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Avraham Krinizi, the first mayor of Ramat Gan
Ramat Gan's location within the Tel Aviv District
Elite Junction (2009)
Ramat Gan ( ) is a city in the Tel Aviv districtmarker of Israelmarker, located east of Tel Avivmarker. It is home to one of the world's major diamond exchanges and Israel's tallest building, the Moshe Aviv Towermarker. Ramat Gan was established in 1921 as a moshava, a communal farming settlement. At the end of 2007, the population was 133,400. The mayor of Ramat Gan is Zvi Bar.

History

Ramat Gan was established by the Ir Ganim association in 1921 as a satellite town of Tel Avivmarker. The first plots of land were purchased between 1914-1918. The settlement was initially a moshava, a Zionist agricultural colony that grew wheat, barley and watermelons. The name of the settlement was changed to Ramat Gan (lit: Garden Heights) in 1923. The settlement continued to operate as a moshava until 1933, although it achieved local council status in 1926. At this time it had 450 residents.

In the 1940s, Ramat Gan became a battleground in the country's language war: A Yiddish language printing press in Ramat Gan was blown up by Hebrew-language extremists.

Over the years, the economy shifted from agriculture to commerce and industry. By 1946, the population had grown to 12,000. In 1950, Ramat Gan was recognized as a city. In 1955, it had a population of 55,000. The first mayor was Avraham Krinitzi who remained in office for 43 years. In 1961, the municipal area of Ramat Gan expanded westward, to encompass the area that includes the Sheba Medical Centermarker in Tel Hashomermarker, and eastward, to encompass the area around Bar Ilan Universitymarker. In 1968, the world's largest diamond exchange opened in Ramat Gan. The Sheba Medical Centermarker and the Israel Diamond Exchange are located in Ramat Gan.

Archaeology

Northwest of the city is an archeological site dating from the Early Bronze Age (2800-2600 BC) - Tel Jarisha - which has been identified as a Hyksos fortified town from 2000 to 1500 BC.

Geography

Ramat Gan is located in the Gush Danmarker metropolitan area east of Tel Aviv. It is bounded in the north by the Yarkon River and in the east by Bnei Brakmarker. Givatayimmarker lies to the southwest. Ramat Gan experiences an average of 500 mm of rainfall per year and is located, on average 80 meters above sea level. It is built on limestone hills. Ramat Gan parks include The National Parkmarker which covers some 1,900 dunams, and David Park in the Marom Naveh neighborhood. 25% of Ramat Gan is covered by public parkland.

Ramat Gan neighborhoods include: City Center, Nachalat Ganim, Kiryat Krinitzi, Ramat Shikma, Ramat Yitzhak, Shchunat Rishonim, Tel Yehuda, Givat Geula, Neve Yehoshua, Kiryat Borochov, Marom Naveh, Ramat Amidar, Ramat Chen, Shikun Vatikim, Shchunat Hillel, Elite and Diamond Exchange District and Tel Binyamin.

Demographics

City of Ramat Gan

Population by year
1948 17,200
1955 58,500
1961 90,800
1972 118,000
1983 117,100
1995 128,700
2005 128,400
2006 129,700


As of 2006, Ramat Gan had 129,700 residents, on an area of 12,000 dunams (12 km²). The population was growing at a rate of 1.0% per annum with 90% of this growth coming through natural increase. The population density of the city is 9,822.6 per square kilometer, one of the highest in Israel. In terms of the origin of Ramat Gan's residents, 42,900 originate from Europe and America, 10,200 from Africa, 29,200 from Asia, and 40,600 from Israel. 86,200 of the residents of Ramat Gan were born in Israel, whilst 36,600 were born abroad.

According the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, as of 2001, Ramat Gan's socioeconomic ranking stood at 8 out of 10. 70.9% of twelfth grade students received a matriculation certificate in 2000. That year, the average wages in Ramat Gan were 6,995 NIS. As of 2006, 32,100 of the city's households had people who were not in the labour force, with 23,300 of these retired. 1,900 of the households had unemployed within them. 43,000 households were fully employed. The largest sectors of jobs for those in employment in Ramat Gan were business activities accounting for 18.1% of jobs, education, 15.1%, wholesale and retail trade, and repairs, 14.2%, manufacturing 10.8%, and health, welfare and social work services, 10.0%.

Religion

Ramat Gan has 112 synagogues and two yeshivas. Ramat Gan also has a Buddhist temple, a Scientology centre and a Kabbalah centre.

Economy

Ramat Gan's economy is dominated by the Diamond Exchange District in the northwest of the city, home to a large concentration of skyscrapers, including Moshe Aviv Towermarker (City Gate), Israel's tallest at over 240 meters, the Diamond Exchange (a world leader in fancy-cut diamonds), a large Sheraton hotel, and many high-tech businesses including the headquarters of Check Point Software Technologies.
View of Ramat Gan city from Ayalon Road
In the wake of a crackdown on prostitution and gambling in 2006, quality of life has improved in the area. Also located in the Diamond Exchange District is the State Bank of Indiamarker's Israeli headquarters and the headquarters of Bank Mizrachi, whilst the embassies of Ghanamarker, Kenyamarker, the Ivory Coastmarker, Jordanmarker, Norwaymarker, Belgiummarker, Hollandmarker, and the European Economic Community, are located in the area. A number of other international embassies are also located in the city, as is the British Council. Also headquartered in the city is the Histadrut trade union. Located to the south of Ramat Gan is Hiriyamarker, the largest waste transfer site in the Middle East.

Ramat Gan is also an important center for industry and manufacturing with major fruit and vegetable canning plants, textile mills, metal production plants, electrical manufacturers, furniture makers, and food producers based here.

In 2008, construction began on the Elite Towermarker, set to exceed the City Gate Tower in height, on the site of the historic Elite Candy factory. As a tribute to the history of the site, the lower floors of the tower will house a chocolate museum. The tower is set to contain luxury apartments, with an average price tag of $1 million each.

At the end of 2006, Ramat Gan had three hotels, with a total of 408 rooms with 150,000 person-nights over the year representing 64% room occupancy.

Culture

The Diamond Theater
Cultural venues in Ramat Gan include the Ramat Gan Theater, the Diamond Theater and the Russell Cultural Center. The Beit Zvi School of Performing Arts is based in Ramat Gan. Ramat Gan operates two cinemas complexes: the Lev-Elram Cinema and the "Yes Planet" megaplex.

Museums

Beit Avraham Krinizi, home of the first mayor, is now a museum of the history of Ramat Gan. The Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum tells the story of the Israeli diamond industry. Man and the Living World Museum is a natural history museum and the Maccabi Museum focuses on the history of Jewish sports since 1898. The Ramat Gan Safarimarker, a zoo housing 1,600 animals, is the largest animal collection in the Middle East.The Museum of Israeli Art showcases Israeli artwork, whilst the adjoining Kiryat Omanut houses sculpture galleries and a ceramics studio. The Museum of Russian Art, Museum of Jewish Art, and the Yehiel Nahari Museum of Far Eastern Art are also located in Ramat Gan.

Local government

The Sheba Medical Center
The mayor of Ramat Gan is Zvi Bar. The make up of the city's 25 seat City Council is: Ramat Gan First 6, Labor 3, Likud 3, Sun 2, Meretz 3, Trufa, 2, Shas 2, Mafdal 3, and Another Ramat Gan 1.

Education



Ramat Gan is home to Israel's second largest university, Bar-Ilan Universitymarker, with 24,000 students. The city is also the location of the Shenkar College of Engineering and Designmarker, Ramat Gan College, and Beit Zvi acting college.

Healthcare

The Sheba Medical Centermarker located in southeastern Ramat Gan and Tel HaShomermarker, is Israel's largest hospital. It includes the Safra Children's Hospital and Padeh Geriatric Rehabilitation Center. The city has 32 medical centers run by health authorities and 10 child-care clinics operated by the municipality.

Sports

The Ramat Gan Stadium


The Maccabiah Games are held in Ramat Gan every four years. Ramat Gan Stadiummarker is Israel's national football stadium. Seating 41,583, it is the largest stadium in the country. Hakoah Amidar Ramat Gan (based at the Winter Stadiummarker) and Hapoel Ramat Gan (based at the HaMakhtesh Stadiummarker in neighbouring Giv'atayimmarker) are the city's main football clubs, both having won the championship at some point in their history. Beitar Ramat Gan and Shikun Vatikim Ramat Gan both play in the South A Division of Liga Bet, the fifth tier. The now-defunct clubs Maccabi Ramat Gan and Maccabi Ramat Amidar were both involved in mergers which formed Hakoah Amidar. In basketball, Ironi Ramat Gan plays in Ligat HaAl, the top division. The Beetles Club of Israel meets every Friday in Ramat Gan, bringing together lovers of Volkswagens.

Notable residents



International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Ramat Gan is twinned with:


References

  1. Pilowsky, A: "Yiddish Alongside The Revival of Hebrew Public Polemics On The Status of Yiddish In Eretz Israel, 1907-1929", Readings In The Sociology of Jewish Languages, page 123. Joshua Fishman ed, Leiden - E.J. Brill, 1985.
  2. Whalid Khalidi, All That Remains, ISBN 0 88728 224 5, 1992. Page 246
  3. Synagogues in Ramat Gan


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