In 1882 Reuven Lehrer met a German Templer named Gustav Reisler, who had come from Germany to Odessa. Reisler told Lehrer about the land he owned in Wadi Chanin (an Arab village Wadi Hunayn close by) that was “close to Jerusalem”. Lehrer and Reisler traded their land: 20,000 duman in Odessa (20,000 dunams) 2,000 dunam in Wadi Chanin . Lehrer was greatly disappointed seeing the land he had purchased was not so “close to Jerusalem”, but he started the Jewish settlement there in 1883. It soon became known as Nahalat Reuven. Lehrer became the first citrus farmer in Israel and one of the first beekeepers in Israel. Both Baron Rothschild and Herzl visited Lehrer settlement and farm, but most of Ness Ziona remained independent of the Baron.
Michael Halperin and the Zionist Flag
Ness Ziona – a separate colony
In 1891, Michael Halperin, a revolutionary socialist (see above) purchased additional land in Wadi Chanin. He settled on the Hill of Love. In a village ceremony he galloped in unfurling a blue and white flag emblazoned with the words Ness Ziona (“Banner to Zion”) written in gold, based on a verse in the Jeremiah 4:6. A flag based on Halperin’s flag was latter adopted as the official flag of the Zionist Congress. Halperin’s colony went bankrupt and he left the community. Baron Rothschild purchased Halperin colony’s land and planted citrus trees.
Tel Aviv – neighborhood in Ness Ziona
Lehrer invited additional pioneers living in the port city of Jaffa to come to live in Ness Ziona, They established a separate neighborhood named Tel Aviv (the city of Tel Aviv did not yet exist).
Ness Ziona – United village
During the British Mandate for Palestine Ness Ziona and Wadi Chanin were a considered a united village.Nahalat Reuven, Ness Ziona, the neighborhood of Tel Aviv in Ness Zion, Kfar Aharon and Tirat Shalom were became a united village. During the War of Independence in 1948 several Arab villages were evacuated and abandoned: Sarafand, Qubayba and Zarnuqa. Much of the territory of these villages were added to Ness Ziona.
Beit Rishonim at Nes Tziona
This is Ness Ziona’s First Aliyah Museum. The “Flag Route” tour includes: Founders Museum, History of Honey Museum, Antilya Well, Yesterday’s Tools Museum and a large painted Synagogue.
- Opening hours:Sun-Thur: 08:30-13:00
- Admission: Entrance fee
- Address: Tel Aviv str. 19, Nes Tziona
- Phone: 972-8-9404491