Holon, Children's paradise, culture capital and more
Panoramic view of the Holon city centre
Holon, situated about 6 kilometres south of Tel Aviv, starting out as a residential and industrial settlement, has since become one of Israel's leading industrial, cultural, design and children’s centres.
Holon’s history as a Jewish settlement started in 1924, with the purchase of a large tract of land south east of Jaffa by Shlomo Green, a import and export agent. He subsequently built a small home for his family and during 1931 began offering stands for sale in the area. The Lodzia Textile factory was established by Polish immigrants in between the sand dunes of Holon in 1935, leading the way for the new town as an industrial centre. The link below takes you to the founding statement of the Lodzia Textile Company, Limited, an important historical document which takes us back to commercial and legal practices of a bygone era https://mayafiles.tase.co.il/RPdf/77001-78000/P77492-01.pdf
Holon was born out of the union of 5 villages with very mundane names, becoming the 5 initial suburbs; Green (after the pioneer); Moledet (homeland, with the 8 founding Yemenite immigrant families viewing this a return to their homeland); Agrobank (the land for this neighbourhood was purchased by the Bank for Agriculture and Building in Israel, Agrobank); Kiryat Avoda (the workers neighbourhood which was established on land purchased from Agrobank by the Jewish National Fund): Am (this land was purchased by the Shikkun Ammi or Public Housing company, hence the name Am). The 5 independent villages were joined together out of a need for greater security in the wake of the Arab riots which started in 1936, with the newly established town taking the name of Holon. The name originates from the Hebrew word חול, hol, which means sand.
Holon 80 years ago
Having looked at the history of the city, we can now fast forward to 1993, when the election of Moti Sasson as the mayor appears to have heralded dramatic changes in both the infrastructure and the lifestyle of the citizens of Holon. Twenty seven years later Sasson is still the mayor of Holon, which would to indicate that the locals approve of his performance. The changes and improvements that he has overseen in the fields of children's entertainment, cultural facilities and related events are of such a magnitude that I will only be able to list the highlights of his tenure, without going into much detail. The centerpiece is Peres Park, a 300 dunam (75 acre) dreamworld with entertainment facilities to suit all types . all ages and the needs of many.
A view of Peres Park from the artificial lake
Sasson was elected with an avowed policy of turning Holon into a children's wonderland, and he has certainly lived up to this promise. Improvements have however not been limited to children’s entertainment, some of the facilities that have arisen and events that can be found in Peres Park are listed below
Moti Sasson, Mayor of Holon (1993 - ????)
The breathtaking man made Boats Lake, with boats for hire as well as a captivating water and lights show in the evenings.
The Amphitheatre for outdoor events with seating for 7,000 spectators on a grass embankment.
The BBQ Park, the only area where visitors are allowed to prepare barbecued meals.
A delightful palm grove with seating provided to allow visitors to relax while they reconnect with nature
An area with indigenous flora growth set aside for nature walks
Two children's playgrounds with nursery rhyme themes. Most of the children's playgrounds/parks in Holon have nursery rhyme themes.
The Yamit Water Park which offers a range of unique and exciting water sport and entertainment facilities
A special children's playground with equipment purpose designed for children with special needs.
Sports facilities and grounds for futsal, basketball and ping pong, as well as tennis practice walls.
The Holon Toto sports stadium with seating for over 5,000 spectators.
An ice rink suitable for ice skating and ice hockey.
The Israel Children’s Museum with unique facilities and exhibits which provide varied forms of activities for children’s entertainment
These are only some of the facilities available at Peres Park, for a comprehensive list and guide, you can pay a very rewarding and worthwhile visit to the Park Peres website at www.park-peres.co.il
The Israeli Cartoon Museum
This unique museum is the result of an initiative led by Mayor Sasson, which was enthusiastically taken up by the Holon Theatre and the Association of Israeli Caricaturists. Besides recording the history of cartoons, the museum also houses a comic museum, providing a permanent repository for thousands of comics, many of them from an era before television. The museum regularly presents exhibitions featuring the work of well known cartoonists, both current and from a bygone era.
A young visitor enjoying an exhibit in the Cartoon Museum
Holon Purim Parade
Holon comes alive annually on the 2nd day of Purim, as colourful floats and thousands of children and adults in fancy dress fill the streets of the city. Holon has hosted an annual Children’s Purim Parade since 1992, attracting an ever increasing number of participants and visitors since its inception, with a different featured theme each year. The success of this event predates Mayor Sasson, but possibly sowed the seeds of turning Holon into a children's wonderland in his mind.
A typical scene from the Holon Purim Parade
Holon Design Museum
This museum is unique as it is not limited to only one aspect of design, but rather to all types of designs from fashion to industrial, including many pioneering concepts using various types of cloth, fabric, glass, mirrors and other building products. Regular exhibitions including an annual fashion show are held covering a wide array of designs in diverse fields. For greater detail about this fascinating museum with its innovative design, you can visit the museum's comprehensive website on https://www.dezeen.com/tag/design-museum-holon/
The Holon Design Museum
Industrial and commercial Holon
Last, but certainly not least, industry and commerce has been an integral part of Holon ever since the establishment of the Lodzia Textile Factory in 1935. Holon is currently second only to Haifa in the number, size and diversity of the industries and commercial enterprises that have found a home in the city. The city council has established an Industry and Commerce Administration (ICA) division to smooth the path for industrialists and entrepreneurs wanting to establish business ventures in the city. The ICA functions as a link between the various authorities, both national and municipal, in easing dealings with officialdom for anybody wanting to open a new industrial or other business enterprise in the city. The result of this service has seen much growth in the Industrial and Commercial Park that has been established by the city council
Holon appears to be a city that has something to offer to a wide spectrum of interests and to meet most needs, from children's entertainment, sports and leisure activities right through to industrial and commercial developments.