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Petah Tikva ( , "Opening of Hope") known as Em HaMoshavot ("Mother of the Moshavot"), is a city in the Center Districtmarker of Israelmarker. Petah Tikva's jurisdiction covers 35,868 dunams (~35.9 km² or 15 sq mi). The population density is . According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, at the end of 2007, the city's population stood at 188,900, growing at an annual rate of 2.5%.


The name of Petah Tikva was chosen by its founders in 1878 from the prophecy of Hosea (2:17), "And I will give her vineyards from thence, and the Valley of Achor for an opening of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt."

Petah Tikva's emblem appears on a postage stamp designed by Yitzhak Goldenhirsch, a founding member of Petah Tikva. The plow symbolizes Petah Tikva's origins as an agricultural settlement, the field symbolizes the drying of the Yarkon River swamps and cultivation of the land, and the orange tree symbolizes Petah Tikva's citrus industry, starting with the first tree planted by Rabbi Arye Leib Frumkin.


Petah Tikva in 1912
Workers in Petah Tikva in the 1930s

Petah Tikva was founded in 1878 by religious pioneers from Europe, who were led by Yehoshua Stampfer, Moshe Shmuel Raab, Yoel Moshe Salomon, Zerach Barnett and David Gutmann as well as Lithuanianmarker Rabbi Aryeh Leib Frumkin and Zev Wolf Branda. It was the first modern Jewish agricultural settlement in Ottoman Palestine and has since grown to become one of Israel's most populous urban centres.

Originally intending to establish a new settlement in the Achor Valley, near Jerichomarker, the pioneers purchased land in that area. However, the Turkish Sultan cancelled the purchase and forbade them from settling there, but they retained the name Petah Tikva as a symbol of their aspirations.

Undaunted, the settlers purchased a modest area (3.40 square kilometers) from the village of Mulabbis (variants: Mlabbes, Um-Labbes), near the source of the Yarkon River. The Sultan allowed the enterprise to proceed, but because their purchase was located in what was a malarial swamp, they had to evacuate when the malaria spread, founding the town of Yehudmarker near the Arabic village Yehudiyya about to the south. With the financial help of Baron Edmond de Rothschild they were able to drain the swamps sufficiently to be able to move back in 1883, joined by immigrants of the First Aliyah, and later the Second Aliyah.

During World War I, Petah Tikva served as a refugee town for residents of Tel Aviv and Jaffamarker, following their exile by the Turkish authorities due to their refusal to serve the Turkish army to fight the invading British forces. The town suffered heavily as it lay between the Turkish and British fronts during the war.

Petah Tikva became the school for thousands of pioneer workers, who studied the craft of farming there before they ventured out to establish dozens of settlements in all parts of the country. The agricultural schools are still active to this day.

Petah Tikva was also the birthplace of the Labor Zionist Movement, inspired and encouraged by the writings of A. D. Gordon who lived in Petah Tikva before moving to Degania in the Galilee.

The first recorded Arab attack on Jews in Palestine took place in Petah Tikva in 1886. Petah Tikva was also the scene of Arab rioting in May 1921, which left four Jews dead.

In the 1930s, the pioneering founders of Kibbutz Yavnehmarker from the Religious Zionist movement immigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine, settling near Petah Tikva on land purchased by a Jewish-owned German company. Refining the agricultural skills they learned in Germany, these pioneers began in 1941 to build their kibbutz in its intended location in the south of Israel, operating from Petah Tikva as a base.

Shlomo Stampfer and his son in their orchard in the 1930s
In the early 1920s, industry began to develop in the Petah Tikva region. In 1921, Petah Tikva was given the status of a local council by the British authorities, and in 1937 it was recognized as a city. Its first mayor, Shlomo Stampfer, was the son of one of its founders, Yehoshua Stampfer.

After the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, several adjoining villages - Amishav and Ein Ganim to the east, Kiryat Matalon to the west, towards Bnei Brakmarker, Kfar Ganim and Mahaneh Yehuda to the south and Kfar Avraham on the north - were merged into the municipal boundaries of Petah Tikva, giving it a significant population boost to 22,000.

During the Second Intifada, Petah Tikva suffered three terrorist attacks.
  • On May 27, 2002 a suicide bomber blew himself up at a small cafe outside a shopping mall, leaving two dead, including a baby.
  • On December 25, 2003 a suicide bomber blew himself up at a bus stop near the Geha bridge, killing 4 civilians.
  • On February 5, 2006 a Palestinian got into a shuttle taxi, pulled out a knife and began stabbing passengers. A worker from a nearby factory hit him with a log, subduing him. Two civilians died.


Petah Tikva is the second largest industrial sector in Israel after the northern city of Haifamarker. The industry is divided into three zones - Kiryat Aryeh (named after Aryeh Shenkar), Kiryat Matalon (named after Moshe Yitzhak Matalon), and Segula, and includes textiles, metalwork, carpentry, plastics, processed foods, tires and other rubber products, and soap. In the last few years many high-tech companies and start-ups have moved into the Petah Tikva industrial zone, which now house the Israeli headquarters for the Oracle Corporation, IBM, Intelmarker, Alcatel-Lucent, ECI Telecom, and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmecuticals. Furthermore, the Israeli Teva company, the world's largest generic drug manufacturer is headquartered in Petah Tikva, whilst one of Israel's leading food processing corporations, Osem opened in Petah Tikva in 1976 and has since been joined by the company's administrative offices, distribution center and sauce factory.

Over time, the extensive citrus groves that once ringed Petah Tikva have disappeared as real-estate developers acquired the land for construction projects. Many new neighborhoods are going up in and around Petah Tikva. A quarry for building stone is located east of Petah Tikva.

As well as general hi-tech firms, Petah Tikva has developed a position as a base for many communications firms. As such, the headquarters of the Bezeq International international phone company is located in the Kiryat Matalon industial zone as are those of the Golden Lines Internet Service Provider. The headquarters of Internet Gold Internet Service Provider is located in the Segula industrial zone whilst those of Tadiran Telecom are in the Ramat Siv industrial zone. Arutz Sheva, the right wing Religious Zionist Israeli media network operates an internet radio studio in Petah Tikva, where Arutz Sheva internet TV is located as well as the printing press for its B'Sheva newspaper.


While Petah Tikva is not a major transportation hub, a large number of intercity Egged buses stop there, and the city has a network of local buses operated by the Kavim company. The Dan bus company operates lines to Ramat Ganmarker, Bnei Brakmarker and Tel Avivmarker.

Petah Tikva's largest bus terminal is the Petah Tikva Central Bus Station, while other major stations are located near Beilinson Hospitalmarker and Beit Rivka. A rapid transit/light rail system is in the works which will connect Petah Tikva to Bnei Brakmarker, Ramat Ganmarker, Tel Avivmarker and Bat Yammarker.

Israel Railways maintains two suburban railroad stations in Segula and Kiryat Aryeh, in the northern part of the city. A central train station near the main bus station is envisioned as part of Israel Railways's long-term expansion plan.

There are eight taxi fleets based in Petah Tikva, and the city is bordered by three of the major vehicle arteries in Israel: Geha Highway (Highway 4) on the west, the Trans-Samaria Highway (Highway 5) on the north, and the Trans-Israel Highway (Highway 6) on the east.

Local government and politics

Yehoshua Stampfer
Shlomo Stampfer
Petah Tikva City Hall
Petah Tikva's history of government goes back to 1880, when the pioneers elected a council of seven members to run the new colony. From from 1880 to 1921, members of the council were David Meir Guttman, Yehoshua Stampfer, Ze'ev Branda, Abraham Ze'ev Lipkis, Yitzhak Goldenhirsch, Chaim Cohen-Rice, Moshe Gissin, Shlomo Zalman Gissin andAkiva Librecht. This governing body was declared a local council in 1921, and Petah Tikva became a city in 1937. Kadima, the political party founded by former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and now headed by Tzipi Livni, has its headquarters in Petah Tikva.

Council heads



Petah Tikva is home to 300 educational institutions from kindergarten through high school, catering to the secular, religious and Haredi populations. There are over 43,000 students enrolled in these schools, which are staffed by some 2,400 teachers.In 2006, five schools participated in the nationwide Mofet program, which promotes academic excellence.Petah Tikva has nine public libraries, the main one located in the city hall building.


Great Synagogue in Petah Tikva
Some 70,000 Orthodox Jews live in Petah Tikva. The community of Petah Tikva is served by 300 synagogues, including the 120-year old Great Synagogue, eight mikvaot (ritual baths) and two major Haredi yeshivot, Lomzhe Yeshiva and Or-Yisrael (founded by the Chazon Ish, Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz). Yeshivat Hesder Petah Tikva, a modern-orthodox Hesder Yeshiva affiliated with the Religious Zionist movement, directed by Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, is also located in Petah Tikva.

Petah Tikva has two cemeteries: Segula Cemetery, east of the city, and Yarkon Cemetery, to the northeast.


Petah Tikva is divided into 22 neighborhoods for municipal purposes: Sgula Industrial Zone, Kiryat Aryeh Industrial Zone, Ramat Siv Industrial Zone, Hadar HaMoshavot, New Hadar HaMoshavot, Ahim Israelit, Neve Gan, Krol, Shifer, Kfar Avraham, Kiryat HaRav Solomon, Mishkanot Ganim, Shikun HaPo'el HaMizrahi, Tkuma, Kiryat Alon, Kiryat David Elazar, Yoseftal, Kiryat Eliezer Perry, Tzameret Ganim, Ein Ganim, City Center, Ramat Verber, Bar Yehuda, Neve Ganim, Kiryat Matalon, Neve Oz, Kfar Ganim, Bat Ganim, Shikun Ahdut, Sha'ariya,Amishav, Beilinson and Hadar Ganim.

Landmarks and cultural institutions

Calatrava bridge
  • Santiago Calatrava bridge
  • Petah Tikva Zoo
  • Beit Yad Labanim
  • Petah Tikva Museum of Art
  • Rothschild Arch


Petah Tikva has two soccer teams - Hapoel Petah Tikva F.C. and Maccabi Petah Tikva F.C.. The local baseball team, the Petach Tikva Pioneers, played in the inaugural 2007 season of the Israel Baseball League. The league folded the following year.


Rabin Medical Center (Belinson)
Petah Tikva has the most extensive health coverage of any city in Israel relative to the size of its population. Six hospitals are located in the city. The Rabin Medical Centermarker Beilinson complex includes the Beilinson Medical Center, the Davidoff Oncologic Center, the Geha Psychiatric Hospital, the Schneider Pediatric Hospital and Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Medical Research. Other medical facilities in Petah Tikva are HaSharon Hospital, the Beit Rivka Geriatric Center, the Kupat Holim Medical Research Center and a private hospital, Ramat Marpeh, affiliated with Assuta Hospital. The Schneider Pediatric Center is one of the largest and most modern children's hospitals in the Middle East. In addition, there are many family health clinics in Petah Tikva as well as Kupat Holim clinics operated by Israel's Health maintenance organizations.

Notable residents

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Petah Tikva is twinned with:


File:PT-Haim Ozer2.jpg|Haim-Ozer st., Petah TikvaFile:PT-Haim Ozwe3.jpg|Haim-Ozer st., Petah TikvaFile:PT-Phone Booth.jpg|In 2008 ten K6 telephone boxes were imported from the United Kingdommarker to Petah Tikva and installed on its main street, Haim Ozer.File:Petah Tikva CBS.jpg|Petah Tikva, the Central Bus Station.


External links

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