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Literally, First of Zion. A settlement founded in 1882 by members of the Hoveve Zion movement from Russia in the plain south of Jaffa. After a rocky start, the village was taken over by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, with whose aid it became a grape-growing center. In 1887, the Baron built the Rishon wine cellars, among the largest in the Mediterranean area. Later, many of the vineyards were converted into orange groves. Rishon-Le-Zion has developed rapidly and is presently a pleasant, tree-shaded town with about 165,000 inhabitants engaged mainly in the wine industry, citriculture, and various industrial enterprises.

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