NIẒẒANIM (Heb. נִצָּנִים; "sprouts"), kibbutz and youth village in southern Israel, 5 mi. (8 km.) N. of Ashkelon, affiliated with Ha-No'ar ha-Ẓiyyoni. Niẓẓanim was founded in 1943 by pioneers from Romania, when efforts were made to expand Jewish settlement in the south and Negev. In the early stages of the Israel *War of Independence (1948), Niẓẓanim was subjected to concentrated attack by the advancing Egyptian army and suffered utter destruction. After five days of resistance, Niẓẓanim was given up on June 8, 1948, and most of its surviving defenders fell prisoner. The site was recovered in October 1948, and the kibbutz was rebuilt by the remnants of the group about 2 mi. (3 km.) further south. In 1949 a farming school, belonging to *Youth Aliyah, was opened on the original site by Niẓẓanim. In 1969 the combined population of the kibbutz and youth village was 594. In the mid-1990s the population dropped to approximately 365, maintaining its size at 375 residents in 2002. Niẓẓanim's economy was based on citrus groves, field crops, and dairy cattle as well as the Paltechnica plant for chairs and seating components.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.