Ra'anana (lit. "Fresh") is a city in the southern Sharon Plain of the Central District of Israel. Ra'anana is bordered by Kfar Saba on the east and Herzliya on the west. In 2006, it had a population of 80,000.
Ra'anana was founded in 1921 by the Ahuza Alef Society of New York, one of several societies formed in the United States to purchase land in Palestine and establish Jewish agricultural plantations.
On April 2, 1922, the first group of pioneers from the USA and Canada, consisting of four members of the Ahuza society, three laborers and two armed guards, set out by wagon from Tel Aviv and pitched a tent on the land. In its early days, the settlement was called "Raananya." The Arab neighbors called it "Amerikiya" because so many of the early residents spoke English.
Ra'anana has a large English-speaking population. The number of French
immigrants is also on the rise.
Industry & Commerce
Ra'anana has an industrial zone in the north of the city and is home to many high-tech companies, among them Emblaze
, Texas Instruments
and NICE Systems
's head office in Israel is located in Ra'anana. Ahuza Street, Ra'anana's main boulevard which runs through the city from east to west, is lined with shops, restaurants and cultural centers.
The city has 12 elementary schools, 10 middle schools and 8 high-schools.
Education level in Ra'anana is considered to be one of Israel's highest. It also has special educational frameworks for gifted students and for students with different disabilities such as autism.
Parks and museums
The park of Raanana is the largest urban park
in the Sharon
The park was established for the benefit and pleasure of Ra'anana's residents and the city's visitors. The Ra'anana Municipality invested a large budget in establishing the park and continues to invest in its ongoing development. The park's administration and employees ensure its cleanliness and upkeep as well as the security of its facilities for the welfare of its visitors. It offers myriad possibilities for rest and relaxation, walking and bike paths, as well as activities on the sports fields and a visit to the zoological garden with its petting corner for children.
In addition the park offers a beautiful lake. Its clover shape is reminiscent of Raanana's city emblem. There are two fountains in the lake and pedestrians can cross over it on the bridge. The lake is surrounded by special gardens, including the Seven Species garden, and there are pleasant shaded walking paths alongside the lake.
The Founders Museum presents the story and lifestyle of Raanana's original settlers, from the arrival of "the Ahuza Alef-New York Association" (at the beginning of the century) until Raanana became an official local council in 1936.
Though the majority of Ra'anana residents are secular, there is a sizable religious minority, mainly consisting of Modern Orthodox
Jews, many of whom are Western immigrants. There are several synagogues around the city, and there is also a small Hasidic
community of Clevelander
Hasidim, led by the Clevelander Rebbe of Ra'anana, Rabbi Yitzchok Rosenbaum. The chief rabbi of the city is Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz.
The main soccer club of the city is Hapoel Ra'anana
. In basketball, the city is represented by Bnei Hasharon
who play at the MetroWest high school
. With a large population of American expatriates, the Ra'anana Express
are an inaugural team in the Israel Baseball League