Beersheba, capital of the Negev

27 July 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Moshe David/cc-by-2.5

© Moshe David/cc-by-2.5

Beersheba is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Often referred to as the “Capital of the Negev”, it is the center of the fourth most populous metropolitan area in Israel, the eighth most populous city in Israel with a population of 201,086, and the second largest city with a total of 117,500 dunams (after Jerusalem). Beersheba has grown considerably since then. A large portion of the population is made up of the descendants of Sephardi Jews and Mizrahi Jews who immigrated from Arab countries after 1948, as well as smaller communities of Bene Israel and Cochin Jews from India. Second and third waves of immigration have taken place since 1990, bringing Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, as well as Beta Israel immigrants from Ethiopia. The Soviet immigrants have made the game of chess a major sport in Beersheba. The city is now Israel’s national chess center, with more chess grandmasters per capita than any other city in the world.   read more…

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