The city of Ra’anana has the distinction of being the only town in Israel founded by Americans. Now, more than 100 years on, it has the largest percentage of English-speakers of any town in the country. Other, larger cities such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and even Netanya may have a higher number of English-speakers, but percentage-wise, Ra’anana takes the top slot.

Its history goes back to 1912 – the year that the Company for Jewish Settlement in Israel formed the Ahuza A – New York group with the aim of buying land for agricultural settlement in Israel. The advent of World War I delayed those plans by about a decade, but on April 2, 1922, the first group of these settlers – four Ahuza members, three laborers and two armed guards – arrived by wagon in the area that would eventually become Ra’anana.

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