GEDERAH (Heb. גְּדֵרָה), moshavah with municipal council status (since 1949), in the Coastal Plain of Israel, 8 mi. (13 km.) S.W. of Reḥovot. It was founded in 1884 by young members of the *Bilu movement from Russia. Gederah was for a long time the southernmost Jewish settlement in the country and also the only veteran moshavah independent of Baron Edmond de *Rothschild's aid and administration. Initially, grapes and grain constituted Gederah's principal farm branches; later citrus orchards, cotton, and other intensive field crops were added. In the 1930s a number of rest houses, among them sanatoriums for respiratory ailments, were established there. The moshavah had a few small industrial enterprises in food and other branches. Its municipal boundaries included Uri'el, a village for the blind who were employed in certain branches of agriculture and handicrafts, and Kannot, a *Youth Aliyah children's village. In 1970 its population was 5,200. By the mid-1990s the population had risen to approximately 9,650, and by the end of 2002 it was 11,700, occupying an area of 5.6 sq. mi. (14.5 sq. km.). The town served as an urban center for its rural neighbors. Residents earned their living in agriculture, industry, commerce, and services.
Gederah's name is derived from the neighboring Arab village Qaṭra – abandoned since 1948. Most scholars assume Qatira to be identical to the town of *Gederah belonging to the tribe of Judah (Josh. 15:36), and, with greater certainty, to the town Kedron mentioned in I Maccabees (15:39; 16:9) as the scene of one of Judah's victories over Syrian forces. The Greek form of the name has been preserved by moshav Kidron founded north of Gederah in 1949.
[Efraim Orni /
Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.