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Hotels of Rishon LeZion
A hotel in Rishon LeZion is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Rishon LeZion hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Rishon LeZion are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Rishon LeZion hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Rishon LeZion hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Rishon LeZion have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Rishon LeZion
An upscale full service hotel facility in Rishon LeZion that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Rishon LeZion hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Rishon LeZion
Full service Rishon LeZion hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Rishon LeZion
Boutique hotels of Rishon LeZion are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Rishon LeZion boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Rishon LeZion may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Rishon LeZion
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Rishon LeZion travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Rishon LeZion focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Rishon LeZion
Small to medium-sized Rishon LeZion hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Rishon LeZion traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Rishon LeZion hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Rishon LeZion
A bed and breakfast in Rishon LeZion is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Rishon LeZion bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Rishon LeZion B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Rishon LeZion
Rishon LeZion hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Rishon LeZion hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Rishon LeZion
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Rishon LeZion hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Rishon LeZion lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Rishon LeZion
Rishon LeZion timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Rishon LeZion often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Rishon LeZion on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Rishon LeZion
A Rishon LeZion motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Rishon LeZion for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Rishon LeZion motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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For the Sefardi chief rabbi of Israel, see List of Sephardi chief rabbis of the Land of Israel.
• ISO 259
Riˀšon l Çiyon
• Also spelled
Rishon LeZiyyon (official)
Rishon LeZion aerial view
Coat of Arms
Coordinates: / 31.950; 34.800 / 31.950; 34.800
City (from 1950)
58,704 dunams (58.704 km or 22.666 sq mi)
First to Zion
The original Great Synagogue and square
Rishon LeZion (Hebrew: רִאשׁוֹן לְצִיּוֹן (audio)(help·info), lit. First to Zion) is the fourth-largest city in Israel, located along the central Israeli coastal plain 8 km (5 mi) south of Tel Aviv. It is part of the Gush Dan metropolitan area.
Founded in 1882 by Jewish immigrants from Russian Empire, it was the second Jewish farm settlement established in The land of Israel in the 19th century, after Petah Tikva. In 2015 it had a population of 243,973.
Rishon LeZion: Etymology
The name Rishon LeZion is derived from a biblical verse: "First to Zion are they, and I shall give herald to Jerusalem" (Hebrew: ראשון לציון הנה הינם, ולירושלים מבשר אתן) (Isaiah 41:27) and literally translates as "First to Zion".
Rishon LeZion: History
Rishon LeZion was founded on July 31, 1882, by ten Hovevei Zion pioneers from Kharkiv, Ukraine (then the Russian Empire) headed by Zalman David Levontin. Reuven Yudalevich was also a member of the group. The pioneers purchased 835 acres (337.91 ha) of land southeast of present-day Tel Aviv, part of the townland of the Arab village of Ayun Kara (literally 'fountain of the crier'). Ayun Kara was the scene of a bloody battle between Turkish and New Zealand troops on November 14, 1917. Local citizens carried the wounded to a hospital in Rishon. A stone cenotaph was erected by the people of Rishon LeZion to the memory of the New Zealanders who fell that day, but it has since been destroyed.
The founders faced numerous difficulties. The soil was sandy, water was scarce and the settlers had no agricultural experience. After a well was dug and more pioneers arrived – the Biluim – the colony slowly took shape. Notable members of this group include Fani Belkind, Israel Belkind, Shimshon Belkind, Yoel Drubin, Dr. Haim Hissin, and David Yudilovich. When Baron Edmond James de Rothschild took over, sending in his administrators, major progress was made in the spheres of agriculture, citrus and viticulture. Under Rothschild's patronage, the Carmel-Mizrahi Winery was established in 1886.
Rishon LeZion in the 1990s
David Ben-Gurion was head of workers' union at the winery before later becoming Israel's first Prime Minister. The first Hebrew school in the country opened in Rishon LeZion in 1886.Dov Lubman Haviv taught there and Mordechai Lubman Haviv was an educational inspector. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, known as the father of modern Hebrew, was a teacher in Rishon LeZion. In 1890, Rishon LeZion had a population of 359. Five years later, the figure had risen to 380, and by 1900, to 526. In 1911, 4,000 dunams of land in Rishon LeZion were planted with grapes and 254 dunams with other fruit orchards.
Development was hindered by the lack of a water source. Baron Rothschild brought in experts who located water at 42 meters below ground. The groundwater table in the area was found to be uneven and wells were mostly constructed at between 20 and 25 meters in depth. Orchards were then developed around the settlement, and by the late 1920s the city developed a burgeoning citrus industry.
In 1924 the British Army contracted the Palestine Electric Company for wired electric power. The contract allowed the Electric Company to extend the grid beyond the original geographical limits that had been projected by the concession it was given. The high-tension line that exceeded the limits of the original concession ran along some major towns and agricultural settlements, offering extended connections to the Jewish settlements of Rishon Le-Zion, Nes-Ziona and Rehovot (in spite of their proximity to the high-tension line, the Arab towns of Ramleh and Lydda remained unconnected). According to a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Rishon LeZion had a population of 1,396 inhabitants, consisting of 1,373 Jews and 23 Muslims, increasing in 1931 census to 2525 inhabitants, in 648 houses. Rishon was declared a city in 1950. By 1983 it had a population of 103,000. In 2006, 222,300 people were living in the city. By 2020, the population is expected to reach 315,000. In 2007, the Rishon LeZion Municipality was awarded the Ministry of Interior Prize for Proper Management.
The city may in the future host a new international airport, which will replace Ben-Gurion International Airport and Sde Dov Airport. Under a plan currently being considered, a new international airport will be constructed on a marine platform built two kilometers (1.2 miles) off shore of Rishon LeZion, the terminals and cargo docks will be built onshore near a highway intersection, which will be linked to the airport by fast trains or buses traveling along a pier. In 2016, the Israeli government approved the expansion of Rishon LeZion onto sand dunes west of the city, upon which one of the largest commercial and residential construction projects in the Central District will be built on 1,000 dunams.
Rishon LeZion: Demographics
According to data from the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics as of December 2012, the number of residents in Rishon LeZion is 235,123. Rishon LeZion is one of the fastest-growing cities in Israel, and is third-youngest city in the country, after Jerusalem and Bnei Brak, with 31.1% of the population being children and teenagers, and 61.4% of all residents being aged 40 or under. In addition, the city has attracted significant immigration, including from English-speaking countries. The city's population growth rate is about 5% per year. The predominant majority of the city's residents are Jews.
Rishon LeZion: Economy
Superland amusement park
Rishon LeZion's main industries today are wine, construction, services and commerce. Factories and workshops are located in the old industrial zone, which has become a popular venue for pubs, dance clubs and restaurants. Industry in the city is largely divided into two industrial centers: the old industrial zone in the north of the city and the new industrial zone in the west of the city.
The two major malls in Rishon LeZion are Rothschild Center in the old downtown center and Gold Mall (Kenyon HaZahav) in the New West district. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Gazit-Globe, Volvo and Fiat are expected to open in the Maayan Sorek area. As part of the city's 5-year plan to be completely water-independent, construction of a desalination plant is planned for Rishon, which will produce 3.7 million cubic meters of water per year. The city already hosts the large Shafdan recycling plant.
Rishon LeZion: Local government
Rishon LeZion: Mayors
Eliakum Ostashinski (1950–51)
Aryeh Sheftel (1951)
Moshe Gavin (1952–55)
Gershon Man Mankov (1955)
Hana Levin (1955–60)
Aryeh Sheftel (1960–62)
Noam Laoner (1962–65)
Aryeh Sheftel (1965–69)
Hananya Gibstein (1969–83)
Meir Nitzan (1983–2008)
Dov Tzur (2008–present)
Rishon LeZion: Education and culture
Haviv School, the first all-Hebrew elementary school
Boardwalk (Tayelet Hatnei Pras Nobel) with cenotaphs of Jewish Nobel Prize laureates in Rishon LeZion
Rishon LeZion has twenty-three elementary schools, nine middle schools and twelve high schools. Rishon Lezion's College of Management has a student population of 10,000. Sixty percentage of twelve graders in the city qualify for a matriculation certificate.
Rishon LeZion holds an annual wine festival. The Rishon LeZion Amphitheatre Live Park has hosted overseas artists such as Sting, Mariah Carey, Metallica, Alanis Morissette, alt-J, Megadeth, Deep Purple, Avicii, Jason Derulo, Wiz Khalifa and Sean Paul. The city has a municipal zoo, an amusement park (Superland), and a beach promenade. Heychal HaTarbut (Hall of Culture) is a venue for classical concerts, theatre performances and cultural events. It has a larger theatre for shows and two smaller ones for artistic workshops. The Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion, has participated in music festivals all over the world. It was awarded the ACUM prize in 1991.
In honor of Jewish Nobel Prize winners a boardwalk (Tayelet Hatnei Pras Nobel) was built with cenotaphs of the laureates in Rishon LeZion.
Rishon LeZion: Landmarks
Landmarks in Rishon LeZion include the history museum; the Carmel Winery; the administrative center of Edmond James de Rothschild, now a soldiers' memorial; the Great Synagogue; the Well; the old water tower; and Beit Sefer Haviv, the first Hebrew School. "Open Doors" is a holocaust memorial which is a 7 meter high sculpture designed by Filipino artist Luis Lee Jr. was erected in honor and thanks to President Manuel Quezon and the Filipinos who saved over 1,200 Jews from Nazi Germany.
Rishon LeZion: Geography
Rishon LeZion is located on the Israeli Mediterranean Coastal Plain and the northern Shephelah. The city sees the majority of its annual 800 mm (31 in) of precipitation between the months of October and March.
Climate data for Rishon LeZion
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Rishon LeZion: Neighborhoods
Old water tower
Rishon LeZion can be divided into four main quarters: the old city, the eastern housing projects, the northern (old) industrial zone, and Western Rishon LeZion. There is also an industrial zone on the southern tip of the city, next to Gan Sorek.
Rishon LeZion: Old city
The old city of Rishon includes the original neighborhoods, some buildings dating back to Rishon's founding in 1881. This quarter is located in the city center, between and around Herzl and Jabotinsky Streets. It includes the following neighborhoods: Nahalat Yehuda (on the northernmost tip of Rishon); Neve Hillel; Bnot Hayil; Abramovich; Katzenelson; Remez (Giv'at Levinson), on the southwestern tip of old Rishon; Rishonim (Gan Nahum), to the east of Remez
Rishon LeZion: Shikunei HaMizrah
The Eastern Housing Projects (Hebrew: שיכוני המזרח Shikunei HaMizrah) was Rishon's quick expansion to the east. It is dominated by the housing projects (shikunim) there, in the Shikunei HaMizrah neighborhood itself. The eastern projects stopped developing when they reached the fences of the Tzrifin military base. When and if Tzrifin is sold to private contractors as planned, this quarter is expected to expand significantly with new lucrative housing projects. Other smaller neighborhoods include Revivim, Kidmat Rishon, Ne'urim, Rambam, Neve Hadarim, HaShomer, Kfar Arye, Mishor HaNof and Kiryat Simha.
Rishon LeZion: Old industrial zone
The industrial zones in Rishon LeZion are called Mabat, an abbreviation for Miskhar, Bilui VeTa'asiya (Commerce, Pastime and Industry). The northern zone is the oldest and original industrial zone, once full of light industry and glass factories. Today, it is known for its prolific nightlife.
Rishon LeZion: West Rishon
View of Rishon LeZion
West Rishon LeZion is the conglomeration of the new neighborhoods of the city, built in the 1980s and 90s. The west also has higher land value because of its relative proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. It includes the entire city west of Tzahal Road. The quarter includes the new industrial zone (Western Mabat), and a number of residential neighborhoods: Neve Eliyahu (or Ramat Eliyahu), Ne'ot Shikma, Neve Dekalim, Neve Hof (or Pueblo Español), Neve Yam, Kiryat Rishon, Kiryat Cramim, Kiryat Ganim, Ne'ot Ashalim, Kiryat Hatanei Pras Nobel (lit Nobel Prize Laureates' Town)
Rishon LeZion: Sports
Rishon LeZion is known for its achievements in handball and chess. In handball, Hapoel Rishon LeZion and Maccabi Rishon LeZion dominate the handball league. Hapoel has won more than seven domestic championships and cups in a row, with stars like goalkeeper Vladimir Zaikman and field-players Idan Maimon and Dudi Balsar. Its biggest rival, Maccabi took the championship title from Hapoel in 2005/06. Handball is also a dominant sport in Rishon LeZion high schools. The Amit Amal high school handball team has won the world championship several times.
In chess, the Rishon LeZion Chess Club, founded in 1939, is one of the leading clubs in Israel, in senior, women and youth leagues. Israeli grandmasters such as Boris Alterman play for Rishon. World champion Garry Kasparov was a former member.
Hapoel Rishon LeZion is the major football club, currently playing in the second tier, although the club played in the past in the top division, even as recently as 2011–12. The club also appeared in two cup finals, in 1946 and in 1996 and won the 2012–13 Toto Cup Leumit. Other active football teams are Moadon Sport Shikun HaMizrah (playing in Liga Alef), Hapoel Nahalat Yehuda (playing in Liga Bet), and Moadon Sport Rishon LeZion (playing in Liga Gimel). Other football clubs previously played in the city, such as Maccabi Rishon Lezion, which played at the top division during the 1940s and the two seasons after the Israeli Declaration of Independence, as well as smaller clubs which played in the lower tiers, such as Beitar Rishon LeZion, Hapoel Bnei Zion and Hapoel HaMegabesh Rishon LeZion.
The main football stadium in Rishon LeZion is the 6,000-seats Haberfeld Stadium, which hosts matches of Hapoel Rishon LeZion. Other, smaller stadiums, are located in Shikun Hamizrah, in Nahlat Yehuda and in the Superland complex.
The Maccabi Rishon LeZion basketball team is a long-time member of Ligat HaAl, the top division. The team plays at Bet Maccabi Arena, which seats 2,500. Maccabi The team was a rival to Israel's top club and European champion, Maccabi Tel Aviv in the 1990s.
In the city also is home to the new 3,000-seats Athletics Municipal Stadium, which was built between 2001 and 2013, with the intention to host international athletics competitions.
Rishon LeZion: Transportation
Rishon LeZion can be accessed by road from several major highways. Public transportation includes bus, train and share taxi.
Rishon LeZion: Rail transport
The Rishon LeZion HaRishonim Railway Station is located to the south of the city center, in the middle of HaRishonim Interchange, at the intersection of the new Highway 431 and the Rishon LeZion – Ness Ziona road. There are direct trains from the HaRishonim Railway Station to Tel Aviv, Lod, Bnei Brak, Petah Tikva, Rosh HaAyin, Hod HaSharon and Kfar Saba. All stations of Israel Railways can be accessed using the transfer stations at Tel Aviv and Lod.
The Rishon LeZion Moshe Dayan Railway Station is in the western part of the city, situated on the new rail line from Tel Aviv to Ashdod via Moshe Dayan station and Yavne (West). While the link north to Tel Aviv is operational, the railway from Moshe Dayan to Yavne is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in 2012 and from Yavne to Ashdod in 2013. There are future long-range plans for some day connecting the Rishonim station with Moshe Dayan station, while constructing a couple of additional railway stations in between them.
Rishon LeZion: Bus transport
The bus companies serving intercity lines in Rishon LeZion are: Egged, Dan, Afikim, Metropoline, and Kavim. Rishon LeZion has an intracity bus network operated by Egged and Dan. Most lines are metropolitan, continuing to Bat Yam, Holon, Tel Aviv and Jaffa. The bus lines are augmented by share taxis operated by Moniyot HaIr.
Rishon LeZion: Notable residents
Yaacov Agam (born 1928), sculptor and artist
Zohar Argov (1955–87), singer
Shoshana Damari (1923–2006), singer
Mei Finegold singer
Shai Gabso, singer
Gideon Gechtman, sculptor
Boris Gelfand (born 1968), chess grandmaster
Tal Ben Haim, football/soccer player
Ya'akov Hodorov, goalkeeper
Nitzan Horowitz, politician
Ziv Kalontarov (born 1997), European champion swimmer
Anastassia Michaeli, television journalist, presenter, politician
Yagutil Mishiev (born 1927), author
Ophir Pines-Paz, politician
Sefi Rivlin, actor and comedian
Bat-Sheva Zeisler, singer
Shlomo Molla, politician
Rishon LeZion: International relations
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Israel
Rishon LeZion: Twin towns - Sister cities
Rishon LeZion is twinned with:
Kiryat Shmona, Israel
Nîmes, France (1986)
Prešov, Slovakia (2008)
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Essex County, United States
Prince George's County, United States
During the Gulf War in 1991, the mayor of Münster, Germany, made a surprise visit to Rishon LeZion. According to Haaretz, he felt he could not sit quietly at home while missiles were falling on his sister city. Throughout the war, he stayed at the home of Rishon LeZion mayor Meir Nitzan and accompanied him on visits to sites hit by missiles.
In 2009 a memorial was erected in Rishon Le-Zion to the 10,000 German and Austrian Jews who found refuge in the Philippines during the Shoah.
Rishon LeZion: References
"List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
"History of Rishon LeZion". Rishon LeZion municipality. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
"Definition of enhakkore". Onlinedictionary.datasegment.com. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
"The Battle of Ayun Kara, Palestine, 14 November 1917". Desert-column.phpbb3now.com. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
"Ayun Kara New Zealand Mounted Rifles". nzmr.org.
"Haswell-Hugh-Gordon-World-War-I,-1914-1918". Auckland War Memorial Museum. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
"Ayun Kara New Zealand Mounted Rifles". Nzmr.org. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
Karlinsky, Nahum; Greenwood, Naftali (2005). California Dreaming: Ideology, Society, and Technology in the Citrus. ISBN 0-7914-6527-6. Retrieved April 5, 2008.
Shamir, Ronen (2013). Current Flow: The Electrification of Palestine. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0804787062.
Mills, 1932, p. 23
"Municipality of Rishon LeZion Profile". Israel's Largest Enterprises 2008. Dun's 100. Retrieved April 5, 2008.
Ido Efrati (September 1, 2012). "Airport at sea, or castle in the air?". Haaretz. Retrieved 4 February 2014.