OMER (Heb. עֹמֶר), urban community in southern Israel. Omer is located 4 mi. (6 km.) northeast of Beersheba. It was established in 1961 by a group of Beersheba residents. Some proceeded to earn their livings as farmers and others worked in the nearby settlements and factories. Over the years, agriculture languished and the settlement was further urbanized. In 1974 it received municipal status. In 2002 its population reached 5,840, occupying a land area of 5.4 sq. mi. (14 sq. km.). Seventy percent of Omer's population held an academic degree. Women enjoyed the highest average earnings in the country and men the second highest. The settlement has a nearby industrial park housing such hi-tech companies as Motorola. The name Omer derives from the El Omri hill located in the industrial park area.
[Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.