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Title: Ra'annana  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Central District (Israel), April 2005, Dan Tsalka
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrew רַעֲנָנָה
 • ISO 259 Raˁnana
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabic رعنانا

Panorama of Ra'anana

Coat of arms of Raanana

Coordinates: 32°11′N 34°52′E / 32.183°N 34.867°E / 32.183; 34.867Coordinates: 32°11′N 34°52′E / 32.183°N 34.867°E / 32.183; 34.867

District Center
Founded April 2, 1922
 • Type City
 • Mayor Nahum Hofree
Population (2009)[1]
 • Total 68,300

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 68,300, as of 2009.[1] 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.[2]


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 85,000 spanning an area of 15 square kilometres (6 sq mi).[3] In the 1980s Ra'anana was declared a city.


Ra'anana has both a large English-speaking population and a Spanish-speaking population, mainly from Argentina. The number of French immigrants is also on the rise.[4]


Though the majority of Ra'anana residents are secular, there is a sizable religious community, mainly consisting of Modern Orthodox Jews, many of whom are Western immigrants, in particular from the U.S., U.K., South Africa and France. The integration of religious people into the general social, cultural and commercial life of the city has a distinctive effect on the character of the city. There are nearly 100 synagogues in Ra'anana, ranging from small minyanim to large edifices, and including a wide range of traditions, including Sefaradi, Ashkenazi, Yemenite and even Afghani, Libyan synagogues. Due to the large number of immigrants in the city, many of these synagogues often 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 chief rabbi of the city is Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz.[5]

Notable residents

Industry & 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, OnTarget Communications, SAP 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-may maximize their personal potential and find a suitable place in the municipal educational frameworks.

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 the 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.[6]

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.[7]


The main soccer club of the city is Hapoel Ra'anana. In basketball, the city is represented by Bnei Hasharon who play at the MetroWest high school. With a large population of American expatriates, the Ra'anana Express are an inaugural team in the Israel Baseball League.

The Ra'anana Roosters are the local rugby team, and the area is a centre of rugby union in Israel, with the Israel Rugby Union being based there. American Football is also making its mark in the city. There is a large tackle football youth program and a tackle football team in the Kraft Family H.S. IFL.


Twin towns — Sister cities

Ra'anana is twinned with:[8]


External links

  • Official municipal website
  • Local English language news and information website
  • North Raanana's Environment Organization

Template:Center District (Israel)

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