Israeli flag
Atlit, Israel
עתלית  ישׂראל

Coordinates:  32° 41' 14" N  34° 56' 18" E
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Mordechai Surdin and the Salt Plant

The Salt of the Earth Atlit salt plant was founded by Israel Kassel and Mordechai Surdin, a salt plant manager who immigrated to Israel. Permission, in principle, "to produce table salt from seawater in Atlit" was given by the British as early as October, 1921. In a letter sent from Downing Street, Mr. Shuckburgh, Winston Churchill's assistant, wrote: "From London's point of view, the matter is confirmed, and now permission is subject to the British High Commissioner, Sir Herbert Samuel."

A report prepared for the inaugural shareholders' meeting stated that the Palestine Salt Company had been officially registered on the 13th of August, 1922 with assets of 40,000 Egyptian pounds (the local currency at the time).

To support worker welfare during these early years, the company and the Jewish Colonization Association (ICA) signed an employee benefit agreement in which the provided for all the needs of the plant's workers, including dining facilities, medical care, education, and other benefits.

After five months of work, a pool of eighty-five hectares was ready for use. Seawater was pumped

into the area to "kick off" the evaporation process. The first salt harvest was conducted in the summer of 1924, yielding 2,117 tons of salt. During the company's first twenty years, production at the plant was based primarily on manual labor, with only minimal mechanization.

Over time, the number of workers increased dramatically, from two-hundred during the 1920's, to about five-hundred, by the late 1940's. By 1948, when the Stae of Israel was founded, salt production had reached about six-thousand tons. At this time, electric machinery was installed, reducing manual worker effort.

In 1957, the plant was acquired by the Dankner and Gineau families, who converted the plant into a modern one. Access roads were laid between the pools. New pools, covering about one-hundred hectares, were dug. Mechanical salt-harvesting equipment reduced the harvest period to less than two weeks.

See Historical Review of the Salt Plant (Courtesy of Yad Ben Zvi Project – Israel Album)

Salt Plant Photos
Surdin ID card

Mordechai Surdin's Identity Card
Camp during salt aggregation

Camp During Salt Aggregation
setting up the salt plant

Setting Up the Salt Plant
Directors of the Salt Plant

Directors of the Salt Plant
Workers at the salt Pools

Workers at the Salt Pools
Workers at the salt Pools

Workers at the Salt Pools
Women of the Salt Plant in 1942

Women of the Salt Plant
1942
Children of salt Plant & of Atlit

Children of Salt Plant & of Atlit
Filling the Railcarts

Filling the Railcarts
unknown

Unknown
M. Surdin Headstone

M. Surdin Headstone


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Youth Movements & Sports Clubs
Summer Camp

Summer Camp
May First Youth Movement, 1941

May First Youth Movement, 1941
Atlit Soccer Club, 1950-60

Atlit Soccer Club
1950-60
Hapoel Sports Club, 1933

Hapoel Sports Club, 1933
school

School
school

School
school

School


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Schools & Kindergarten
Kindergarten (Lea Gruper album)

Kindergarten
(Lea Gruper album)
Lea Kindergarten

Lea Kindergarten, 1950
Rakefet Kindergarten, 1963

Rakefet Kindergarten, 1963
school, unknown

School, unk. date
school, 1942

School, 1942
school, 1943

School, 1943


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Chalutzim Pioneers
Pioneer Camp, 1922

Pioneer Camp, 1922
Pioneers, 1922

Pioneers, 1922
Youth Movement Hanoar Haoved V'halomed, 1945

Youth Movement
Hanoar Haoved
V'halomed
1945
Summer Camp

Summer Camp
Youth Movement
Unknown

Unknown
Unknown

Unknown


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Old Atlit
Pika Workers

Pika Workers
Flour Mill

Flour Mill
Near the Mill

Near the Mill
Near Pinski Farm (Lea Gruper Album)

Near Pinski Farm
(Lea Gruper Album)
Unknown

Unknown


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Teheran Children1
Teheran Children's Voyage

After 3 1/2 year odyssey,
730 refugee children arrive
in Israel during WW II
Teheran Children's Voyage
Teheran Children

Teheran Children

Teheran Children

Teheran Children

Teheran Children

Teheran Children

Teheran Children

Teheran Children

Teheran Children

1. photographs courtesy of the
Zionist Organization Archive


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Detention Camp
Atlit Museum

Atlit Museum
truck

camp

camp tour

Camp Tourists
stamp

Detention Camp Stamp
atlit

detainee accordion

Detainee Accordion
refugee ship

Refugee Ship
refugee ship

research room

Research Room







Please contact
Leah Haber Gedalia
with your
additions, questions,
corrections, or comments!
webmaster: richard L. baum

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Created: 17 March 2017

Last Modified: 04-17-2017

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