• רַעֲנָנָה
  • رعنانا
Hebrew transcription(s)
  ISO 259 Raˁnana

Panorama of Ra'anana

Coat of arms of Raanana
Coordinates: 32°11′N 34°52′E / 32.183°N 34.867°E / 32.183; 34.867Coordinates: 32°11′N 34°52′E / 32.183°N 34.867°E / 32.183; 34.867
Country Israel
District Central
Founded 2 April 1922
  Type City
  Mayor Ze'ev Bielski
Population (2015)[1]
  Total 70,782

Ra'anana (Hebrew: רַעֲנָנָה, lit. "Freshness") is a city in the heart of the southern Sharon Plain of the Central District of Israel. Bordered by Kfar Saba on the east and Herzliya on the southwest, it had a population of 70,782 in 2015. While the majority of its residents are native-born Israelis, a large part of the population are immigrants from the Americas and Europe.

Ra'anana's high tech industrial park is home to many leading global companies and local start up companies. It was designated a "Green City" award by the World Health Organization in 2005.[2]


In 1912, the Company for Jewish Settlement in Israel formed the "Ahuza A – New York" group to purchase land in Palestine for agricultural settlement. The First World War delayed their plans but on 2 April 1922, two wagons left the corner of Lilienblum and Herzl Streets in Tel Aviv carrying four "Ahuza" members, three laborers and two armed watchmen. After a five-hour journey, they unloaded their baggage at the place destined to become Ra'anana.

Ahuza Street, Raanana (1927)

According to a census conducted in 1931 by the British Mandate authorities, Ra'anana had a population of 615 inhabitants, in 182 houses.[3]

In its early days, the settlement was called "Ahuza A – New York." The Arabs of the region called it "Little America" as most of its residents were English speakers and came from New York. Later it was renamed "Ra'anania" and finally the founding settlers chose "Ra'anana" as its official name. By 1948, it was a village of 3,000 residents.

Square in Ra'anana

By the late 1960s, it had a population of 8,500 spanning an area of 15 square kilometres (6 sq mi).[4] In the 1980s Ra'anana was declared a city.

Local government



Ra'anana city hall

Ra'anana has both a large English-speaking population and a Spanish-speaking population, mainly from Argentina. The number of French immigrants is also on the rise.[5]

Though the majority of Ra'anana residents are secular, there is a sizeable religious community, mainly consisting of Modern Orthodox Jews, many of whom are immigrants from the US, UK, South Africa and France. There are nearly 100 synagogues in Ra'anana, ranging from small minyanim to large edifices, and including a wide range of traditions, including Progressive (Reform), Sefaradi, Ashkenazi, Yemenite and even Afghani, Libyan synagogues. Many of these synagogues cater to specific immigrant groups. There is also a small Hasidic community of Clevelander Hasidim, led by the Clevelander Rebbe of Ra'anana, Rabbi Yitzchok Rosenbaum. The orthodox chief rabbi of the city is Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz.[6]

Industry and commerce

Amdocs in Ra'anana

Ra'anana has an industrial zone in the north of the city, which is home to Renanim shopping mall and many high-tech companies, including Emblaze, Hewlett-Packard, NICE Systems, SAP, NCR Corporation (formerly Retalix), Comverse, Red Hat, Waze (prior to Google acquisition) and Texas Instruments. In addition, Microsoft's head office in Israel and Amdocs are located in an office complex at the eastern edge of the city, close to Ra'anana Junction, where Highway 4 meets Ahuza Street, Ra'anana's main boulevard. Ahuza Street runs through the city from east to west and is lined with shops, restaurants and a cultural center.


Ra'anana has 12 elementary schools, 10 middle schools and 8 high-schools.

Educational programs for gifted students start in the third grade. A program for the encouragement of girls to study technological subjects has been developed as well as a technology-focused leadership development and information management program, the first of its kind in Israel. The program, created in conjunction with "Ness Technologies", uses advanced technology as a catalyst for developing skills.

Ra'anana has developed supplementary education programs for the afternoon and evening hours, which meet the needs of thousands of children, aged 5–18. These programs foster creativity, promote social involvement and cultivate leadership skills. The supplementary education projects include over 20 "Batei Talmid" citywide extracurricular programs, an afternoon daycare program, and music, dance, art and science centers. Other programs include summer camps and summer activities, university for youth, dance troupes, the Children’s Parliament, an acting school, a school for the performing arts, and gifted children programs, that serve as a model for many other cities.

Ra'anana is home to the Open University of Israel and Ra'anana College.

Parks and museums

Ra'anana park

The park of Ra'anana is the largest urban park in the Sharon region. It offers walking and bike paths, sports fields, a zoo and children's petting corner and a lake in a clover shape reminiscent of Ra'anana's coat of arms. There are two fountains in the lake and pedestrians can cross over it on the bridge. The lake is surrounded by special gardens, including the Seven Species garden, and shaded walking paths. There is also a restaurant and small art gallery. The Founders Museum presents the story of Ra'anana's original settlers, from the arrival of the Ahuza Alef-New York Association until Ra'anana achieved local council status in 1936.[7]

Ra'anana Park Amphitheatre has been the venue for musical acts such as Backstreet Boys, Evanescence, Alice Cooper, Lauryn Hill, Tori Amos, Chick Corea, Ian Anderson, Ziggy Marley, The Cranberries, and Pet Shop Boys.

Hospitals and medical facilities

Ra'anana is home to the Loewenstein Hospital Rehabilitation Center. Loewenstein was established in 1958 and is the only rehabilitation hospital operated by Clalit Health Services, Israel's largest health care provider. Its current multi-floor building is situated in a large gardened area and accommodates 240 rehabilitative beds for short and long term hospital care.

As a national rehabilitative center, patients are admitted from all parts of the country, all health funds, from the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Health, and from general hospitals and clinics, both from Israel and overseas.[8]


The main soccer club of the city is Hapoel Ra'anana. In basketball, the city is represented by Maccabi Ra'anana who play in the National League.[9]

The Ra'anana Roosters are the local rugby team, and the area is a center of rugby union in Israel, with the Israel Rugby Union being based there. With a large population of American expatriates, the Ra'anana Express are an inaugural team in the Israel Baseball League.

Notable residents

Twin towns

Sign commemorating Ra'anana's twin-sister cities

Ra'anana has the following twin cities with:[10]


  1. "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  2. Sinai, Ruth (2005-09-29). "Ra'anana receives WHO safety award". Haaretz. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
  3. Mills, 1932, p. 15
  4. Patai, Raphael, ed. (1971). "Ahuza". Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel. Vol. 1. New York: Herzl Press/McGraw-Hill. p. 17.
  5. Hoffman, Carl (2006-09-07). "Ra'anana's French revolution". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
  6. Ra'anana Religious Council
  7. Yad Labanim
  8. "Loewenstein Hospital Rehabilitation Center". Clalit Health Services. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  9. Maccabi Raanana basketball team – Eurobasket.com
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Ra'anana Twin towns & Sister cities - Friends around the World". raanana.muni.il. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
  11. "Stedenband Opsterland-Ra'anana" [City Connection Opsterland-Ra'anana]. Stedenbanden.nl. Vanaf 1960 onderhoudt de gemeente Opsterland contacten met de gemeente Ra'anana. Deze contacten zijn in 1963 officieel vastgelegd in een 'vriendschapsverdrag'. In maart 2000 is een delegatie naar Ra'anana gereisd om te praten over een meer themagerichte invulling van het verdrag.
  12. Being the first to twin, a central street in the Ra'anana is named "Opsterland"
  13. "Poznań - Miasta partnerskie". 1998–2013 Urząd Miasta Poznania (in Polish). City of Poznań. Archived from the original on 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
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