A moshava (Hebrew: מושבה, plural: moshavot מושבות, lit. colony or village) is a form of agricultural Jewish settlement, in Israel, established by the members of the Old Yishuv beginning in the late 1870s and during the first two waves of Jewish Zionist immigration – the First and Second Aliyah.

Gedera, before 1899
Yokneam (moshava)
Yavne'el (moshava)



In a moshava, as opposed to later communal settlements like the kibbutz and the moshav (plural moshavim), all the land and property are privately owned. The first moshavot were established by the members of the Jewish community already living in, and by pioneers of the arriving to, Ottoman Syria.[1] The economy of the early moshavot was based on agriculture and resembled the grain-growing villages of eastern Europe in layout. Farms were established along both sides of a broad main street.[2]

Map of old moshavot

Petah Tikva, known as the "Mother of the Moshavot" (Em HaMoshavot),[3] was founded in 1878 by members of the Old Yishuv, as well as Gai Oni, which later became Rosh Pinna with the arrival of the First Aliyah. The first four moshavot of the First Aliyah period were Rishon LeZion, Rosh Pinna, Zikhron Ya'akov and Yesud HaMa'ala.[1]

One of the driving forces behind these early settlements was the Hovevei Zion movement in Europe, whose branches operated as financially independent settlement societies.[4]

The moshava was governed by a charter outlining communal principles that established a covenant or bond between the residents.[5]

Old Yishuv and First Aliyah moshavot

Great Synagogue of Rishon LeZion, founded in 1885 (photo c. 1910–1924)
Herzl Street, Hadera, c. 1891–1901

Chronological list by year of establishment.

Colonies were also established in the Hauran on lands bought by Baron Edmond de Rothschild in the area of the villages of Sahem al-Jawlan, Jileen and Nafa’a, by immigrants of the First Aliyah in a total of nine outposts, but the main five colonies, founded in 1895, had to be abandoned within a short while:[6][unreliable source?]

Second and Third Aliyah moshavot


See also



  1. ^ a b Bennett, John W. (1971). "Moshava, Kibbutz, and Moshav: Patterns of Jewish Rural Settlement and Development in Palestine by D. Weintraub, M. Lissak, Y. Azmon". American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 53 (2). Agricultural & Applied Economics Association: 380–2. doi:10.2307/1237479. ISSN 1467-8276. JSTOR 1237479.
  2. ^ The Middle East: A Geographical Study, Peter Beaumont, Gerald Blake and J. Malcolm Wagstaff
  3. ^ Moshava Zionism and Israel - Encyclopedic Dictionary
  4. ^ Rothschild and Early Jewish Colonization, Ran Aaronsohn, p.49
  5. ^ Contemporary Israel: New Insights and Scholarship edited by Frederick E. Greenspahn
  6. ^ a b c d e f Hauser, Zvi; Zarfati, Isaac (2018). "History of Jewish Communities in the Golan and in the Hauran". Recognition of Israel's Sovereignty over the Golan Heights (PDF). Coalition for the Israeli Golan. ISBN 978-965-7674-46-8. Retrieved 8 December 2019.

Further reading

  • Ran Aaronsohn, Rothschild and Early Zionist Colonization, Rowman & Littlefield and Magnes Press, Jerusalem, 2000