|Founded by||Kvutzat Kibush members and Second Aliyah immigrants|
Merhavia (Hebrew: מֶרְחַבְיָה, lit. "Space of God") a moshav in northern Israel. It falls under the jurisdiction of Jezreel Valley Regional Council and in 2017 had a population of 672. Founded in 1911, it was the first modern Jewish settlement in the Jezreel Valley.
The name Merhavia is derived from the Book of Psalms 118:5.
Out of my straits I called upon the LORD; .. answered me with great enlargement - God.
In the metaphorical sense: "God set me free" - the experience of the Jews immigrating to the Land of Israel and achieving a new homeland without the straits of persecution.
The village was established as the Co-operative in Merhavia, a co-operative farm, at the beginning of 1911, based on the ideas of Franz Oppenheimer. The founders had arrived in the area in 1910 and consisted of members of Kvutzat Kibush and workers of the Second Aliyah. It was supposed to operate as a co-operative farm with differential wages, and was founded with the assistance of Arthur Ruppin, Yehoshua Hankin, the Anglo-Palestine Bank and Eliyahu Blumenfeld. Alexander Baerwald designed and built the first solid buildings and the road net with a central square in 1915.
In 1922 it was converted to a moshav ovdim after being joined by Polish immigrants and residents of Tel Aviv who wanted to work in agriculture. According to a census conducted in the same year by the British Mandate authorities, the settlement had a population of 135 Jews.
- "Localities File" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- Co-operation in Palestine New York Times, 17 March 1914
- Myra Warhaftig ‹See Tfd›(in German) (Hebrew: מירה ווארהפטיג), "Alex Baerwald", in: id., Sie legten den Grundstein. Leben und Wirken deutschsprachiger jüdischer Architekten in Palästina 1918-1948, Berlin and Tübingen: Wasmuth, 1996, pp. 34-41, here p. 35. ISBN 3-8030-0171-4