Hadera is a city located in the Haifa District of Israel, in the northern Sharon region, approximately 45 kilometers (28 miles) from the major cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa. The city is located along 7 km (5 mi) of the Israeli Mediterranean Coastal Plain. The city has a population of about 91,634, which includes a high proportion of immigrants arriving since 1990, notably from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union. In 2015 it had a population of 88,783.
Hadera was established in 1891 as a farming colony by members of the Zionist group, Hovevei Zion, from Lithuania and Latvia. By 1948, it was a regional center with a population of 11,800. In 1952, Hadera was declared a city, with jurisdiction over an area of 53,000 dunams.
Hadera was founded in 1891, in the early days modern Zionism by Jewish immigrants from Lithuania and Latvia on land purchased by Yehoshua Hankin, known as the Redeemer of the Valley. The land was purchased from a Christian effendi, Selim Khuri. This was the largest purchase of land in Eretz Israel by a Zionist group, although the land was of low quality and mostly swampland. The only inhabitants prior to the purchase were a few families raising water buffaloes and selling reeds. The town may derive its name from the Arabic word khadra, meaning "green" in reference to the wild weeds which covered the marshes on which the town is built.
The first settlers lived in a house known as the Khan near Hadera's main synagogue. Initially, Hadera was a lonely outpost of 10 families and 4 guards. In its early years, however, the town had issues with land ownership having drained the swamps with the aid of Egyptian workers sent to them by Baron Edmond de Rothschild.
Old tombstones in the local cemetery reveal that out of a population of 540, 210 died of malaria. Relations between the residents of Hadera and neighboring Bedouins were poor and HaShomer organization was assigned to guarding the fields. By the early twentieth century, the town had become a regional economic center. Land disputes in the area were resolved by the 1930s, by which time, the population had grown to 2,002 in 1931. Free schooling was introduced in the city in 1937 in all schools apart from the Histadrut school.
Hadera's population began to grow dramatically after Israeli independence in 1948 as immigrants flocked to the country. Among the immigrants to the city were Russian and other European immigrants and also 40 Yemenite families. In 1953, Israel's first paper mill opened in the town. Sponsored by investors from within Israel as well as from the United States, Brazil, and Australia, the mill was designed to meet all of Israel's paper needs. It was also at this time that the Givat Olga neighborhood was constructed on the coast, and Beit Eliezer in the east of the city. In 1964, Hadera was declared a city.
The city grew dramatically during the 1990s as it absorbed large numbers of Russian and Ethiopian immigrants. Hadera, considered a safe place by its inhabitants, was jolted by several acts of terrorism, including a massacre of six civilians at a Bat Mitzvah and a suicide bomber who blew himself up at a falafel stand on October 26, 2005, killing seven civilians, and 55 were injured, of them five in severe condition. In addition, four civilians were killed when a terrorist opened fire on pedestrians at a bus stop on October 28, 2001. However, since the construction of the nearby West Bank barrier, the frequency of such incidents has dropped drastically. On August 4, 2006, three rockets fired by Hezbollah hit Hadera. Hadera is 50 miles (80 km) south of the Lebanese border and marked the farthest point inside Israel hit by Hezbollah.
Hadera has traditionally been known as a backwater. However, in the 2000s, several projects were launched to improve the quality of life in Hadera. The city center was regenerated, a high-tech business park was constructed, and the world's largest desalination plant was built. In addition, the city has slowly but steadily attracted new home-buyers. Currently, a development plan is underway to turn Hadera into a major center of home ownership, business, and vacation. Some 18,000 new homes will be built, including 2,500 villas and cottages and 1,300 luxury apartments on the coast. These housing units will be built in new neighborhoods that will be built in the underdeveloped northeastern part of the city, and 2.5 km (1.6 mi) of the coastline will be developed. A large park and several major shopping malls will be built. Ten new hotels with a total of 1,800 rooms will also be built; the city is planned to become a future vacation destination due to its closeness to the Galilee, beaches, and access to major highways.
Hadera is served by the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center.
Neighborhoods of Hadera include Givat Olga, Beit Eliezer, Kfar Brandeis, Haotzar, Hephzibah, Neve Haim, Nissan, Ephraim, Bilu, Klarin,Nahaliel, Shimshon, Shlomo, Pe'er, Bialik, Beitar and The Park.
Hadera is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastal plain, 45 km (28 mi) north of Tel Aviv.[ The city's jurisdiction covers 53,000 dunams (53.0 km2; 20.5 sq mi), making it the fourth largest city in the country. Nahal Hadera Park, a eucalyptus forest covering 1,300 dunams (1.3 km2; 0.5 sq mi) and Hasharon Park are located on the outskirts of Hadera.
Hadera lies along two main Israel Railways lines: the Coastal Line and the nowadays freight-only Eastern Line. The city's railway station is located in the west of the city and is on the Tel Aviv suburban line which runs between Binyamina and Ashkelon. The city center of Hadera is located near Israel's two main north-south highways; Highway 2, linking Tel Aviv to Haifa, and Highway 4. This made Hadera an important junction for all coastal bus transportation after 1948 and into the 1950s.
Hadera's importance as an economic center was first recognised when Israel's first paper mill was opened here in 1953. Hadera Paper continues to be a large employer in the city. In December 2009 the world's largest desalination plant of its type, located within the municipal borders, was inaugurated. Hadera is the location of the Orot Rabin Power Plant, Israel's largest power station.
According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, as of October 2013, Hadera had a population of 91,634 which is growing at an annual rate of 1.2%. As of 2003, the city had a population density of 1,516.6 per km2. Of the city's population of 2013 of 91,634, approximately 23,407 were immigrants, many from Ethiopia.
According to a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Hadera had a population of 540 inhabitants, consisting of 450 Jews, 89 Muslims and 1 Christian. Hadera has grown steadily since 1948, when the city had a population of 11,800. In 1955, the population almost doubled to 22,500. In 1961 it rose to 25,600, 1972 to 32,200, and 1983, to 38,700.
The median age in Hadera is 32.8, with 23,200 people 19 years of age or younger, 12.1% between 20 and 29, 14,100 between 30 and 44, 17,600 from 45 to 64, and 9,700, 65 or older. As of 2007, there were 37,500 males and 39,200 females.
In 2001, the ethnic makeup was 99.2% Jewish and other non-Arab, with no significant Arab population. In 2000, there were 27,920 salaried workers and 1,819 self-employed. The mean monthly wage in 2000 for a salaried worker was ILS 5,135, a real change of 8.0% over the course of 2000. Salaried males had a mean monthly wage of ILS 6,607 (a real change of 9.0%) compared with ILS 3,598 for females (a real change of 3.1%). The mean income for the self-employed was 6,584. A total of 1,752 people received unemployment benefits and 6,753 received income supplements.
In 2001, there were 15,622 students studying at 42 schools (24 elementary schools with 7,933 students, and 21 high schools with 7,689 students). A total of 57.5% of 12th graders were entitled to a matriculation certificate.
The Democratic School of Hadera, which opened in 1987, was the first of its kind in Israel. The Technoda, an educational center for science and technology equipped with a state-of-the-art telescope and planetarium, is located in Hadera's Givat Olga neighborhood.