NESHER (Heb. ??????), urban community with municipal council status in northern Israel, 4 mi. (6 km.) S.E. of Haifa. Nesher was founded in 1925 as a workers' quarter for employees of the Nesher Cement Works. Until 1948 it consisted mainly of small wooden huts. In the *War of Independence (1948), two nearby Arab villages whose inhabitants had participated in the massacre of Jewish employees from the oil refinery were captured by Jewish forces and abandoned by their inhabitants. The villages were later taken over by new immigrants and renamed Tel ?anan. They were finally included in the municipal area of Nesher. Nesher's population increased from 1,500 in 1948 to 9,450 by 1968. In the mid-1990s the population was approximately 16,000, and at the end of 2002 it was 20,900. The growth of Nesher's population was mainly due to its proximity to Haifa, with many young families who work in Haifa moving there, especially to its new neighborhoods. In 1995 Nesher received city status, its municipal area running to 5 sq. mi. (13 sq. km.).
[Efraim Orni /
Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]