Ma'abarot (Hebrew: מַעְבָּרוֹת) were refugee absorption
Israel in the 1950s. The
Ma'abarot were meant to provide
accommodation for the large influx of
Jewish refugees and new Jewish
immigrants (olim) arriving to the newly independent State of Israel,
replacing the less habitable immigrant camps or tent cities. The
ma'abarot began to decline by mid-1950s and were largely transformed
into Development Towns. The last Ma'abara was closed in 1963.
3 Media and popular culture
4 See also
Ma'abara in Beit Lid
The Hebrew word Ma'abara (singular) derives from the word ma'avar
(Hebrew: מעבר, transit).
Ma'abarot (plural) were meant to be
temporary communities for the new arrivals. Immigrants housed in these
Jewish refugees mainly from
Middle East and North
Africa, as well as Holocaust survivors from Europe.
Ma'abara near Nahariya, 1952
The sudden arrival of over 130,000 Iraqi Jews in
Israel in the early
1950s meant that almost a third of immigrant camp dwellers were of
Iraqi Jewish origin. At the end of 1949 there had been 90,000 Jews
housed in immigration camps; by the end of 1951 this population rose
to over 220,000 people, in about 125 separate communities.
More habitable housing had been provided to replace the tents of the
immigrant camps, and the camps were renamed into "transition camps",
or "ma'abarot". Most of ma'abarot residents were housed in temporary
tin dwellings. Over 80% of the residents were
Jewish refugees from
across Arab and Muslim countries in
Middle East and North Africa.
Over time, the
Ma'abarot metamorphosed into Israeli towns, or were
absorbed as neighbourhoods of the towns they were attached to, and
residents were provided with permanent housing. The number of people
Ma'abarot began to decline since 1952, and the last
Ma'abarot were closed sometime around 1963. Most of the camps
transformed into Development Towns - "Ayarat Pitu'ach". Ma'abarot
which became towns include Kiryat Shmona, Sderot, Beit She'an,
Or Yehuda and Migdal HaEmek.
Milk distribution at a ma'abara
Most of ma'abarot residents were housed in temporary tin dwellings.
Conditions in the
Ma'abarot were very harsh, with many people sharing
sanitation facilities. In one community it was reported that there
were 350 people to each shower and in another 56 to each toilet.
Media and popular culture
Ephraim Kishon produced a satirical film about the
Ma'abarot called Sallah Shabbati. The film was nominated for an
Academy Award and is regarded as an Israeli classic.
Austerity in Israel
Immigrant camps (Israel)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ma'abarot.
^ a b c (in Hebrew)
Ma'abarot by Miriam Kachenski, Israeli Center for