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The Megiddo Regional Council (Hebrew: מועצה אזורית מגידו, Mo'atza Azorit Megido) is a regional council in northern Israel encompassing land on the Menashe Plateau, and partly in the Jezreel Valley. The council is bounded by the city of Yokneam Illit to the north, and the Carmel mountain range to the east, and houses about 9600 people on nine kibbutzim, and four moshavim located in its municipal territory.
The council is named after the ancient city of Megiddo, with the remains of this ancient city being located in the proxmimity of kibbutz Megiddo, in the territory of the council. The Head of the Regional Council is Hanan Erez, a member of kibbutz Hazorea who was elected to office in 2004.
Megiddo Regional Council is one of the oldest regional councils in Israel, being established in 1945, three years before the establishment of the State of Israel. Before 1945, the territory of the council was part of Gush Nahalal, a municipal entity of the British Mandate. The first Head of the Megiddo Regional Council was Avraham Fine from Ein HaShofet.
At the time of its establishment, the council included only 3,000 inhabitants from five settlements. It was originally named "Harei Efrayim" (lit. Efrayim Hills), changing its name to "Megiddo" in 1952, although this change was only officially approved by the state in 1954.
The official emblem of the regional council was designed in 1952 by Leo Platau from Hazorea. It depicts the hills of the region, an ear of wheat, and a lion. The ear of wheat represents the rural and agricultural nature of the council territory. The image of the lion was inspired by a seal, discovered in the ancient city of Megiddo.
Culture and education
There is one high school located in the regional council, Megiddo Regional High School, located in kibbutz Ein HaShofet. There are three primary schools: Hatikva in Eliakim, Omarim in Yad Labanim Regional Center, and Plagim in HaZorea. Some students from the settlements in the Megiddo Regional Council attend schools located outside of the council's territory.
The Megiddo Community College is an institution for adult education and extracurricular activities, sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Education. The college offers a variety of classes for both children and adults, including languages, computer skills, art, dance, music, history, Judaism, world religions, and martial arts. The college also organizes educational field trips for adults.
The Megiddo Dance School works to nurture the art of dance in the settlements of the Megiddo Regional Council. The school offers dance classes in the schools of the area, and works to involve dance in the lives of disabled students.
The Megiddo Music School offers practical and theoretical music classes to students in the schools of the regional council, including classical music, modern music, theory of music, and voice lessons.
Ramot Menashe Biosphere Reserve
84 million square meters of the 170 million of the Megiddo Regional Council constitute a nature reserve, including forested areas, various water sources, volcanic hills and archaeological sites. The park is currently in the process of becoming recongized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve.
List of settlements
- Ein HaEmek (communal settlement)
- Eliakim (communal settlement)
- Midrakh Oz (moshav)
- Yokneam Moshava (moshava)
- Official website (Hebrew)