|Founded by||Kvutzat Kibush members and Second Aliyah immigrants|
Merhavia (Hebrew: מֶרְחַבְיָה, lit. "Great Enlargement - God") a moshav in northern Israel. It falls under the jurisdiction of Jezreel Valley Regional Council and in 2006 had a population of 722. Founded in 1911, it was the first modern Jewish settlement in the Jezreel Valley.
The village was established as the Co-operative in Merhavia, a co-operative farm, at the beginning of 1911, based on the ideas of Franz Oppenheimer. The founders had arrived in the area in 1910 and consisted of members of Kvutzat Kibush and workers of the Second Aliyah. It was supposed to operate as a co-operative farm with differential wages, and was founded with the assistance of Arthur Ruppin, Yehoshua Hankin, the Anglo-Palestine Bank and Eliyahu Blumenfeld. Alexander Baerwald designed and built the first solid buildings and the road net with a central square in 1915. The name Merhavia is derived from the Book of Psalms 118:5;
Out of my straits I called upon the LORD; .. answered me with great enlargement - God.
(in the metaphorical sense: "God set me free." - The experience of the Jews immigrating to Israel and achieving a new homeland without the straits persecution.)
In 1922 it was converted to a moshav ovdim after being joined by Polish immigrants and residents of Tel Aviv who wanted to work in agriculture. In 1929 a kibbutz, also by the name of Merhavia, was established next to the moshav.
- Village website (Hebrew)
- Myra Warhaftig (German) (Hebrew: מירה ווארהפטיג), "Alex Baerwald", in: id., Sie legten den Grundstein. Leben und Wirken deutschsprachiger jüdischer Architekten in Palästina 1918-1948, Berlin and Tübingen: Wasmuth, 1996, pp. 34-41, here p. 35. ISBN 3-8030-0171-4