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Gedara, before 1899
Yokneam (moshava)
Yavne'el (moshava)

A moshava (Hebrew: מושבה), plural: moshavot (מושבות), was a form of rural Jewish settlement in Ottoman Palestine, established by the members of the Old Yishuv since late 1870s and during the first two waves of Jewish Zionist immigration - the First and Second Aliyah.


In a moshava, as opposed to later communal settlements like the kibbutz and the moshav, all the land and property are privately owned. The first moshavot were established by the members of the Jewish community and by pioneers of the First Aliyah arriving to Ottoman Palestine.[1] The economy of the early moshavot was based on agriculture and resembled the grain-growing villages of eastern Europe in layout. Farms were established along both sides of a broad main street.[2]

Map of old moshavot

Petah Tikva, known as the "Mother of the Moshavot" (Em HaMoshavot),[3] was founded in 1878 by members of the Old Yishuv, as well as Gai Oni, which later became Rosh Pinna with the arrival of the First Aliyah. The first four moshavot of the First Aliyah period were Rishon LeZion, Rosh Pinna, Zikhron Ya'akov and Yesud HaMa'ala.[1]

The driving force behind these early settlements was the Hovevei Zion movement in Europe, whose branches operated as financially-independent settlement societies. [4]

The moshava was governed by a charter outlining communal principles that established a covenant or bond between the residents.[5]

Old Yishuv and First Aliyah moshavot[edit]

Great Synagogue of Rishon LeZion,founded in 1885 (photo c. 1910-1924)
Herzl Street, Hadera, c. 1891- 1901

Chronological list by year of establishment.

Five colonies were also established in the Hauran by immigrants of the First Aliyah.

Second Aliyah moshavot[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bennett, John W. (1971). "Moshava, Kibbutz, and Moshav: Patterns of Jewish Rural Settlement and Development in Palestine by D. Weintraub, M. Lissak, Y. Azmon". American Journal of Agricultural Economics. Agricultural & Applied Economics Association. 53 (2): 380–2. ISSN 1467-8276. JSTOR 1237479 – via JSTOR.
  2. ^ The Middle East: A Geographical Study, Peter Beaumont, Gerald Blake and J. Malcolm Wagstaff
  3. ^ Moshava Zionism and Israel - Encyclopedic Dictionary
  4. ^ Rothschild and Early Jewish Colonization, Ran Aaronsohn, p.49
  5. ^ Contemporary Israel: New Insights and Scholarship edited by Frederick E. Greenspahn

Further reading[edit]

  • Ran Aaronsohn, Rothschild and Early Zionist Colonization, Rowman & Littlefield and Magnes Press, Jerusalem, 2000