|• Hebrew||בַּת יָם|
|• ISO 259||Batt Yamm|
|• Type||City (from 1958)|
|• Mayor||Shlomo Lahyani|
|• Total||8,167 dunams (8.167 km2 or 3.153 sq mi)|
|Name meaning||'Daughter of Jerusalem'. lit. 'Daughter of the sea', can also mean 'mermaid'|
Bat Yam (Hebrew: בַּת יָם (audio) (help·info)) is a city located on Israel's Mediterranean Sea coast, on the central coastal strip, just south of Tel Aviv. Part of the Gush Dan metropolitan area, in the Tel Aviv District, the city is home to 130,000 people.
Bat Yam was established in 1926 as Bayit VaGan (Hebrew: בית וגן; House and Garden). During the 1929 Palestine riots, the town was attacked by Palestinian fighters from Jaffa and was evacuated by British Authorities. In 1930, it was re-settled. In 1936, it was granted local council status and renamed Bat Yam. By 1945, 2,000 Jews were living in Bat Yam. According to the Jewish National Fund, in 1947 it had a population of 4,000.
Following the United Nations vote in favour of a partition plan on November 29, 1947 and the subsequent civil war, inhabitants of both Bat Yam and Jaffa complained on violent incidents, including sniping. On May 13, 1948, Jaffa surrendered to Jewish forces.
In the years following Israel's creation, Bat Yam grew dramatically due to mass immigration and gained city status in 1958. A small Hasidic enclave of Bobover Hasidim, known as Kiryat Bobov, was established in 1959. The city gained a sizeable community of Jews from Turkey (est. 23% of the population). Bat Yam again experienced a period of rapid growth in the early 1980s to the late 1990s with the mass immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union, and Ethiopia. There is also a fairly large Arab community in Bat Yam, both Muslim and Christian many of whom relocated from Jaffa. The vast majority of Vietnamese-Israelis or Vietnamese people of Israeli origin, live in Bat Yam.
During the month of October 2012, the legendary SUN hotel, on the southern part of Bat Yam's beach, was completely destroyed. Despite the strong objections of local residents, a forty-story hotel will be built, on the ruins of the Sun hotel.
In the early 2000s, following financial scandals under the leadership of Yehoshua Saguy, the city was on the brink of bankruptcy. In 2003 a new mayor, Shlomo Lahiani, was elected and the city began to rejuvenate. Large investments were made in education, culture and the appearance of the city. Shlomo Lahiani was re-elected as the mayor of Bat Yam in the municipal elections of 2008. He won 86 percent of the vote.
Politics and government
|Head of council||Mintz Ben Zion||1936–37|
|Head of council||Yisrael Ben Zion||1937–39|
|Head of council||Yisrael Rabinovich-Teomim||1939–43|
|Head of council||Eliav Levai||1943–50|
|Head of council||David Ben Ari||1950–58|
|Mayor||David Ben Ari||1958–63|
|Source: Bat Yam's mayors on the official city website|
Art and culture
In 2008 the Bat-Yam International Biennale of Landscape Urbanism, which is devoted to re-examining urban spaces through art and architecture, was held in Bat Yam. In 2010 the second Biennale, "Timing" took place, which featured site-specific installations from designers and architects from around the world. The city has two shopping malls, Kanyon Bat Yam, which opened in 1993, and Kanyon Bat Yamon.
The location of Bat Yam on the Mediterranean makes it popular with beach-goers. Bat Yam has a 3.2 km (2 mi) long promenade along the ocean lined with pubs and restaurants. The city has six beaches, one of which is protected by a breakwater. The Museum of Bat Yam exhibits contemporary art. Other museums include the Ben Ari Museum and Ryback Museum that houses the work of Issachar Ber Ryback. There is also a museum in the memory of the Yiddish writer Sholem Asch, who lived his last years in Bat Yam, and a small Holocaust museum.
All bus lines in Bat Yam have at least one terminus in Tel Aviv, Rishon LeZion or Holon. Dan is the biggest bus company in the area. It operates frequent service to various neighborhoods of Tel Aviv, and also connects Bat Yam to Holon, Rishon LeZion, Ramat Gan, Giv'atayim, Bnei Brak, Tel HaShomer and Bar Ilan University. Egged connects Bat Yam to various neighborhoods of Holon and Rishon LeZion, and also operates service to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ramla, Ben Gurion International Airport (part-time service) and intermediate communities.
The Bat Yam-Yoseftal Railway Station and the Bat Yam-Komemiyut Railway Station have opened in 2011 as part of the new Tel Aviv – Rishon LeZion West line. Bat Yam will also be the terminus for the red line of the Tel Aviv Light Rail.
The city's major football club, Maccabi Ironi Bat Yam, currently plays in Liga Leumit, the third level of Israeli football. The club was formed by a 2004 merger of Hapoel Bat Yam (which had spent several seasons in the second division in the 1990s) and Maccabi Bat Yam.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Bat Yam is twinned with:
- Shay Abutbul (1983–), soccer player
- Yohai Aharoni (1986–), soccer player
- Sholem Asch (1880–1957), Polish-born, Yiddish writer, has a museum of his work in the city.
- Michael Barkai (1935–99), Commander of the Israeli Navy
- Vered "Vardush" Buskila (born 1983), Olympic sailor
- Miri Ben-Ari (1978–), hip hop violinist
- Moshe Biton, soccer player
- David D'Or (born David Nehaisi; 1965–), Israeli singer, composer, and songwriter; attended high school
- Meir Dagan, (born 1945) Director of the Mossad
- Elana Eden (1940–), actress best known as "Ruth" in The Story of Ruth (1960)
- Sharon Farber, composer
- Matt Haimovitz (1970–), US cellist, born here
- Rita Katz (1963–), terrorism analyst
- Shlomo Lahiani (1965–), mayor of Bat Yam
- Peter Roth (1974–), Israeli pop singer and composer
- Gal Shish (1989–), soccer player
- Itzik Zohar (1970–), soccer player
- "Statistical Abstract of Israel 2012 - No. 63 Subject 2 - Table No. 15". .cbs.gov.il. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- "Table 3 – Population of Localities Numbering Above 1,000 Residents and Other Rural Population". Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. June 30, 2010. Archived from the original on 21 November 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
- Government of Palestine, Village Statistics, 1945, p52.
- Jewish National Fund (1949). Jewish Villages in Israel. Jerusalem: Hamadpis Liphshitz Press. p. 12.
- "Cleansing Jaffa: A detailed eye witness account, 202". Palestineremembered.com. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "In a Strange Land: Israel's Vietnamese Community - CULTURE". Worldandihomeschool.com. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "International Biennale of Landscape Urbanism". Metropolis Magazine. October 20, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- "Innovation by the Sea". Forward. October 19, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- "of Bat Yam". Artreview.com. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
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