Sarona (colony)

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Sarona was a German Templer colony northeast of the city of Jaffa. It was one of the earliest modern villages established in Palestine. Today it is a neighborhood in Tel Aviv, Israel.


The Templer settlement of Sarona was one of the first modern agricultural settlements in Palestine and became a model for the Jewish pioneers. In August 1871, the Templers purchased 60 hectares of land from a Greek monastery north of Jaffa. Part of the Plains of Sharon (after which it was named) near the River Audsche (Yarkon River) it was four kilometres from Jaffa. In October 1871, the foundation stones were laid for the first houses. Extreme hardship and disease took a heavy toll in human life the first few years. Malaria caused the deaths of 28 of the 125 settlers of Sarona in 1872 alone. In an effort to dry the marshy land 1,300 eucalyptus trees were planted.

By 1889, 269 persons lived in Sarona. There were 41 homes, a communal hall, a winery, workshops, barns and sheds. The Sarona colonists brought modern farming tools and practices to the Holy Land. They focused on crops and products they could readily sell. This "agriculture-for-profit" was an economic innovation in a land that for centuries had practiced only "self-sustaining farming." Grain crops and dairy industry first, then orchards and vineyards were planted. Faced with a shortage of financial resources for infrastructure development, the community...
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