|• ISO 259||Mazkert Batya|
Baron Rothschild's farm
|• Head of Municipality||Gaby Gaon|
|• Total||7,440 dunams (7.44 km2 or 2.87 sq mi)|
|• Density||2,000/km2 (5,200/sq mi)|
Mazkeret Batya (Hebrew: מַזְכֶּרֶת בַּתְיָה) (lit. "Batya Memorial") is a local council in central Israel located southeast of Rehovot and 25 kilometres (16 mi) from Tel-Aviv. Mazkeret Batya spans an area of 7,440 dunams (7 km²). In 2019 it had a population of 14,837. The mayor of Mazkeret Batya is Gaby Gaon.
Mazkeret Batya was established on November 7, 1883 by 11 pioneers from Russia, one of which was Avraham Yaakov Gelman, and 7 local Jews. It was originally called Ekron, the first agricultural settlement of the Hovevei Zion movement. The land was purchased by Baron Rothschild in an early attempt to introduce Jewish farming in Palestine. Rabbi Shmuel Mohilever was instrumental in mobilizing funding and organizing the settlers. Mohilever's remains were later reinterred in the Mazkeret Batya cemetery. In 1887 the name was changed to Mazkeret Batya, in memory of Betty Solomon de Rothschild, mother of Baron Edmond James de Rothschild. The history of the founding is described in the book "Rebels in the Holy Land", by the historian Sam Finkle.
The economy of the village was originally based on dry farming, which continued even after the Mekorot Company constructed a pipeline to bring water from Rehovot. In 1947, Mazkeret Batya was home to 475 people.
According to a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Mazkeret Batya (then Ekron) had a population 368 Jews. During the Mandate era, a Jewish police station was established in Mazkeret Batya to safeguard the local roads. In the War of Independence, convoys to besieged Jerusalem left from Mazkeret Batya. A field hospital operated there to care for Haganah fighters wounded at Latrun.
Due to its proximity to Tel Aviv, Mazkeret Batya has recently experienced a growth spurt. Mazkeret Batya is a mixed community of religious and secular Jews. Historic landmarks include Beit Ha'Itut (Signal House), the Great Synagogue, Beit Meshek HaBaron ("The Baron's Farmhouse", now housing a cultural center), the saqiya-type water-rising system with its wooden wheels, well and pool, and an old farmyard.
Twin towns — sister cities
Mazkeret Batya is twinned with:
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