Nahalal : "The Mother of the Moshavim"

Nahalal was the first moshav ovdim (Hebrew for "workers"). It was established in 1921 by Jewish settlers from Eastern Europe. Most of them had arrived in the country between 1904 and 1914 (during the 2nd and 3rd Aliyah) and had got their farming experience by working on other agricultural settlements, including Kibbutz Degania Aleph. The moshav is situated in the Jezreel Valley (Emek Yizrael) which, in those days, was mostly swampland, and reclaiming the land was backbreaking work.


The layout of the settlement was planned by the architect, Richard Kauffman in a series of circles as you can see in the aerial shot below. All the public buildings - schools, shops, a synagogue, a swimming pool, cooperative warehouses and so on are in the middle. Then there's a circular road around the center with the farm buildings and fields spreading out from there like the spokes of a wheel.


Today, about 1,300 inhabitants live on the moshav. The first Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon, who was killed in 2003 when the Columbia space shuttle failed to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere is buried here.

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