• Issue: June 1975
  • Designer: (Photo)
  • Stamp size: 30 x 25.7 mm
  • Plate no.: 444
  • Sheet of 50 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

Nazerat hut - Upper Nazareth - rises high above biblical Nazareth, some 30 kilometres south-east of Haifa. Established in 1957, this practically all-Jewish townlet of Lower Galilee is located on the hills overlooking its sister town hallowed in Christian lore - the home of Mary, where Jesus spent his childhood and adolescence. Here, in Jesus' day, was a small but thriving Jewish city which flourished until the Arab invasion in the seventh century CE.

One of the most promising of Israel's development projects, Nazerat Illit has become the administrative hub of Northern Israel, and its approximately 20,000 inhabitants are, generally speaking, happy and contented. Planned for an eventual population of 75,000, it was provided from the start with good roads, good housing and other facilities.

The first fifty families who were pioneers already found homes ready for them, as well as a nucleus of schools and essential services such as those needed for health, education and marketing. Recreation is available at its large football stadium seating 40,000 people, which attracts soccer fans from the whole area; at sports clubs, community and youth centres, and evening classes for adults.

Synagogues have been built; there is an immigrant absorption centre, and plans for the near future include the erection of a public library, a regional shopping mart and several hotels. The latest proposal is the construction of the Abdul Aziz Zu'abi Health Centre between Upper and Lower Nazareth, named for the late Deputy Minister of Health who was a native of Nazareth.

Nazerat Illit's record of full employment (except for a few hardcore cases) and its overall progress is encouraging. The reasons for its success are many-sided. Backed by Governmental and Jewish Agency authorities, its early days were made smoother by the fact that the housing provided was more than adequate; that roads were already laid and transport reasonably efficient.

A chocolate factory; a textile plant; engineering firms and a number of smaller industrial enterprises provide employment. More than 70% of the town's citizens are immigrants from Eastern Europe, artisans, craftsmen and high-school graduates who came with skills readily to use in a place like Nazerat lIlt. Another 10% or so come from Arabic-speaking lands, and the remainder are veteran Israelis.

The small number of those who have left the town since its inception, and the large number of would-be settlers who cannot be absorbed for lack of accommodation, is a sure sign that economically all is well. Maybe, too, its outstanding geographical position has added to the likelihood of Nazerat Illit's stability, while the fact that it is so near to ancient Nazareth, with its Christian and Jewish traditions, its beauty and its special character, has given it a sense of unbroken history lacking in the background of the majority of development towns in Israel.

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Landscapes Of Israel (VIII)