A transitional settlement for immigrants to Israel. Chiefly historical.
The first ma'abarot were established in 1950 following the ‘Law of Return’ granting all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel. Initially the camps, providing temporary accommodation for the hundreds of thousands of early settlers, consisted of tin shacks and tents; later, permanent dwellings and educational facilities were added.
1950s; earliest use found in The Jewish Chronicle. From modern Hebrew maʿbārāh (in biblical Hebrew ‘passage, ford’) from ʿāḇar to pass, cross.