Literally “First in Zion”, Rishon Le-Zion today the forth largest city in Israel with a population of over 200,000 was founded in 1882 by ten Russian pioneers.
“Adopted” by the Baron Rothschild who granted much needed funds for the settlement’s well and sent agricultural experts to help better raise the local crops, “Rishon” quickly grew into one of the biggest and most important settlements in Israel. The first “Hebrew” elementary school (Haviv School) was founded in Rishon in 1886 and the first orchestra in Israel also hailed from Rishon Le-Zion.
Located 15 kilometers south of Tel Aviv, including both woodland and beach areas, Rishon Le-Zion is the 2nd largest city land wise in Israel. Most of this land was unsettled sand dunes until the early 1990s when a growth spurt accrued in West Rishon (Mostly atributed to the Russian Immigration but not solely) and the city almost doubled in population.
Rishon Le-Zion is also home of the Carmel Mizrachi Winery (The most famous Jewish Winery in the world) Nafis and Nargilla Yemenite restaurant food chains. One of the biggest Matzoh factories is in “Rishon” and so is Israel’s largest amusement park “SuperLand”.