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Year-long Celebration of 50th Anniversary of Jezreel Valley Started

A year-long celebration began tonight throughout the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Jewish colonization of the malaria-infested swampland and its development into Israel’s breadbasket.

President and Mrs. Ben-Zvi, both of whom were among the first settlers in the Valley, were guests of honor tonight at the Kibbutz Merhavia, the first Jewish settlement in the Valley. The kibbutz was founded by veterans of the Hashomer movement. Exactly 150 years ago, the first furrough was plowed by Jewish settlers in land acquired by the Jewish National Fund. Two of the settlements, Ein Harod and Nahalal will mark their fortieth anniversaries.