Petach Tikva - Mother of the Moshavot
Haim Ozer Street in Petach Tikva
Petach Tikva is a city of nearly 200,000 people, on the eastern fringes of Tel Aviv. The city, which in Hebrew means, "Opening of hope", was founded in 1878 by religious pioneers from Europe. The founders got their inspiration for the name from the prophecy of Hosea (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.
Petach Tikva was the first modern Jewish agricultural settlement in Ottoman Palestine and has since grown to be one of Israel's most populous urban centers.
The settlers of Petach Tikva had to endure quite a few hardships in order to 'get things off the ground" so to speak. They got pushed around a bit by the Turkish sultan, who negated their original purchase of land in Achor Valley near Jericho. The plot of land that the settlers were allowed to purchase, near the source of the Yarkon River, turned out to be a "malarial swamp", which they had to abandon until they could get financial help from Baron Edmond de Rothschild, allowing them to drain the swamps sufficiently, to move back. Petach Tikva went on to become the "training grounds" for thousands of pioneer workers who learned all about farming before going on to establish settlements in other parts of the country. The agricultural schools founded in those days, still exist today.
Modern day Petach Tikva has grown to such an extent that the city now boasts the second largest industrial sector in Israel. It has also become home to more and more companies in the high-tech sector. The city has been one of Israel's fastest growing communities in the last few years, with a very high rate of "new construction". It's proximity to Tel Aviv and relatively more affordable housing, have catapulted the city's growth.
Some 70,000 Orthodox Jews live in Petach Tikva, which are served by 300 Synagogues.