||Levontin Hacohen (Levontin) Zvi
The founder, Zvi Levontin HaCohen was a highly respected and rich merchant in Russia and a Lover of Zion. In Rishon le Zion he was the veteran among the founding settlers.
In response to the request of his nephew, Zalman David Levontin, he personally purchased over half the area of land of the future Jewish village. In so doing he made possible the inclusion of additional founders to those belonging to the Committee of the First Pioneers and all together they took over the land on Tu B-Av, 1882 and founded the village of Rishon Le Zion.
There are those who are convinced that without his contribution the creation of Rishon Le Zion would not have succeeded. This is his outstanding achievement.
Also the building of the synagogue in the village was his contribution. The monies he received for lands that were allotted to the six subsidized founders were contributed to the building of the synagogue.
In the second year of the founding of the village, 1883, Zvi Levontin And two other founders (Heisman and M. Freiman) made a first attempt at planting vines and the other settlers in Rishon Le-Zion also "got sold on the idea of vineyards".
In the same year, Zvi Levontin, as chairman, signed the first letter that was sent by the settlers to the Baron Rothschild in which they outlined the difficulties and hardships of most of those living in the village.
On the third day of Tamuz 1882, Zvi Levontin was awarded the honor of "Honorary Member" of the Village Committee in recognition of his contribution to the village. Zvi Levontin and his wife, Leah, lived in Rishon Le-Zion till his last days.
Since the couple was childless, they left their inheritance to the public institutions in the village.
Zvi Hacohen Levontin was buried in the old cemetery in Rishon Le-Zion.