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Rehovot ( ) is a city in the Center Districtmarker of Israelmarker, about 20 km south of Tel Avivmarker. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), at the end of 2007 the city had a total population of 106,200. Rehovot's official website estimates the population at 114,000.

Rehovot was built on the site of Doron, a Jewish community that existed in the time of the Mishna. The site was also the location of Khirbet Duran, populated during the Roman, Byzantine and early Arab periods. The city is named after a biblical town of the same name (transliterated Rehoboth in the KJV Bible), which stood at a different location, in the Negev Desertmarker.


Rehovot in its early days
Rehovot was founded in 1890, in the coastal plain relatively sparsely settled by Arabs, by Polish Jew who wanted a township independent of the Baron Edmond de Rothschild's aid (and management). Israel Belkind, one of the original founders of the settlement, proposed the name Rehovot (lit. 'wide expanses') based on Genesis 26:22 : "And he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said: 'For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.'" The name was accepted. In 1908 they were joined by immigrants from Yemen, who settled in the city's Sha'arayim district. These early settlers planted vineyards, almond orchards and citrus groves. They withstood agricultural failures, plant diseases, and marketing problems.

An agricultural research station that opened in Rehovot in 1932 became the Department of Agriculture of the Hebrew University of Jerusalemmarker. In 1934 Chaim Weizmann established the Sieff Institute, which became the Weizmann Institute of Sciencemarker. Weizmann and his wife are buried on the grounds of the institute.

On 29 February 1948 the Lehi blew up the Cairo to Haifa train shortly after it left Rehovoth killing 29 British soldiers and injuring 35 as well as 100 civilians. The Lehi announcement said the bombing was in retaliation for the Ben Yehuda Street Bombing a week earlier.


Rehovot Library
Between 1914 and 1991 the population rose from 955 to 81,000, and the area of the town more than doubled. Parts of Rehovot's suburbs are built on land which before 1948 belonged to the village of Zarnuqamarker, population 2,620, including 240 Jews in Gibtonmarker. In 1995, there were 337,800 people living in the greater Rehovot area. As of 2007, the ethnic makeup of the city was 99.8% Jewish. There were 49,600 males and 52,300 females, of whom 31.6% were 19 years of age or younger, 16.1% between the ages of 20 and 29, 18.2% between 30 and 44, 18.2% from 45 to 59, 3.5% from 60 to 64, and 12.3% 65 years of age or older. The population growth rate was 1.8%.


As of 2004, in the city there were 41,323 salaried workers and 2,683 are self-employed. The mean monthly wage for a salaried worker in the city is ILS 6,732, a real change of -5.2% over the course of the previous year. Salaried males have a mean monthly wage of ILS 8,786 (a real change of -4.8%) versus ILS 4,791 for females (a real change of -5.3%). The mean income for the self-employed is 6,806. There are 1,082 people who receive unemployment benefits and 6,627 people who receive an income guarantee.


Weizmann Institute of Science
Shuki Forer, Ex-Mayor of Rehovot
As of 2004, there are 19,794 students and 53 schools in the city, including 30 schools with 9,875 elementary school students and 29 schools with 9,919 high school students. 61.3% of 12th grade students were entitled to a matriculation certificate. The city is home to the Weizmann Institute of Sciencemarker and the Faculty of Agriculture of the Hebrew University of Jerusalemmarker. There are also a number of smaller junior colleges in Rehovot that provide specialized and technical training. In addition, Kaplan Hospitalmarker acts as an ancillary teaching hospital for the Medical School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


The Tamar Science Park, established in 2000, is a high-tech park of 1,000 dunams (250 acres) at the northern entrance of the city.


Rehovot has had three clubs representing it the top division of Israeli football, Maccabi Rehovot between 1949 and 1956, Maccabi Sha'arayim between 1963 and 1969 and again in 1985, and Hapoel Marmorek in the 1972-73 season.

Today Marmorek is the highest ranked club, playing in Liga Artzit, the third level. Maccabi Sha'arayim play in Liga Bet, the fifth level, whilst Maccabi Rehovot play in Liga Gimel, the sixth and lowest division.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Rehovot is twinned with:

Notable residents

See also


  1. The Scotsman March 1st, 1948. Reports that both Dr Weizmann's home and the Agricultural Institute were damaged by the explosion. (One and two miles from the scene respectively).
  2. Walid Khalidi (Editor), 'All that Remains: Palestinian vilages occupied and depopulated by Israel in 1948'. IPS, Washington. 1992. ISBN 0 88728 224 5. page 425
  3. According to Israel Central Bureau of Statistics data [1]
  4. The 'science city' is not sparkling

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