|• ISO 259||Raˁnana|
Panorama of Ra'anana
|Founded||April 2, 1922|
|• Mayor||Ze'ev Bielski|
Ra'anana (Hebrew: רַעֲנָנָה, lit. "Fresh") is a city in the heart of the southern Sharon Plain of the Central District of Israel with a population of 80,000, as of 2014[update]. Ra'anana is bordered by Kfar Saba on the east and Herzliya on the southwest. While the majority of its residents are native-born Israelis, a large part of the population are immigrants from the Americas and Europe.
Ra'anana's high tech industrial park is home to many leading global companies and local start up companies. It was designated a "Green City" award by the World Health Organization in 2005.
In 1912, the Company for Jewish Settlement in Israel formed the "Ahuza A – New York" group to purchase land in Israel for agricultural settlement. The First World War delayed their plans but on April 2, 1922, two wagons left the corner of Lilienblum and Herzl Streets in Tel Aviv carrying 4 "Ahuza" members, 3 laborers and 2 armed watchmen. After a 5-hour journey, they unloaded their baggage at the place destined to become Ra'anana.
In its early days, the settlement was called "Ahuza A – New York." The Arabs of the region called it "Little America" as most of its residents were English speakers and came from New York. Later it was renamed "Ra'anania" and finally the founding settlers chose "Ra'anana" as its official name. By the War of Independence, it was a village of 3,000 residents.
By the late 1960s, it had a population of 8,500 spanning an area of 15 square kilometres (6 sq mi). In the 1980s Ra'anana was declared a city.
- Baruch Ostrovsky (1931–1955, 1957-1959)
- Michael Pasweig (1955–1957, 1959-1960)
- Yitzhak Skolnik(1960–1969)
- Benyamin Wolfovich(1969–1989)
- Ze'ev Bielski (1989–2005, 2013–present)
- Nahum Hofree (2005–2013)
Though the majority of Ra'anana residents are secular, there is a sizeable religious community, mainly consisting of Modern Orthodox Jews, many of whom are immigrants from the US, UK, South Africa and France. There are nearly 100 synagogues in Ra'anana, ranging from small minyanim to large edifices, and including a wide range of traditions, including Progressive (Reform), Sefaradi, Ashkenazi, Yemenite and even Afghani, Libyan synagogues. Many of these synagogues cater to specific immigrant groups. There is also a small Hasidic community of Clevelander Hasidim, led by the Clevelander Rebbe of Ra'anana, Rabbi Yitzchok Rosenbaum. The orthodox chief rabbi of the city is Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz.
Industry and commerce
Ra'anana has an industrial zone in the north of the city, which is home to Renanim shopping mall and many high-tech companies, including Emblaze, Hewlett-Packard, NICE Systems, SAP, NCR Corporation (formerly Retalix), Comverse, Red Hat, Waze (prior to Google acquisition) and Texas Instruments. In addition, Microsoft's head office in Israel and Amdocs are located in an office complex at the eastern edge of the city, close to Ra'anana Junction, where Highway 4 meets Ahuza Street, Ra'anana's main boulevard. Ahuza Street runs through the city from east to west and is lined with shops, restaurants and a cultural center.
Ra'anana has 12 elementary schools, 10 middle schools and 8 high-schools.
Educational programs for gifted students start in the third grade. A program for the encouragement of girls to study technological subjects has been developed as well as a technology-focused leadership development and information management program, the first of its kind in Israel. The program, created in conjunction with "Ness Technologies", uses advanced technology as a catalyst for developing skills.
Ra'anana has developed supplementary education programs for the afternoon and evening hours, which meet the needs of thousands of children, aged 5–18. These programs foster creativity, promote social involvement and cultivate leadership skills. The supplementary education projects include over 20 "Batei Talmid" citywide extracurricular programs, an afternoon daycare program, and music, dance, art and science centers. Other programs include summer camps and summer activities, university for youth, dance troupes, the Children’s Parliament, an acting school, a school for the performing arts, and gifted children programs, that serve as a model for many other cities.
Ra'anana is home to the Open University of Israel and Ra'anana College.
Parks and museums
The park of Ra'anana is the largest urban park in the Sharon region. It offers walking and bike paths, sports fields, a zoo and children's petting corner and a lake in a clover shape reminiscent of Ra'anana's coat of arms. There are two fountains in the lake and pedestrians can cross over it on the bridge. The lake is surrounded by special gardens, including the Seven Species garden, and shaded walking paths. There is also a restaurant and small art gallery. The Founders Museum presents the story of Ra'anana's original settlers, from the arrival of the Ahuza Alef-New York Association until Ra'anana achieved local council status in 1936.
Ra'anana Park Amphitheatre has been the venue for musical acts such as Backstreet Boys, Evanescence, Lauryn Hill, Tori Amos, Chick Corea, Ian Anderson, Ziggy Marley, The Cranberries, and Pet Shop Boys.
Hospitals and medical facilities
Ra'anana is home to the Loewenstein Hospital Rehabilitation Center. Loewenstein was established in 1958 and is the only rehabilitation hospital operated by Clalit Health Services, Israel's largest health care provider. Its current multi-floor building is situated in a large gardened area and accommodates 240 rehabilitative beds for short and long term hospital care. As a national rehabilitative center, patients are admitted from all parts of the country, all health funds, from the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Health, and from general hospitals and clinics, both from Israel and overseas.
The Ra'anana Roosters are the local rugby team, and the area is a center of rugby union in Israel, with the Israel Rugby Union being based there. With a large population of American expatriates, the Ra'anana Express are an inaugural team in the Israel Baseball League.
- Naftali Bennett, businessman and politician, leader of The Jewish Home party.
- Peter Deutsch, former US congressman
- Raanan Gissin, political scientist, analyst and consultant specializing in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Former senior adviser to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
- Israel Gohberg, Israeli mathematician
- Haim Hefer, Israeli songwriter, poet, and writer
- Uzi Landau, Minister of National Infrastructure
- Keren Leibovitch, champion Paralympic swimmer
- Yihye Haybi, Yemenite photographer
- Irwin J. Mansdorf, Director of JCPA Israel-Arab Studies Program
Twin towns — Sister cities
- "Major Cities in Israel Population 2014". World Population Review. 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
- Sinai, Ruth (2005-09-29). "Ra'anana receives WHO safety award". Haaretz. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- Patai, Raphael, ed. (1971). "Ahuza". Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel. Vol. 1. New York: Herzl Press/McGraw-Hill. p. 17.
- Hoffman, Carl (2006-09-07). "Ra'anana's French revolution". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
- Ra'anana Religious Council
- Yad Labanim
- "Loewenstein Hospital Rehabilitation Center". Clalit Health Services. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Maccabi Raanana basketball team – Eurobasket.com
- "Ra'anana Twin towns & Sister cities - Friends around the World". raanana.muni.il. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
- "Stedenband Opsterland-Ra'anana" [City Connection Opsterland-Ra'anana]. Stedenbanden.nl.
Vanaf 1960 onderhoudt de gemeente Opsterland contacten met de gemeente Ra'anana. Deze contacten zijn in 1963 officieel vastgelegd in een 'vriendschapsverdrag'. In maart 2000 is een delegatie naar Ra'anana gereisd om te praten over een meer themagerichte invulling van het verdrag.
- Being the first to twin, a central street in the Ra'anana is named "Opsterland"
- "Poznań - Miasta partnerskie". 1998–2013 Urząd Miasta Poznania (in Polish). City of Poznań. Archived from the original on 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
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