Mikveh Israel is situated near the town of Azur and the city of Holon. The school was established near the main Jerusalem-Jaffa Road, on a vacant plot of land surrounded by several Arab villages. Salameh in the north, Tel Arish and Abu Kabir in the west, and Yazur in the east. To the south, there were sandy areas on which the city of Holon stands today. Situated in the western drainage basin of Nahal Ayalon, the land is alluvial and very fertile. The school is built on a kurkar hill. Wells and the evidence of water sources can be seen, such as “Antilla” wells and cisterns. The school grew various crops (wheat, barley, grapes, avocado, almonds, mango, feijoa, apples and more) and raised livestock (horses, cows, chickens, and sheep) and kept bees.
The school now extends over 3,500 dunams. 2600 of these are the original plot of land allocated by power of the original firman; this allocation of lands was also recognized by the British mandate. Following the establishment of the State of Israel, in response to a request by the school’s director, the Land and Development Authority allocated an additional 839 dunams to the school
According to an agreement signed in 1956 between AIU and the State of Israel, the joint Mikveh Israel Company was established in 1962. It was responsible for management, growth and development of the institution. Based on this same agreement, Israel has leased the land to AIU for 99 years, with the option of renewing the lease for an additional 99 years, on the condition that AIU subleases the land to Mikveh Israel.
Carl Netter’s original building plan is modeled after French farms. The school gate allowed access to the main road from Jaffa to Jerusalem. A tree-lined path leads from the gate to the main building housing the synagogue. Two elongated buildings were built on both sides of the synagogue, creating a closed compound with inner courtyards. Most of Mikveh Israel’s buildings were built from local kurkar (sandstone).
The cultural assets of Mikveh Israel tell the story of the school and illuminate the history of Israeli agriculture and architecture, while providing information regarding the role of this institution in the defense of the Yishuv.
These assets include:
Later, widespread recognition of the importance of preserving these assets led to the legislation of the Mikveh Israel Law. The following excerpts from Knesset discussions on the Mikveh Israel Law reveal the consensus regarding the importance of Mikveh Israel as a national site:
Minister of Interior Yosef Burg, National Religious Party: “Personally, I present this law with special love, since I was active, during the Nazi rule of Germany, in establishing the religious division of Mikveh Israel. Under the influence of Baron Rothschild, about fifty certificates were given then… we chose the first children from an orphanage in Frankfurt am Main, which was built by the Baron’s ancestors. That is the chain of Jewish history, and that’s why I am especially moved to present this law.”
MK Avraham Katz, Likud: “Please remember, Mikveh Israel is not just another site, another agricultural school, another point on the map. Mikveh Israel has become a concept that represents the return to the land, the study of its Torah, training for settlement and defense, the absorption of young immigrants, and the internalization of traditional Jewish values by students from all different backgrounds… this law before us repays our debt of honor towards Mikveh Israel…”
MK David Koren, Labor: “Even before the First and Second Aliyot and the Biluim, when Jews were looking for a practical way to realize the goal of returning to Zion, Carl Netter founded Mikveh Israel. This is the source, this is the beginning, this is the foundation, and everything that happened in Israel in the field of agriculture and settlement has its origins in Mikveh Israel.”
photo credit: Pikiwikisrael
אנו רואים חשיבות עליונה בהנגשת אתר האינטרנט שלנו לאנשים עם מוגבלויות, וכך לאפשר לכלל האוכלוסיה להשתמש באתרנו בקלות ובנוחות. באתר זה בוצעו מגוון פעולות להנגשת האתר, הכוללות בין השאר התקנת רכיב נגישות ייעודי.
למרות מאמצנו להנגיש את כלל הדפים באתר באופן מלא, יתכן ויתגלו חלקים באתר שאינם נגישים. במידה ואינם מסוגלים לגלוש באתר באופן אופטימלי, אנה צרו איתנו קשר