Mikveh Israel (Hebrew: מִקְוֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל, lit. 'Hope of Israel') is a youth village and boarding school in central Israel, established in 1870. It was the first Jewish agricultural school in what is now Israel. Located in Tel Aviv District, it had a population of 386 in 2018.
|Founded by||Charles Netter|
|Name meaning||Hope of Israel|
Mikveh Israel was founded in April 1870 by Charles Netter, an emissary of the French organization Alliance Israélite Universelle, aiming to be an educational institution where young Jews could learn agriculture and leave to establish villages and settlements all over the country and to make the desert blossom. It was established on a tract of land southeast of Jaffa leased from the Ottoman Sultan, who allocated 750 acres (3.0 km2) to the project. The name is taken from two passages in the Book of Jeremiah, Jeremiah 14:8 and 17:13, and was proposed by Wolf Grinstein, one of the school's first students, who later taught there.
Netter, the first headmaster, introduced new methods of agricultural training, with Baron Edmond James de Rothschild contributing to the upkeep of the school. Netter pioneered progressive educational methods and a new way of life and agricultural training to the future farmers of this land. There were only about 20,000 Jews in the country at that time, mostly established in the traditional cities of Judaism: Jerusalem, Tiberias, Safed and Hebron.
In 1898, Theodor Herzl met the German Emperor Wilhelm II at the main entrance of Mikveh Israel during Herzl's only visit to Eretz Yisrael. The meeting, a PR event engineered by Herzl to publicly meet the Kaiser, was misinterpreted by the world media as a legitimization of Herzl and Zionism by Germany.  Today, entrance to the school grounds is via the city of Holon.
For many decades (until the establishment of the Volcani Center and the Faculty of Agriculture in Rechovot) the school served as the research center for the country. Their teachers wrote the first study books about agriculture and served as field advisors. Most of the agricultural know-how of the first 50 years was collected and published by Mikve Israel. After finishing their studies, the thousands of graduates left Mikve Israel to start agricultural settlements of all kinds, villages and kibbutzim, moshavim, farms and agricultural schools; or serving in management positions; or continued their agricultural studies in institutions of higher learning and filling positions in research and development, the export branches, marketing and agricultural management.
In 1938–1939, at the request of the Youth Aliyah, a section for religious youth was built to house the religious and traditional youngsters who fled western Europe just before the start of the Holocaust.
Mikve Israel is located on a strategic crosspoint on the road connecting Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Part of the only green space in Tel Aviv District, it has been used as an organizing point for the convoys and up to the Gulf War.
The village has about 1,800 pupils from the age of 12 to the age of 18; 800 in the General section, 320 in the religious school, 380 in the French-Israeli college and high school. Around 280 students are boarders and the site also hosts four Montessori and holistic pedagogy kindergartens, and a Montessori elementary school.
In 2007 Mikve Israel and the Alliance Israélite Universelle inaugurated an experimental bilateral Israel-France high school, with half of its pupils studying for the French Baccalauréat and half for Israeli Bagrut.
The agricultural grounds of Mikve Israel cover over 2,200 dunams (out of a general area of 3,300 dunams). Most of the fields are irrigated using wells and include field crops, industrial crops, vegetables, fruit trees, orange groves and greenhouses. The school also raises animals including milk cows, chickens and honey bees, as well as having auxiliary branches including computerized agriculture.
One dunam (0.1 hectares) is covered by greenhouses. The aim of the greenhouse production branch is to teach students and allow them to research greenhouse issues and technologies. A rainwater harvesting system allows efficient re-use of water collected from the roof for growing of vegetables in greenhouses.
Gardening and landscaping activity over 100 dunams (10 hectares) includes woods, lawns and beauty & leisure gardens and spots throughout the village. The gardening and landscaping is maintained by the students supervised and coached by the manager of this production branch.
The botanical garden was established in 1930 in order to adapt and acclimate trees and species to the Israeli climate. Plants were imported from all over the world. It now covers now 70 dunams (7 hectares).
The dairy farm covers as genetics, computers, milking parlor and cooling, product quality control, feeding, herd health, udder health, artificial insemination and embryo transfer and implants.
The stable has the following breeds of riding horses: Hanoverian, Holland and quarter-horse breeds suited to all types of horseback riding: western, sports, and therapeutic riding.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mikveh Israel.|
- "Population in the Localities 2018" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
- Raphael Patai (1971) Mikve Israel Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel, 1971
- Mikve Israel Agricultural School Go Israel
- First Agricultural School - Mikveh Yisrael (1870) Shimur
- heodore Herzl and Rev. William Hechler and the Zionist Beginnings The Jewish Magazine, July 2010