborhoods, some buildings dating back to Rishon's founding in 1881. This quarter is located in the city center, between and around Herzl and Jabotinsky Streets. It includes the following neighborhoods:
Nahalat Yehuda (on the northernmost tip of Rishon); Neve Hillel; Bnot Hayil; Abramovich; Katzenelson; Remez (Giv'at Levinson), on the southwestern tip of old Rishon; Rishonim (Gan Nahum), to the east of Remez

Shikunei HaMizrah

The Eastern Housing Projects ( Shikunei HaMizrah) was Rishon's quick expansion to the east. It is dominated by the housing projects (shikunim) there, in the Shikunei HaMizrah neighborhood itself. The eastern projects stopped developing when they reached the fences of the Tzrifin
Tzrifin
Tzrifin is an area in Gush Dan in central Israel, located on the eastern side of Rishon LeZion and including parts of Be'er Ya'akov. The area proper is defined as an 'area without jurisdiction' between the two cities....

 military base. When Tzrifin will be sold to private contractors as planned, this quarter is expected to expand significantly with new lucrative housing projects. Other smaller neighborhoods include Revivim, Kidmat Rishon, Ne'urim, Rambam, Neve Hadarim, HaShomer, Kfar Arye, Mishor HaNof and Kiryat Simha.

Old industrial zone

The industrial zones in Rishon LeZion are called Mabat, an abbreviation for Miskhar, Bilui VeTa'asiya (Commerce, Pastime and Industry). The northern zone is the oldest and original industrial zone, once full of light industry and glass factories. Today, it is known for its prolific nightlife.

West Rishon

West Rishon LeZion is the conglomeration of the new neighborhoods of the city, built in the 1980s and 90s. The west also has higher land value because of its relative proximity to the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

. It includes the entire city west of Tzahal Road
Highway 42 (Israel)
Highway 42 is a north-south highway in central Israel. It leads from Ashdod interchange in the south to Gan Rave interchange in the north. The road is 19 km long.-Junctions and interchanges on the route:...

. The quarter includes the new industrial zone (Western Mabat), and a number of residential neighborhoods: Neve Eliyahu (or Ramat Eliyahu), Ne'ot Shikma, Neve Dekalim, Neve Hof (or Pueblo Español), Neve Yam, Kiryat Rishon, Kiryat Cramim, Kiryat Ganim, Ne'ot Ashalim, Kiryat Hatanei Pras Nobel (lit Nobel Prize Laureates' Town)

Sports

Rishon LeZion is known for its achievements in handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

 and chess
Chess
Chess is a two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.Each player...

.
In handball, Hapoel Rishon LeZion and Maccabi Rishon LeZion
Maccabi Rishon LeZion (handball)
Maccabi Rishon LeZion is a handball team from the city of Rishon LeZion, Israel. competes in the Ligat Winner Big. The team's colors are yellow and blue, and it hosts its home games in the new 1500-seat bet maccabi in Rishon LeZion....

 dominate the handball league. Hapoel has won more than seven domestic championships and cups in a row, with stars like goalkeeper Vladimir Zaikman and field-players Idan Maimon
Idan Maimon
Idan Maimon is a Israeli handball player. Starting in 1990, he is currently the captain of Hapoel Rishon Lezion.Maimon is considered as one of the greatest handball player in the history of Israel...

 and Dudi Balsar. Its biggest rival, Maccabi took the championship title from Hapoel in 2005/06. Handball is also a dominant sport in Rishon LeZion high schools. The Amit Amal high school handball team has won the world championship several times.

In chess, the Rishon LeZion Chess Club, founded in 1939, is one of the leading clubs in Israel, in senior, women and youth leagues. Israeli grandmasters such as Boris Alterman
Boris Alterman
Boris Alterman is an Israeli chess Grandmaster, FIDE Senior Trainer , advisor of the Junior chess program....

 play for Rishon. World champion Garry Kasparov
Garry Kasparov
Garry Kimovich Kasparov is a Russian chess grandmaster, a former World Chess Champion, writer, political activist, and one of the greatest chess players of all time....

 was a former member.

Ironi Rishon LeZion was in the top division, but now plays in the second tier. The Maccabi Rishon LeZion
Maccabi Rishon LeZion (basketball)
Maccabi Rishon LeZion is a basketball club based in Rishon LeZion in central Israel. The club plays in Ligat HaAl, the top division of Israeli basketball.-History:...

 basketball team is a long-time member of Ligat HaAl, the top division. The team was a rival to Israel's top club and European champion, Maccabi Tel Aviv in the 1990s.

Transportation

Rishon LeZion can be accessed by road from several major highways. Public transportation includes bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

, train
Train
A train is a connected series of vehicles for rail transport that move along a track to transport cargo or passengers from one place to another place. The track usually consists of two rails, but might also be a monorail or maglev guideway.Propulsion for the train is provided by a separate...

 and share taxi
Share taxi
A share taxi is a mode of transport that falls between taxis and conventional buses. These informal vehicles for hire are found throughout the world. They are smaller than buses, and usually take passengers on a fixed or semi-fixed route without timetables, usually leaving when all seats are filled...

.

Rail transport

The Rishon LeZion HaRishonim Railway Station
Rishon LeZion HaRishonim Railway Station
Rishon LeZion - HaRishonim Railway Station is a station of Israel Railways in Rishon LeZion, part of the Kfar Sava – Rishon LeZion line. The station is located in the southern area of the city, in the middle of HaRishonim Interchange, at the intersection of the new Highway 431 and Route 412...

 is located to the south of the city center, in the middle of HaRishonim Interchange, at the intersection of the new Highway 431
Route 431 (Israel)
Route 431 , is a suburban freeway in the south of the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area in Israel. The freeway connects the Ayalon Highway in the west with Highway 1 in the east. It then continues east into Modi'in as a local road....

 and the Rishon LeZion – Ness Ziona road
Route 412 (Israel)
Route 412 , is a regional road in the south-east of the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area in Israel. The road connects Bilu Jucntion south of Rehovot, with Yehud Ma'arav Junction, running through Rehovot, Ness Ziona, Rishon LeZion and Beit Dagan and spanning a distance of approximately 22 km.-Route...

. There are direct trains from the HaRishonim Railway Station to Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

, Lod
Lod
Lod is a city located on the Sharon Plain southeast of Tel Aviv in the Center District of Israel. At the end of 2010, it had a population of 70,000, roughly 75 percent Jewish and 25 percent Arab.The name is derived from the Biblical city of Lod...

, Bnei Brak, Petah Tikva
Petah Tikva
Petah Tikva known as Em HaMoshavot , is a city in the Center District of Israel, east of Tel Aviv.According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, at the end of 2009, the city's population stood at 209,600. The population density is approximately...

, Rosh HaAyin
Rosh HaAyin
Rosh HaAyin is a city in the Center District of Israel. To the west of Rosh HaAyin is the fortress of Antipatris and the source of the Yarkon River. To the southeast is the fortress of Migdal Afek...

, Hod HaSharon
Hod HaSharon
Hod HaSharon is a city in the Center District of Israel.Officially declared a city in 1990, Hod HaSharon was created from the union in 1964 of four neighboring villages: Magdiel, Ramatayim, Hadar, and Ramat Hadar...

 and Kfar Sava. All stations of Israel Railways
Israel Railways
Israel Railways is the principal passenger railway operating company in Israel, and is responsible for all inter-city and suburban rail way passenger and freight traffic in the country. All its lines are standard gauge. The network is centered in Israel's densely populated coastal plain, from...

 can be accessed using the transfer station
Interchange station
An interchange station or a transfer station is a train station for more than one railway route in a public transport system, and allows passengers to change from one route to another. Transfer may occur within the same mode, or between rail modes, or to buses...

s at Tel Aviv and Lod.

The Rishon LeZion Moshe Dayan Railway Station
Rishon LeZion Moshe Dayan Railway Station
The Rishon LeZion Moshe Dayan Railway Station is an Israel Railways station in Rishon LeZion. The station is located adjacent to the Moshe Dayan Interchange on the Ayalon Highway. As of September 2011 it serves as the terminus of a new suburban passenger line serving the cities of Holon, Bat Yam,...

 is in the western part of the city, situated on the new rail line from Tel Aviv to Ashdod via Moshe Dayan station and Yavne
Yavne
Yavne is a city in the Central District of Israel. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , at the end of 2009 the city had a population of 33,000.-History:...

 (West). While the link north to Tel Aviv is operational, the railway from Moshe Dayan to Yavne is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in 2012 and from Yavne to Ashdod in 2013. There are future long-range plans for some day connecting the Rishonim station with Moshe Dayan station, while constructing a couple of additional railway stations in between them.

Bus transport

The bus companies serving intercity lines in Rishon LeZion are:
Egged, Dan
Dan Bus Company
Dan Bus Company is an Israeli bus company based in Tel Aviv. It operates local bus service in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area as well as some intercity bus services between the Gush Dan area and nearby regions such as Samaria, and a connection between Bne Brak and Jerusalem. Dan operates 1,200...

, Connex, Metropoline
Metropoline
Metropoline is an Israeli bus company, which provides bus routes from Beersheba to Tel Aviv and other destinations, mainly in the Southern District...

, Superbus and Kavim
Kavim
Kavim is an Israeli bus company. It was founded in 2000 and provided lines in the eastern Gush Dan region - the towns/cities Kiryat Ono, Petah Tikva, Or Yehuda, Giv'atayim and others. In February 2005, Kavim expanded to the north, where it started providing bus lines in Afula, Bet She'an and the...

. Rishon LeZion has an intracity bus network operated by Egged and Dan
Dan Bus Company
Dan Bus Company is an Israeli bus company based in Tel Aviv. It operates local bus service in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area as well as some intercity bus services between the Gush Dan area and nearby regions such as Samaria, and a connection between Bne Brak and Jerusalem. Dan operates 1,200...

. Most lines are metropolitan, continuing to Bat Yam, Holon, Tel Aviv and Jaffa. The bus lines are augmented by share taxis operated by Moniyot HaIr.

Notable residents

  • Yaacov Agam
    Yaacov Agam
    Yaacov Agam is an Israeli sculptor and experimental artist best known for his contributions to optical and kinetic art.-Biography:Yaakov Agam was born Yaakov Gipstein on May 11, 1928, in Rishon LeZion, then Mandate Palestine...

     (born 1928), sculptor and artist
  • Zohar Argov
    Zohar Argov
    Zohar Argov was a popular Israeli singer and a distinctive voice in the Mizrahi music scene.- Background :The most serious hurdle on the way to stardom was Argov's socioeconomic background. He was born in Rishon LeZion, and grew up in a poor family, the eldest of ten children...

     (1955–87), singer
  • Shoshana Damari (1923–2006), singer
  • Tal Ben Haim
    Tal Ben Haim
    Tal Ben Haim is an Israeli professional footballer who currently plays for Portsmouth.He can play at either centre back or right back. He is also a member of the Israeli national squad...

    , football/soccer player
  • Boris Gelfand
    Boris Gelfand
    Boris Abramovich Gelfand is a Belarus-born Israeli chess Grandmaster. He won the 2011 Candidates Tournament and will challenge Viswanathan Anand for the World Chess Championship 2012.-Biography:...

    , chess champion
  • Felix Halfon
    Felix Halfon
    -Controversy:In August 2003 Halfon was caught smuggling cocaine in the Ben Gurion International Airport. In 2004 Felix was sentenced for 4.5 years in prison but was released in June 2006 after 2.5 years for good behavior.-External links:* at IFA...

    , football/soccer player
  • Ya'akov Hodorov
    Ya'akov Hodorov
    Ya'akov Hodorov was an Israeli football goalkeeper in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. He was considered by many to be Israel's best goalkeeper in history, and among the best goalkeepers of his generation.-Football career:Hodorov started his football career at Maccabi Rishon LeZion at the age of 15...

    , goalkeeper

Twin towns — Sister cities

Rishon LeZion is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with:
Braşov
Brasov
Brașov is a city in Romania and the capital of Brașov County.According to the last Romanian census, from 2002, there were 284,596 people living within the city of Brașov, making it the 8th most populated city in Romania....

, Romania Debrecen
Debrecen
Debrecen , is the second largest city in Hungary after Budapest. Debrecen is the regional centre of the Northern Great Plain region and the seat of Hajdú-Bihar county.- Name :...

, Hungary Gondar
Gondar
Gondar or Gonder is a city in Ethiopia, which was once the old imperial capital and capital of the historic Begemder Province. As a result, the old province of Begemder is sometimes referred to as Gondar...

, Ethiopia Kharkiv
Kharkiv
Kharkiv or Kharkov is the second-largest city in Ukraine.The city was founded in 1654 and was a major centre of Ukrainian culture in the Russian Empire. Kharkiv became the first city in Ukraine where the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed in December 1917 and Soviet government was...

, Ukraine
Kiryat Shmona
Kiryat Shmona
Kiryat Shmona is a city located in the North District of Israel on the western slopes of the Hula Valley on the Lebanese border. The city was named for the eight people, including Joseph Trumpeldor, who died in 1920 defending Tel Hai....

, Israel Heerenveen
Heerenveen
Heerenveen is a town in the Heerenveen municipality of the province of Friesland , in the north of the Netherlands.- History :The town was established in 1551 by three lords as a location for the purpose of digging peat which was used for fuel, hence the name...

, Netherlands Lublin
Lublin
Lublin is the ninth largest city in Poland. It is the capital of Lublin Voivodeship with a population of 350,392 . Lublin is also the largest Polish city east of the Vistula river...

, Poland Lviv
Lviv
Lviv is a city in western Ukraine. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine and historically has also been a major Polish and Jewish cultural center, as Poles and Jews were the two main ethnicities of the city until the outbreak of World War II and the following...

, Ukraine
Essex County
Essex County, New Jersey
Essex County is a county located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the United States 2010 Census, the population was 783,969, ranking it third in the state after Bergen County and Middlesex County; Essex County's population has declined from 786,147 as of the bureau's...

, United States Münster
Münster
Münster is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural centre of the Westphalia region. It is also capital of the local government region Münsterland...

, Germany Nîmes
Nîmes
Nîmes is the capital of the Gard department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. Nîmes has a rich history, dating back to the Roman Empire, and is a popular tourist destination.-History:...

, France (1986) Prince George's County
Prince George's County, Maryland
Prince George's County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland, immediately north, east, and south of Washington, DC. As of 2010, it has a population of 863,420 and is the wealthiest African-American majority county in the nation....

, United States
Prešov
Prešov
Prešov Historically, the city has been known in German as Eperies , Eperjes in Hungarian, Fragopolis in Latin, Preszów in Polish, Peryeshis in Romany, Пряшев in Russian and Пряшів in Rusyn and Ukrainian.-Characteristics:The city is a showcase of Baroque, Rococo and Gothic...

, Slovakia (2008) Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

, Russia Teramo
Teramo
Teramo is a city and comune in the central Italian region of Abruzzo, the capital of the province of Teramo.The city, from Rome, is situated between the highest mountains of the Apennines and the Adriatic coast...

, Italy Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

, China


During the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 in 1991, the mayor of Münster, Germany, made a surprise visit to Rishon LeZion. According to Haaretz
Haaretz
Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

, he felt he could not sit quietly at home while missiles were falling on his sister city. Throughout the war, he stayed at the home of Rishon LeZion mayor Meir Nitzan and accompanied him on visits to sites hit by missiles.

External links

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