Often called “the “Riviera of Israel,” Netanya is a true resort town in every sense of the word. Many hotels dot its coastline served by charming cafes, outdoor performances in an amphitheater overlooking the sea and boutique shops. Netanya is situated 30 minutes north of Tel Aviv on the coastline. The past ten years have seen enormous development of the beachfront, and the town provides visitors with hotels and great beaches. It has its own cultural center which is the home of the Netanya-Kibbutzim Chamber Orchestra. Netanya is a melting pot that absorbed a great deal of residents during the late 1990s with the “aliya” (immigration) of over a quarter million Jews from the former Soviet Union.

The prelude to the official birthdate of the city on February 18, 1929 was when members of Bney Benyamin organization, sitting in Zichron Yaakov, just south of Haifa, decided in 1926 to create a new settlement. In 1928, they informed the American philanthropist Nathan Strauss that they had established a new settlement in his honor. They bought 350 acres of Um Haled lands and dug a well, and that’s how it all started. Being on the shore and away from too many discerning eyes, Netanya became a spot for receiving “illegal” immigrants. 350 of them arrived in 1938 to start the ball rolling. The city grew to more than 9,000 people by 1948 when it was recognized as the first new city to be founded after the establishment of the State of Israel.

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