(Hebrew: נְתַנְיָה, lit., "God gave"; Arabic:
نتانيا) is a city in the Northern Central District of Israel,
and is the capital of the surrounding Sharon plain. It is 30 km
(18.64 mi) north of Tel Aviv, and 56 km (34.80 mi)
south of Haifa, between the 'Poleg' stream and
the south and the 'Avichail' stream in the north.
was named in
of Macy's, a prominent
and philanthropist in the early 20th century.
Its 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) of beaches have made the city a
popular tourist resort. In addition, the city is known for its large
immigrant population. A significant percentage of the city's
population consists of immigrants from the former Soviet Union,
France, and Ethiopia, and the city is home to a notably large
population of English-speaking immigrants from the United Kingdom,
United States, Canada, South Africa,
and New Zealand.
In 2016, it had a population of 210,834, making it the 7th largest
city in Israel. An additional 150,000 people live in the local and
regional councils within 10 kilometres (6 miles) of
serves as a regional center for them. The city mayor is Miriam
5.1 Kiryat Sanz
6.1 Public transportation
10 Urban development
11 International relations
11.1 Twin towns – sister cities
12 Notable residents
14 External links
The old Sycamore tree in Netanya
The idea to create the settlement of
Netanya was drawn up at a meeting
of the Bnei Binyamin association in Zikhron Ya'akov. The location
was decided upon near the ancient site of Poleg, and it was decided to
name it in honor of Nathan (Hebrew: Natan) Straus (1848–1931),
Macy's department store, New York City Parks
Commissioner, and president of the New York City Board of Health,
who gifted two-thirds of his personal fortune to projects benefiting
Jews and Arabs in Palestine. "Netanya...was named for Straus
in the hope he would donate money to them. When he told them he had no
more money to give they were disappointed, but decided to keep the
city's name anyway." In 1928 members of Bnei Binyamin and Hanote,
an organisation set up after Straus was informed of the establishment
of the settlement, purchased 350 acres (1.4 km2) of Umm Khaled
Zion Square, Netanya, in 1939
On December 14, 1928 a team led by
Moshe Shaked began digging for
water at the site, finding it in February 1929. Subsequently, on
February 18, 1929, the first five settlers moved onto the land,
plowing and cultivating it for the first time. In the weeks that
followed, more settlers began arriving. The land was divided between
the settlers in June 1929 as slowly the vision of the settlement
became reality. Development was set back, however when the 1929
Palestine riots and massacre of
Jews caused the settlement to be
abandoned for a couple of weeks. By September, however, development
was back on track with the cornerstones for the first 10 houses being
laid on Sukkot.
Netanya in 1936
In the following years,
Netanya continued to grow, with the first
kindergarten and shop opening in 1930, and the first school in 1931.
In the 1931 census of Palestine,
Netanya was recorded as having 253
residents. In 1933, the British architect Cliff Holliday proposed a
Netanya to become a tourist city. Holliday also prepared
urban projects in Jaffa, Tiberias, Lydda and Ramla. The first urban
plan for the city, saw it being divided into three sections with a
tourism district along the coastline, housing, farms and commerce in
the center, and agriculture and industry to the east. That year also
saw the completion of the Tel-Aviv Hotel, the first hotel in the city,
as well as the establishment of two new neighborhoods, Ben Zion and
The moshava as it then was continued to grow in 1934, when the first
ship of illegal immigrants carried 350 to Netanya's shoreline. These
operations continued until 1939, with over seventeen ships landing
near the city, being aided by the residents of Netanya. Whilst
flourishing agriculturally, 1934 also saw the city diversify with
Primazon opening the first factory there, producing fruit and
vegetable preserves. Following this, the first industrial zone was set
up, whilst the Shone Halahot Synagogue was built and the Bialik
School, the first school, inaugurated.
As the settlement continued to grow, 1937 saw a cornerstone laid for a
new commercial center and the connection of
Netanya to the Tel
Haifa road. In 1940, the British Mandate government defined
Netanya as a local council of which Oved Ben-Ami was elected head
of. Expansion continued after this point. In 1944,
Netanya had a
population of 4,900. The first high school in
Netanya opened in 1945.
Herzl Street, the main thoroughfare of Netanya, in 1936
Jewish insurgency in Palestine, the
Irgun launched a number of attacks against British military and
police forces in the
Netanya area. The town itself was a bastion of
support for the Irgun. The most infamous incident happened in July
1947, in what became known as the Sergeants affair. After three Irgun
fighters had been sentenced to death by the British, the Irgun
abducted two British sergeants on a
Netanya street, and hid them in an
abandoned factory. The British responded by declaring martial law and
Netanya and the surrounding area under curfew. The British
Army searched the town and interrogated residents, but did not find
the sergeants. After the three
Irgun fighters were hanged, the Irgun
hanged the two sergeants in the factory and re-hanged and booby
trapped their bodies in an orange grove.
In November 1947, an Egged bus which left
attacked in Petah Tikva. In 1948, following the withdrawal of British
Netanya and the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, a large military
base was established in the city. On December 3, 1948, after fighting
in the area had calmed down,
Netanya was designated a city, the first
city to be designated in the newly established State of Israel. A
number of nearby settlements, Ramat Tiomkin, Ein Hatchlelet, Pardes
Hagdud, and Ramat Ephraim, were annexed to Netanya. At this time,
Netanya had a population of 11,600. In 1949, the Kiryat Eliezer
Kaplan Industrial Zone was inaugurated and the nearby settlement of
Neve Itamar, which had been founded in 1944, was annexed to
The city continued to develop in the following years as many Jewish
immigrants settled there.
Netanya railway station
Netanya railway station was opened in 1953.
The population reached 31,000 in 1955. To accommodate the large number
of new immigrants, the Israeli Housing Ministry built large numbers of
housing units with dwelling spaces of about 50 square meters. The
cornerstone of the Kiryat Sanz neighborhood, which was to house
religious residents, was laid in 1956. The first stock exchange built
Israel was built in Netanya. By 1961, the city's population had
grown to 41,300.
Netanya continued to grow throughout the 1960s. During the Six-Day War
Netanya was hit by Jordanian artillery, and Jordanian planes
made sorties near Netanya, but failed to cause major damage. A lone
Iraqi bomber attacked Netanya, dropping several bombs which damaged a
factory and caused some casualties, shortly before being shot down.
Netanya had a population of 71,100 in 1972.
Laniado Hospital opened
its doors in 1975, starting with an outpatient clinic, and gradually
expanding throughout the following years. The population had grown to
102,300 in 1983. Two master plans for the city, released in 1982 and
1985 respectively, saw the new standard apartment size increase to a
minimum of 100 square meters. Hotel development along the coast was
further advanced, and tourism gradually increased. At its peak in the
Netanya accounted for 10% of national tourism. This, together
with its thriving diamond industry, led it to be known as the "tourism
and diamond city." Tourism would later slow down after the diamond
industry moved away and government budgets would focus on developing
other areas for tourism.
In the 1990s, large numbers of immigrants from the former Soviet Union
settled in Netanya, greatly expanding the city's population and
resulting in large-scale housing construction.
Netanya suffered from several Palestinian bombings during the Second
Intifada, including the
Netanya Market bombing
Netanya Market bombing and, in the same month,
Passover massacre which caused the death of 29 people. Such
attacks were cited as justification for the construction of the
Israeli West Bank barrier
Israeli West Bank barrier which has proved effective in stemming
Following increased immigration by French
Israel in the 2000s
Netanya became one of their primary destinations. Thousands
of French immigrants settled in Netanya, which influenced the local
Netanya was home to 210,834. The population density of the
city is 7,115 per square kilometer. The population is expected to
be around 320,000 in 2035. According to a 2001 survey by the CBS,
99.9% of the population are
Jewish and other non-Arabs. In 2001 alone,
the city became home to 1,546 immigrants. According to CBS, in 2001
there were 78,800 males and 84,900 females with the population of the
city being spread out with 31.1% 19 years of age or younger, 15.3%
between 20 and 29, 17.2% between 30 and 44, 17.4% from 45 to 59, 4.2%
from 60 to 64, and 14.9% 65 years of age or older.
In terms of the origin of Netanya's residents, 63,800 originate from
Europe and America, 30,200 from North Africa, 18,100 from Asia, 10,500
from Ethiopia and 38,100 from
Israel in 2008. That same year, 90,200
of the residents of
Netanya were born in Israel, whilst 71,300 were
born abroad. A significant number of Ethiopian
Netanya with over 10,500 Ethiopian
Jewish residents in the
Netanya is also the center of the Persian
As of 2000, the city had 58,897 salaried workers and 4,671
self-employed with the mean monthly wage in 2000 for a salaried worker
in the city being NIS 4,905, a real change of 8.6% over the course of
2000. Salaried males have a mean monthly wage of NIS 6,217 (a real
change of 9.0%) versus NIS 3,603 for females (a real change of 6.8%).
The mean income for the self-employed is 6,379. There are 3,293 people
who receive unemployment benefits and 14,963 people who receive an
In terms of religion,
Netanya is made up approximately of 50% secular
Jews. It is also the home of the Sanzer Hasidic dynasty, as well as a
Chabad Lubavitch presence.
Naimi Shopping Mall
Ir Yamim neighbourhood
Netanya is largely divided between four industrial parks.
In the south of the city, the newest of these, Poleg, houses the first
Israel as well as many technology companies, such as
LogiTag. Tourism also plays a fairly major part in Netanya's economy
with some 19 hotels in the city having 1,452 rooms. On average, this
creates some 589 jobs. The hotels had an average occupancy rate of
51.7% in 2006. Netanya's long seashore and many beaches have created a
holiday industry, which in turn features resort hotels, restaurants,
Netanya is located on the Israeli
Mediterranean Coastal Plain, the
historic land bridge between Europe, Africa, and Asia. The city is the
capital of the Sharon plain, a geographic region stretching from the
Mediterranean in the west to the Samarian hills in the east, and the
Tel Aviv metropolitan area in the south northwards to Mount
Carmel. Although capital of a densely populated region,
is relatively separate from settlements to the north, south, and east,
though over time, growth has incorporated some into what makes up
modern day Netanya.
Iris nature reserve
Apart from some small moshavim and kibbutzim, south of
relatively clear of settlement until
Herzliya and the start of the
Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area. Likewise, to the north is clear
of large settlement until Hadera, and the east until
Tulkarm in the
West Bank. The area to the east of
Netanya does, however, have a large
concentration of kibbutzim and moshavim in the Hefer Valley Regional
Council and local councils of
Kfar Yona and Even Yehuda.
Netanya itself is divided into a large number of neighborhoods (see
Neighborhoods of Netanya), recently growing southwards out of the city
to create a number of high-end coastal neighborhoods with industrial
Netanya is home to the Poleg nature reserve and the
Irises Dora Rainpool nature park containing the world's largest
population of iris atropurpurea. At the center of the park is
a rainpool which fills up with water in the winter months, and dries
up over the summer months. Signs along the rainpool include
information on the types of flora and fauna which populate the
Main article: Kiryat Sanz, Netanya
In 1956 a beachfront in northern
Netanya was selected as the home base
for the Sanzer Hasidim by its leader,
Rabbi Yekusiel Yehudah
Halberstam. Halberstam established kindergartens, boys' and girls'
schools, yeshivas, seminaries, synagogues, a children's home for
orphaned and needy girls, an old-age home, and a hospital. In
addition to religious services, the new settlement had a diamond
polishing factory built by a New York diamond merchant. Halberstam
established his court here in 1960. Following his death in 1994,
his eldest son,
Rabbi Zvi Elimelech Halberstam, known as the Sanzer
Rebbe, has been the spiritual leader of the Sanz community in
Israel. Today Kiryat Sanz has a population of approximately 1000
families. Most of the older generation are Holocaust
survivors. Besides its educational facilities for boys and girls
from elementary to post-graduate, it has five synagogues, a
mikveh, a printing house, a religious hotel, a religious nursing
school, and the Laniado Hospital, which encompasses two medical
centers, a children's hospital, a geriatric center and a nursing
school, serving a regional population of over 450,000.
Netanya Sapir Railway Station
Sea Opera Towers, Netanya's two tallest buildings
The public transportation in
Netanya is based on buses, railway and
Netanya railway station
Netanya railway station is located near the city center, on the
east side of Highway 2.
Netanya Sapir railway station
Netanya Sapir railway station is located in
the Poleg Industrial Area.
Beit Yehoshua railway station, located in
the moshav of Beit Yehoshua, immediately south of Netanya, is
convenient for getting to southern
Netanya and to the Poleg Industrial
Area. These stations are connected to the city by Egged bus service,
although Shay Li service taxis are highly predominant at the Beit
Yehoshua station. There are direct trains from
Netanya and Beit
Yehoshua to Tel Aviv, Binyamina, Hadera, Herzliya, Lod, Rehovot,
Ashkelon and other towns. All
Israel Railways stations,
including Ben Gurion Airport, can be accessed from
Netanya by means of
transfer stations such as
Binyamina and Tel Aviv.
Egged buses run from the
Netanya central bus station to Jerusalem,
Eilat and other destinations. Many neighborhoods have a direct
Tel Aviv without the need to pass through the central
bus station. In addition, many Egged lines connecting
Tel Aviv with
the north of the country stop at the
Netanya Interchange on Highway 2,
Netanya a direct connection with Nazareth, Tiberias, Kiryat
Shmona and many other northern destinations.
Nateev Express operates
bus services to Tel Aviv,
Bnei Brak and to the surrounding
communities, including the city of Hadera. Some regional lines are
still operated by Egged. The intracity transportation is based on
Egged Ta'avura bus lines and Shay Li service taxis.
Victory Monument in Netanya, dedicated to the victory of the Soviet
Union in WW2
As a tourist destination and large city,
Netanya features a number of
museums and galleries. The Well House is a museum telling the early
Netanya located in a farm established in 1928, and as such
one of the earliest buildings in Netanya. Also in the city are the
Israel Pearl museum of Yemenite
Jewish Heritage, the Shlomo
Dror Art Institute, and the Diamimon diamond museum. The Cliff
Gallery, Gosher Gallery, Abecassis Gallery and Fourth Gallery are all
located in the city.
Netanya is also home to many war memorials such as the Holocaust Train
Car, Beit Yad Lebanim – the memorial to fallen IDF soldiers from
Netanya, the National Memorial for Fallen Ordnance Corps, the
Alexandroni Brigade Memorial, the National Victory Monument –
dedicated to the Russian Red Army victory over Nazi
Germany and the
Memorial to Victims of Acts of Terror.
In June 2016, a street in
Netanya was named for Japanese diplomat
Chiune Sugihara, who was responsible for saving Lithuanian
Nazi persecution early in World War II through providing visas
allowing travel eastwards, beyond the reach of the Third Reich's
According to the
Netanya Municipality, the city has 36,544 students
including 5,351 pupils in 186 kindergartens, 16,748 in 46 elementary
schools, and 14,445 in 16 high schools. Education in the city is
controlled by the municipality's Education Administration. 52.7%
of 12th grade students were entitled to a matriculation certificate in
In terms of higher education,
Netanya has a private higher education
Netanya Academic College, which offers Bachelor's and
master's degrees in several subjects as well as the Ort Hermelin
College of Engineering, the Zinman College of Physical Education and
Sport Sciences, Lesley College, and the Tesler School for Nursing.
The Wingate Institute, Israel's National Centre for Physical Education
and Sport, is located just south of the city.
Netanya's Stadium and the Golden Ball sculpture
The main stadiums in
Netanya are the 13,610-seat
Netanya has three football teams, the main being Maccabi Netanya,
whose main local rival is Beitar Nes Tubruk. The third is Maccabi
HaSharon Netanya, though the team has been limited to fourth tier
football in the Liga Bet. Elitzur
Netanya represents the city in the
first tier of Israeli basketball. In handball, the city is represented
Hapoel Netanya in the 2nd tier of the Israeli handball. In
baseball, the city was represented by the
Netanya Tigers of the Israel
Baseball League. As part of the "
Netanya – city of sport" program
the beach soccer stadium was established and it currently hosts
Israeli championship and international "Diamond tournament" games.
Aside from the professional sport teams,
Maccabi Netanya also has a
boxing and fencing club while
Hapoel Netanya has judo and gymnastic
clubs, and Elitzur
Netanya has a lacrosse club.
The founder of Krav Maga,
Imi Lichtenfeld opened a sports academy in
Netanya for the continuation of his way and his martial art.
Netanya is also the home of paragliding in Israel. The moderate cliffs
plus a stiff offshore breeze provide an ideal environment for safe and
fun comfortable paragliding. Gliders are often seen cruising high
above the beach, just along the cliff line.
Netanya was scheduled to host the 2015 European Short Course Swimming
Championships in December. The venue of the event was to be the brand
new swimming complex of the Wingate Institute. The new complex at the
Wingate Institute features an Olympic-size pool with 10 lanes and 3m
depth, backed by the latest built-in filtration systems, an 8-lane 50m
pool and a 6-lane 25m pool.
The city currently has a modest but growing skyline, with several of
the tallest buildings in
Israel located there. In 2011, it was
announced that eight new skyscrapers, six of them over 30 stories,
would be built in the city. It was also reported that in the coming
years, the city's skyline will alter as dozens of 40–42-story
skyscrapers will be built, many of them along the shore.
Currently, there are plans to make
Netanya a major tourist hub, both
to Israelis and European tourists, by turning the city's coastline
into an "Israeli Riviera", with multiple development projects planned
for the city's shore. Among the projects planned is the clearing
of a landfill containing 2.5 million cubic meters of waste, and
redeveloping the area into a residential and hotel area of 2,062
housing units and 1,100 hotel rooms. Most of the area will be left as
open space, as part of the city's goal to go from 56 to 70 percent
open space. The plan is expected to attract more residents to the
city, expand hotel development, and increase the iris reserve areas,
as well as the number of gardens, and green spaces.
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See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Israel
Twin towns – sister cities
Netanya is twinned with:
Bournemouth in England, United Kingdom
Como in Como, Lombardy, Italy
Richmond Hill in Ontario, Canada
Dortmund in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Giessen in Hessen, Germany
Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia
Iaşi in Romania
Nice in Alpes-Maritimes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Nowy Sącz in Lesser Poland, Poland
Sarcelles in Val-d'Oise, Île-de-France, France
Siófok in Hungary
Stavanger in Norway
Sunny Isles Beach in Florida, United States
Linor Abargil, Miss
Israel World 1998, Miss World 1998
Yityish Titi Aynaw, Miss
Orit Bar-On (born 1975), Olympic judoka
Yehuda Barkan, actor and filmmaker
Edith Hahn Beer, Austrian
Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust by
Jewish identity and marrying a Nazi officer
Cheryl Bentov, American real estate agent and former Israeli Mossad
Noah Brosch, astronomer, astrophysicist and space researcher
Yonatan "Yoni" Chetboun, member of the Knesset
Jacko Eisenberg, singer
Eli Finish, actor and comedian
Yarden Gerbi (born 1989), world champion and Olympic bronze medalist
Haim Gidon, martial artist
Moshe Glam, football player
Ageze Guadie (born 1989), Olympic marathon runner
Nadav Guedj, Israeli
2015 Eurovision Song Contest
2015 Eurovision Song Contest entrant
Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam, Klausenburger Rebbe
Zvi Elimelech Halberstam, Sanzer Rebbe
Yitzhak "Haki" Harel, civil servant and army general
Mariano Idelman, actor and comedian
Silvi Jan, female professional and Israeli team footballer
Baruch Kimmerling, scholar and professor of sociology
Moti Kirschenbaum, television presenter and filmmaker
Aliza Lavie, academic and politician
Ronny Levy, football player and now a manager
Imi Lichtenfeld, martial artist, founded Krav Maga
Nili Lotan, Israeli-American fashion designer
Oded Machnes, football player
Tesama Moogas, Olympic marathon runner
Sagi Muki, reigning European judo champion
Andrea Murez, Israeli–American Olympic swimmer for Israel
Or Sasson, Olympic bronze medalist judoka
Stav Shaffir, activist, journalist, and politician
Arik Shivek, basketball coach
Mordechai Spiegler, football player
Shiraz Tal, model
Shalom Tikva, football player
Margalit Tzan'ani, singer
Meir Wieseltier, poet
Ehud Yatom, Shin Bet agent and Knesset member
Ron Yosef (b. 1974), openly gay Orthodox
Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam
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Chiune Sugihara was held in Netanya,
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“visas for life,” as they saved many from Nazi persecution.
Netanya is known as a place where many
Jewish people arrived after
fleeing from the oppression thanks to visas issued by Sugihara. The
plan to build the street marks 30 years since Sugihara’s death.
“It’s such an honor. I wish my father was here,” said
Sugihara’s fourth son, Nobuki, 67.
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Netanya.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Netanya.
Official website (in Hebrew)
Things to do in Netanya
Places To Visit in Netanya
Official tourism website
Other information, in French
Surfing in Netanya
Tandem Paragliding Netanya
Central District of Israel
Judea and Samaria Area
Tel Aviv District
Israeli cities with a 50,000+ population
200,000 and more
Modi'in Illit (located in the West Bank)