Five score and two years ago

Once known as ‘Little America,’ Ra’anana is home to the highest percentage of English speakers in Israel.

Photo by: Courtesy
 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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