Bat Yam

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Bat Yam

  • בַּת יָם, בַּת־יָם
Bat Yam beach front
Bat Yam beach front
Flag of Bat Yam
Official logo of Bat Yam
Bat Yam is located in Israel
Bat Yam
Bat Yam
Bat Yam is located in Central Israel
Bat Yam
Bat Yam
Coordinates: 32°01′N 34°45′E / 32.017°N 34.750°E / 32.017; 34.750Coordinates: 32°01′N 34°45′E / 32.017°N 34.750°E / 32.017; 34.750
Country Israel
District Tel Aviv
 • TypeCity (from 1958)
 • MayorTzvika Brot (acting)
 • Total8,167 dunams (8.167 km2 or 3.153 sq mi)
 • Total128,774
 • Density16,000/km2 (41,000/sq mi)
Name meaninglit. 'Daughter of the sea', can also mean 'mermaid'
Aerial view of Bat Yam and Jaffa in 1937
Bat Yam beach
Defenders Square

Bat Yam (Hebrew: בַּת יָם or בַּת־יָם About this sound(audio) ) 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 Tel Aviv District, the city had a population of 128,774 in 2018.[1]


Historical population
Source: CBS[2]

Bat Yam was established in 1926 as Bayit VeGan (Hebrew: בית וגן; House and Garden). In 1930, it was resettled. In 1936, it was granted local council status. In 1937 it was renamed Bat Yam.[3] By 1945, 2,000 Jews were living in Bat Yam.[4] According to the Jewish National Fund, in 1947 it had a population of 4,000.[5]

Bat Yam 1942 1:20,000
Bat Yam 1945 1:250,000

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 reported violent incidents, including sniping.[5][6] 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 later gained a sizeable community of Jews from Turkey. 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 small Arab community (0.4% as per 2012) in Bat Yam, both Muslim and Christian, many of whom relocated from Jaffa. The vast majority of Israelis of Vietnamese origin live in Bat Yam.[7]

Local government[edit]

In the early 2000s, after financial scandals under the leadership of Yehoshua Sagi, 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.[specify]. In the 2008 municipal elections, Shlomo Lahiani was re-elected mayor of Bat Yam with 86% of the vote.[8] In 2014, Lahiani pleaded guilty to three counts of breach of public trust after being charged with bribery and income tax fraud.[9]

Politics and government[edit]

Bat Yam municipality building
Type Name Years
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
Mayor Menachem Rothschild 1963–73
Mayor Yitzhak Walker 1973–77
Mayor David Mesika 1977–78
Mayor Menachem Rothschild 1978–83
Mayor Ehud Kinamon 1983–93
Mayor Yehoshua Sagi 1993–2003
Mayor Shlomo Lahiani 2003–14
Mayor Yossi Bachar 2014–18
Mayor Tzvika Brot 2018–date
Source: Bat Yam's mayors on the official city website

Art and culture[edit]

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,[10] which featured site-specific installations from designers and architects from around the world.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13]


Bat Yam-Yoseftal Railway Station and Bat Yam-Komemiyut Railway Station opened in 2011 as part of the new Tel Aviv – Rishon LeZion West line.[14] Bat Yam will also be the terminus for the red line of the Tel Aviv Light Rail.


Location of Bat Yam in the Tel Aviv District

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.

Bat Yam's Al Gal beach is regarded to be one of the best surfing spots in the region, having fairly consistent surf conditions, especially during the summer months.

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Bat Yam is twinned with:[15]

Notable residents[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Population in the Localities 2018" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Statistical Abstract of Israel 2012 – No. 63 Subject 2 – Table No. 15". Archived from the original on 2013-10-20. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
  3. ^ W. D. Battershill (1937). "Notice (23rd December 1937)". The Palestine Gazette. 745: 1287.
  4. ^ Government of Palestine, Village Statistics, 1945, p52.
  5. ^ a b Jewish National Fund (1949). Jewish Villages in Israel. Jerusalem: Hamadpis Liphshitz Press. p. 12.
  6. ^ "Cleansing Jaffa: A detailed eye witness account, 202". Retrieved 2013-03-12.
  7. ^ "In a Strange Land: Israel's Vietnamese Community – CULTURE". Archived from the original on 2004-01-25. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Bat Yam mayor plea bargain a good deal for all". Haaretz. 2014-05-09. Retrieved 2014-09-19.
  10. ^ "International Biennale of Landscape Urbanism". Metropolis Magazine. October 20, 2010. Archived from the original on October 24, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  11. ^ "Innovation by the Sea". Forward. October 19, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  12. ^ "of Bat Yam". Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  13. ^ MoBY: Museums of Bat Yam Archived December 20, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Bat Yam: New Israeli Riviera
  15. ^ "מרטיןהיקל, ראשעירייתנויקלן – עירתאומהלבת-יםמברליןגרמניההגיעלביקורראשוןכדילקבועשיתופיפעולה". (in Hebrew). Bat Yam. 2020-02-17. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  16. ^ "MoBY: Museums of Art - Visit". Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  17. ^ Azoulay, Yuval (14 May 2010). "Unending agony for legendary spy Eli Cohen and his widow". Haaretz. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  18. ^ "מאיר דגן".
  19. ^ "Real History and The Mossad's new chief".
  20. ^ Agassi, Tirzah (March 25, 1994). "Going for Baroque Not!". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved May 8, 2009.
  21. ^ Parsons, Louella O. (27 March 1960). "Elana Eden: Hollywood's Newest Cinderella Story". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved 21 September 2013.

External links[edit]