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Citrus Center

Some 15 miles from Tel Aviv sits the city of Rehovot, built on land owned by philanthropist Edmund James de Rothschild, and intended as a democratically operated agricultural community. Rehovot quickly became famous for its grapes, almonds and citrus fruits and in the mid-1960s, the city was named the country’s primary citrus grower, a title that grew more powerful when the nearby city of Ashdod opened its port, allowing Rehovot’s produce to reach Europe by sea.

In 1932, a Center for the Study of Agriculture was built in the city and in 1960, the center was made part of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Department of Agriculture—one of Israel’s main academic centers and a world-renowned research institution. Rehovot is also home to the Weizmann Institute of Science, one of the world’s foremost institutes of higher education specializing in the sciences.

Biblical Origins

Rehovot gets its name from the Book of Genesis where it is written, “and he called the name of it Rehoboth…For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land” (26:22). The biblical town of Rehovot is thought to have been situated in the Negev Desert but the modern founders thought the name Rehovot—meaning wide-open spaces—was fitting for their new town.

Weizmann Institute of Science

Established in 1934 by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, a chemist and the first president of the State of Israel, the Weizmann Institute of Science is one of Israel’s six major universities. The Weizmann Institute is a world leader in the fields of advanced mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology and computer science, awarding some 2,500 students M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees annually.

Groups as well as private visitors to Israel are welcome at the Weizmann Institute throughout the academic year. The home of Chaim Weizmann is located on campus, as is the famous archive contacting his papers and lectures in chemistry given at the institute.

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