The City of Lod

A mosaic of cultures

Lod is a mixed city, seeking to serve as an example of coexistence  where Jews, Christians, and Muslims live side by side forming an exceptional mosaic - a multifaceted society of

intercultural encounters.   

The city's rank is 4 out of 10 

In socio-economic rank

 

 

52%

Entitled to a matriculation certificate the academic year 

 

  6,374 Nis

Avrage salary in 2018 (national avarge is 8,018 nis)

33%

Among the city's

population are new immigrants:

 

Most of them former Soviet Union (11,860)

Ethiopia (11,860)

Other countries (10,380)

 

36.6%

Of the population are under 18 years old

12.4%

Of the population are over 65 years old

 

Average number of persons per

household Stands at 4.3 in the Arab sector

72.5%  

of the city population is Jewish

 

 

27.5% 

 of the city population are Arabs

 

 

City Population

 81,000 people 

 

 

City Jurisdiction

13,500 Dunam

 
 

The city's vision

Lod looks forward, to the future

 

The city of Lod, led by the mayor, Yair Revivo, Adv. and the management of the municipality, invest significant resources in the development and branding of the city based on strategic thinking and planning:

 

  • Developing affordable housing and attracting new and stable populations, turning Lod into an attractive city in the eyes of the young population and new populations, and to keep young Lod residents in Lod.

  • Accelerated economic growth relying on turning Lod into an attraction for tourists, local visitors, and entrepreneurs making it a business, employment and industrial center. 

  • Lod as a central district metropolis enjoying the tremendous advantage of its location in the center of the country, and its accessibility by all the major transportation arteries. 

  • Turning Lod into a tourism magnet - developing a tourism route and increasing the volume of domestic tourism. 

  • Upgrading the status and image of the city in the eyes of its residents and in the eyes of all Israeli citizens. 

  • Lod as a "city of education" promoting innovation and educational entrepreneurialism, as well as higher education. 

  • Lod as a multicultural city with a multifaceted society, an open and pluralist city, a symbol of coexistence based on values of tolerance, understanding, and mutual respect. 

  • Improvement of the quality of municipal management -  a resident-friendly, efficient, entrepreneurial, creative and productive municipality providing a high level of service to its residents. 

  • A city that is safe for its residents and abides by law and order in the area under its jurisdiction.

 

 

Vision for the City of Lod, The Lod Municipality, Annual Report to the Residents, 2014

 

 
 

5,000 years of history

Lod is one of the oldest and most centrally located cities in Israel, priding itself on the rare phenomenon of a perpetual continuum of residential settlement in the city throughout the generations. 

 

Lod entered the pages of history in the days of the renowned Egyptian Pharaoh, Thutmose III, who passed through Lod en route to defeat the pact of the Canaanite cities and Syria at Megiddo. Egyptian documents inform us that Lod was an important point on the way to the sea, the most important highway in the ancient eastern world. 

 

From the Persian period, Lod became an important center to the Jewish community. In the Mishnaic and Talmudic period, Lod was the  seat of the leading center of intellectual and literary creativity, called the City of the Tanaim. Many of the greatest rabbis lived and created in the city. It had a small Sandhedrin and a large yeshivah led by Rabbi Eliezer Ben Hurcanus, where the greatest sages and tanaim taught, Rabbi Tarfun and Rabbi Akiva among them. 

In the Roman period, when the Land of Israel was under the administration of the tremendous empire, the rulers identified Lod as a major crossroad. Seven imperial roads connected Lod with all of the major centers in the Land, and in that way, the Romans turned the city into its beating heart. At the time, Lod was called the diospolis, "the city of God," and, as suits a city of God, magnificent temples were built in the city making the city no less impressive than Caesarea, Beit Shean, and other Roman cities. In excavations in the city, grand Roman villas have been found with mosaic floors, marble furniture, gold coins and jewelry. 

The finest piece of the findings from the period was the mosaic floor exposed in a Roman villa from the 4th century B.C.E., in a neighborhood known today as Neve Yerek.  The mosaic floor represents spectacular ships and marine life. It may be that this is to show us that the grand villa was owned by a sailor who therefore chose these scenes in order to glorify the foyer in his home. This glorious mosaic in Lod was uncovered in 1996, and is without a doubt the most impressive of all the floors yet found in the Land of Israel, and among the most impressive in all of the ancient world. 

In the photo: Khan El-Hilu

George, who eventually became an officer in the Guard Corps of the Roman emperor, Diocletian, was born and lived in Lod. George chose to spread Christianity throughout the world at a time when that was considered a criminal transgression, and perceived as particularly  offensive if done by a soldier. 

Many legends tell about one of George's journeys when he encountered a threatening dragon, fought him and defeated him. The scene of the battle between St. George and the dragon has become one of the most important in Christian art throughout the world. Due to his missionary activity, George was sentenced to death by the Roman military authorities and became a martyr. 

After Christianity was recognized by the empire, his bones were brought to Lod for burial, and to this day one can visit his tomb in the underground crypt of the Greek Orthodox Church in the city. 

During the Byzantine period, there was a decision to change the name of the city from Lod to Georgioupoli, City of George. Magnificent, large churches were then built in the city.  

בתמונה: משולש השלום

In the 7th century, the Muslims conquered the Land of Israel. The Muslim rulers made Lod the civil capital of Jund Filastin (the Palestine district) after recognizing the centrality of the city and its being the heart of the arteries spread across the land. 

When the Crusaders conquered the Land of Israel, they were knowledgeable about the City of George, and therefore, they constructed a magnificent cathedral in Lod. All that is left of it is an apsis and some handicrafts that were eventually integrated into the Greek Church. 

The Mameluks displaced the Crusaders in the Land of Israel in the 13th century and took control of Lod. They built the Al-Omari Mosque in Lod and the Jindas Bridge over the Ayalon Stream, north of the city. The Jindas Bridge is in place to this day, one of the oldest, impressive bridges in the Land of Israel. 

When the British conquered the land, they wisely understood (like their Roman predecessors) that Lod is the natural, central junction of the Land of Israel. Thus, they decided to build the central train station in Lod, between Cairo in the south, and Damascus in the north. North of the city, the British built the international airport called Lod Airport, until the death of the Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, after which it was renamed . 


 

Written by Dr. Alon Shavit, CEO, Israel Archaeological Institute, expert on ancient Lod

הקרן לפיתוח לוד ע"ר 580493856 ת.ד 690 לוד 7110603 | الصندوق لتطوير اللد ج.م ٥٨٠٤٩٣٨٥٦ ص.ب ٦٩٠ اللد  ٧١١٠٦٠٣ | The Lod Foundation A.R. 580493856 PO Box 7110603