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accessible israel
A CCESSIBLE
I SRAE L
2012 Edition
Tour routes
for the disabled
Accessible Israel 2012 Edition
Contents
North
3
7
The Sea of Galilee - North
Visit antiquities, synagogues and churches on the
shores of the Sea of Galilee
Accessibility Legend
The Gilboa
Accessible to sight impaired/blind
In the footsteps of Old Testament heroes, experience the
scenery of Mount Gilboa, The Harod Spring and Tel Jezreel
Center
9
11
Accessible to wheelchairs
Neot Kedomim
Accessible to those with difficulty walking
Be part of history in the nature reserve that recreates
the lives of the Biblical Fathers of Israel
Accessible to baby carriages
Tel Aviv
The city that never stops offers a taste of the Palmach
Museum and Tel Aviv Harbor
Accessible to hearing impaired
Jerusalem
14
16
The Old City of Jerusalem
Follow in the footsteps of Jewish settlement in the Holy City
beginning in the days of King David
Mount Herzl and Yad VaShem
Pay your respects to Israel's fallen and the
victims of the Holocaust
South
18
20
Border Observation Point
A visit to the national memorial to the first settlers in the
Negev
Ein Feshkha and Qumran
Discover unique natural wonders in the Ein Feshkha Reserve
and exciting archeological discoveries at Qumran
Publisher: Moto Media Ltd.
Address: 12 Yitzhak Sadeh, Tel Aviv, 67212
Telephone: 03-5652100
Editor in Chief: Amir Schwartz
Editor Accessible Israel: Ella Weisberg
Route Author: Eli Me'iri
Graphic designer: Flori Piseman
Deputy CEO Trade and Business Development: Herzle
Kolcar 050-8993010
Business Development Manager: Eden Levy 050-8995127
Produced by:
About the composer of the routes
Eli Me'iri, a highly experienced tour guide specializing in
recreational activities and tours for the disabled in Israel and
the world.
Founder of "Israel for All" – touring for people with special
needs
www.Israel4All.com
2
Accessible Israel 2012 Edition
Associations dealing with accessibility in Israel
Access Unlimited
www.access-unlimited.co.il
Accessible Israel
www.aisrael.org
Lotem
www.lotem.net
North/The Sea of Galilee – North
On the Shores of the Sea
The northern shores of the Sea of Galilee are full of impressive archeological sites
that are evidence of Jewish life during the Second Temple period. A tour in the
footsteps of some of the area's more beautiful corners.
lake, some Roman nails were discovered
which revealed the location of the boat.
Archeologists have dated the boat to
the first century A.D. Excavating the
boat was a complicated engineering
and technical procedure. The mud had
preserved the boat during all the years
it was buried and its extraction could be
expected to cause it great damage.
Today the boat is displayed in the "Man
and the Galil Museum" which is part
of the Yigal Alon Museum at Kibbutz
Ginosar.
South
Difficulty Level: The trails are recommended
for those travelling alone, for groups and for
families. We recommend using the services of
a guide.
Accessibility for the disabled: The trail is
suitable for those in wheel chairs, people who
have difficulty in walking and the visually and
hearing impaired as well as for families with
baby carriages or strollers.
Length of tour: A number of tours can be taken
from one hour walks that include just some of
the route and a walk of four to five hours that
includes a visit to all the recommended sites.
Required equipment: Hats, water and food
for the entire day. There are restaurants and
cafeteria in the area.
Best season to visit: Throughout the year.
The Ancient Boat at Ginosar
Photograph: Yigal Alon Museum at Kibbutz Ginosar.
In the northern area of the Sea of
Galilee there are a number of impressive
archeological sites. At the end of the
Second Temple period, the area had many
Jewish settlements. This is also the area in
which Jesus lived and preached according
to the Christian tradition.
Kibbutz Ginosar –
the Ancient Boat
On the shores of the Sea of Galilee,
next to Kibbutz Ginosar, an ancient boat
was discovered, in 1986, by the brothers
Moshe and Yuval Lufan. During that
year, the level of the Sea of Galilee fell
and, in the mud on the shores of the
When the boat was discovered, the
question asked was if the boat's owners
had any connection to Jesus since he and
his disciples lived during that period on
the shores of the Sea of Galilee and some
of them were fishermen. It is also possible
that the boat's owners were from the
nearby village of Migdal where the revolt
against Roman conquerors of Israel first
began. It is also conceivable that that
the boat's owners were fishermen from
nearby Tiberius which was established in
the same century. The mystery and the
story of the boats discovery excite and
grip visitors to the museum.
2012 ‫ארץ נגישה קיץ‬
32
North/The Sea of Galilee – North
Getting there
Tabgha
Disabled access to the site
From Tiberius travel north around the
shores of the Sea of Galilee on Highway
90. Cross over the Migdal junction and
carry on for another 2 kilometers until
you see signposts to the Ancient Boat
and Ginosar Tourism. Turn left and after
about 300 meters you arrive at the Nof
Ginosar Hotel parking lot.
Park the car in the northern section of
the parking lot and walk to the Yigal
Alon Museum and the "Man and the Galil
Museum" where the boat is displayed.
At the museum you can also see
exhibitions of the relationship between
man and the Galilee landscape during the
periods of the Mishnah and the Talmud
as well as exhibitions about Jewish
settlement in the area and the activities
of the Palmach. The museum also has
memorial rooms that commemorate the
life of Yigal Alon who was commander
of the Palmach and, later on, a member
of Israel's Knesset and a government
minister. Yigal Alon is well known and
respected for his special relationship with
the Arab population of the Galilee.
The church that commemorates the
Miracle of the Loaves and Fish can be
found at Tabgha. In Hebrew, the spot
is known as Ayin Sheva and in Greek as
Heptapegon – the seven springs. The
name "Tabgha" derives from the Arabic
"Seva" or seven in English.
In the New Testament, Tabgha is
traditionally the place where Jesus
performed the Miracle of the Loaves and
Fish. Today there is a new church, built
on the remains of a Byzantine period
church that commemorates this miracle.
According to the Gospel of Matthew in
the New Testament, it was here that Jesus
fed 5000 people with just five loaves of
bread and two fish.
In for forecourt of the Church of the
Loaves and the Fish are the remains
of an ancient olive press including the
equipment used to crush the olive pit in
order to extract its oil as well as stone
weights. The church's inside courtyard
consists of a large square with a fish pool
and olive tree at its center.
Inside the church there is a reconstructed
mosaic of the original fourth century AD
mosaic that shows a distinct Egyptian
influence. At the center of the mosaic
is a nilometer tower used to measure
the Nile's water level. The mosaic
depicting Jesus's Miracle of the Loaves
and Fish is visible beneath the alter table.
Underneath glass plates we can see the
remains of the Byzantine church's Apse
dating from the fourth century AD.
Close by there is a courtyard where
Christians believe another miracle
occurred; following the death of Jesus,
Jesus revealed himself to his fishermen
followers and commanded Simon (the
Apostle Peter) to continue his works.
There is good access to those using a wheel
chair. There is also disabled parking
and a lowered pathway. The parking
lot has toilet facilities for the disabled.
At the church's southern entrance there
is a permanent wooden ramp. There
are no special facilities for those with
other disabilities. Information sheets are
not adapted for the visually or hearing
impaired.
Getting there
Getting there
Return to Highway 90 and carry on North
to until the Kfar Nachum junction. Turn
onto Road 87 and then take the first left
turn. After 100 meters, arrive at large
parking lot on the right.
From the Capernaum Junction, turn
north onto road 90. The road rises steeply
with some sharp turns and eventually
you'll reach the Mount of the Beatitudes
turnoff. Enter through the gate for the
Disabled access to the site
Access to the site to those using a wheel
chair and the disabled is excellent.
There are toilet facilities for the disabled
and wheel chair users. Guides and
information sheets are not adapted for
those with a visual impairment nor are
there any special arrangements for the
visually impaired. The film does have
sub-titles.
Museum Yigal Alon,
Photograph: Ministry of Tourism www.goisrael.com
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Accessible Israel 2012 Edition
The Mount of the Beatitudes
Mount Nachum, more commonly known
as the Mount of the Beatitudes is in the
northern Sea of Galilee and rise to a
height of 150 meters.
According to Christian tradition, the
Mount of the Beatitudes is where Jesus
preached the "Sermon on the Mount"
in which he revealed the main points of
his teachings. The Hebrew name for the
hill, "The Mountain of Joy" is misleading
and taken from passages beginning with
"Ashrey" which can mean "blessed be he"
but a more exact translation is "welcome".
This is also the area in which the 12
Apostles were chosen.
The Church of the Beatitudes is a beautiful
church designed by Italian architect,
Antonio Barluzzi and built between 1936
– 1938. Barluzzi decided to use black and
white for the church's exterior and black,
white, yellow and blue for its interior.
The black and white symbolize the two
sections of the Sermon on the Mount, the
yellow symbolizes the worldly aspect and
the blue the spiritual and mystical.
We also find, on the hill, a wonderfully
kept garden and a Franciscan pilgrims
hostel with many beautiful and secluded
spots where groups of Catholics hold
daily Mass.
The Mural at the Church of the Loaves and the Fish
The Mount of the Beatitudes Church
The Entrance to the Church of the Loaves and the Fish
Capernaum
Sea of Galilee,
Photograph: Ministry of Tourism www.goisrael.com
parking lot.
Disabled access to the site
There is good access to those using a wheel
chair. There is also disabled parking and
use of a wheel chair is easy. There are
toilet facilities for the disabled. There are
no special facilities for those with other
disabilities.
Capernaum is the central, most
important Christian site in the area and is
considered to be Jesus's home. It was here,
in Capernaum and the surrounding area,
that Jesus chose his 12 faithful disciples.
Capernaum is a Jewish settlement on the
shores of the Sea of Galilee and on the
border between the Land of Israel and
Syria. It was a village of fishermen and
tax collectors that was established during
the second century BC.
After passing the church, we see the statue
of Saint Peter, one of the 12 Apostles,
holding in one hand two keys and in the
other a staff with fish at his feet. Whilst the
village's buildings are built from simple
stone, at the center of the village there is a
magnificent structure of white stone – the
synagogue. The synagogue is in the style
of typical Galilean synagoguesfrom the
fifth or sixth century AD and was built,
in all probability, on the foundations of
an older synagogue.
Another structure of significant
importance can be found amongst the
villages building. This is a building that
was used a meeting place as early as the
first century. On the site were found 172
shards with Christian writing which is
evidence of a Christian community that
used the building.
Additionally, an octagonal structure
from the first century was also discovered
around which was built another octagonal
structure. This is thought to be one of the
5
The Ancient Synagogue at Kfar Nachum
Photographs: Saterstock
Saint Peter at Kfar Nachum
original churches.
According to evidence given by pilgrims,
it is thought that the building was built
above the home of Peter who lived in the
village. Today, the village is under the
care of the Franciscan Church.
This is evident immediately upon
entering the village when you meet the
statue of the order's founder Saint Francis
of Assisi.
parking lot for private vehicles next to the
site's entrance.
Getting there
When you reach the Capernaum junction,
turn onto road 87 and carry on towards
Katzerin. After about five kilometers, as
you drive along the promenade on the
shore of the Sea of Galilee, you'll see a
restaurant and, immediately after, the
entry to Capernaum. Drive through the
entrance and park in the bus parking
lot or carry on through the gate to the
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Accessible Israel 2012 Edition
The Ancient Synagogue at Kfar Nachum
Disabled access to the site
A building with toilet facilities for the
disabled can be found in the parking lot.
Accessibility for those in wheel chairs is
good but access to the paved courtyard is
via a hard packed gravel ramp.. Some of
the rout is difficult to navigate in a wheel
chair. There is no accessible entry to the
synagogue (the interior can be seen from
the rear entrance). Entry to the modern
church is not possible in a wheel chair
due to some steps. The descent to the
beach is on a hard packed gravel path and
some of the route is difficult for those in a
wheel chair. There are no special facilities
for those with other disabilities.
Tabha - The Benedictine Church of the Loaves and the Fishes
Photograph: Ministry of Tourism www.goisrael.com
The North/Gilboa
Welcome to the Mountain
Through the scenery of Mount Gilboa, The Harod Spring and Tel Jezreel we learn
the stories of the Pentateuch as we walk in the footsteps of Gideon, King David
and other biblical heroes.
Throughout our tour of the Gilboa area,
we are guided by the Old Testament.
Many locations mentioned in the Book
of Books come alive before our eyes as
we explore the area. It is interesting that
most of the biblical stories we experience
refer to battles, most of which took place,
not on the Gilboa but in the Harod
Valley that spreads out beneath us and
which provide examples of many ancient
techniques of war.
Tel Jezreel
Tel Jezreel is where the winter palaces of
the Kings of Israel were located. On the
site you can still see the hewed stone walls
of a large and luxurious structure that
overlooked the Harod Valley. The Jewish
National Fund has built a well looked
after park and a large parking lot.
Here we can imagine Jezebel, the
Phoenician wife of King Ahab, sitting at
a window and looking out over the valley.
From here you can see, at the center of
valley, the Jezreel Spring or, as it is known
in the Bible – "The Spring at Jezreel". We
can conjure up the jealousy felt by Ahab
towards Navot the Jezreelite who owned
the vineyard in the valley. The Bible tells
us of Jezebels scheme that allowed Ahab,
by unacceptable means, take control of
the vineyard and murder Navot. Because
of his deed, Ahab was cursed with a
terrible curse by the prophet Eliyahu - "
Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed,
and also taken possession?" (Kings 1,
Chapter 21 Verse 19).
Tel Jezreel is also the site is a story from
the War of Independence. There was
an Arab village called Zarin whose
inhabitants sabotaged the activities of
the newly established Kibbutz Yizrael.
A battle took place at the site and today
there is a memorial to the members of the
Palmach who fell when they conquered
the village.
Getting there
Drive north on Road 65, the Wad Ara
road. Drive through the Megiddo
junction and carry on towards Afula.
After a few kilometers, you reach the
Ta'anach junction on Road 675 and then
on to Yizrael Junction. Turn onto the
road to Tel Jezreel and park in the parking
lot to begin your tour.
Disabled access to the site
Most of the site is easily accessible to
those in wheel chairs. There are no toilet
facilities for those in wheel chairs. There
are also picnic spots.
The Harod Spring
The Harod Spring is inside the National
Park of the same name. The Harod
Spring is mentioned in the Old Testament
in reference to Gideon's war with the
Midionites. Here Gideon was commanded
to test those who were sup[posed to fight
against the Midionites: " So he brought
down the people unto the water: and
the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one
that lappeth of the water with his tongue,
as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by
himself; likewise every one that boweth
down upon his knees to drink. And the
number of them that lapped, putting
their hand to their mouth, were three
hundred men: but all the rest of the
people bowed down upon their knees to
drink water." Judges Chapter 7 Verses
5 – 6. Today, there is a small spring
on the site but evidence from the past
tells us once the spring produced great
amounts of water. The spring is known
in Arabic as Ayin Galud (Galud in Arabic
is Goliath). The site is the scene of the
famous battle between the Mamluk army
led by Baibars and the Mongols. The
Mongols were defeated and thus failed to
gain a stronghold in the Land of Israel.
The National Park has play facilities for
children, a swimming pool open during
the summer and many spots for a picnic.
Above the spring is the house built by
Yehoshua Henkin for his wife, Olga.
The couple never actually lived in the
house but was later buried there. A
film is shown inside the house describing
Henkin's life and work.
Getting there
Leave Tel Jezreel and when you reach the
main road, turn left and drive until you
get to the toilets for the disabled.
Information sheets about park are not
suitable for visually impaired or blind.
7
The View from the Gilboa, Photograph: Saterstock
The Gilboa Iris, Photograph: Sharon Goldsun, Israeli Nature Authority
The Harod Spring, Photograph: Hanoch Suliman, Israeli Nature Authority
Difficulty Level: The trails are recommended
for those travelling alone, for groups and for
families. We recommend using the services of
a guide.
Accessibility for the disabled: The trail is
suitable for those in wheel chairs, people who
have difficulty in walking and the visually and
hearing impaired as well as for families with
baby carriages or strollers.
Length of tour: A number of tours can be taken
from one hour walks that include just some of
the route and a walk of four to five hours that
includes a visit to all the recommended sites.
Required equipment: Hats, water and food
for the entire day. There are restaurants and
cafeteria in the area.
Best season to visit: Throughout the year.
reach the Yizrael Junction. Turn onto
Road 71 in the direction of Beit Shean
and, after one kilometer, turn off towards
Moshav Gidona. Just before the entrance
to Gidona, turn and drive in the direction
of the Harod Spring National Park.
Disabled access to the site
Access for those in wheel chairs is good
within the National Park. The paths
are paved and easy to negotiate. There
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Accessible Israel 2012 Edition
The path to the Henkin house in not
accessible to wheel chair users because of
a series of steps and the steep slope of the
path. The film shown inside the house
does not include subtitles and there are
no explanations available for the visually
impaired.
The Gilboa Scenic Route
The Gilboa Scenic Route takes us through
a number of sites, each of which deserves
an article in its own right. From the
route we have an excellent view towards
the Harod Spring and Beit Shean in the
south, over the Jezreel Valley and Mount
Carmel in the West and Mount tabor
in the North. The view helps us better
understand the ancient battle fields of
the Harod Valley. During those times,
mounted forces preferred to fight on the
flat valley floor whilst the simple foot
soldier preferred to fight in the hills.
From one of the parking lots on the
Gilboa the "Old Testament Route" begins.
This paved path, with verses from the Old
Testament inscribed into rocks spaced
along its path, is suitable for those in
wheel chairs. It was on Mount Gilboa
that Saul and Jonathan were killed. When
David heard of the death of Saul and
his sons, his galloped to the Gilboa and
there sang his famous lament for Saul
and his son, Jonathan, and also cursed
the mountain. "Thy beauty, O Israel,
upon thy high places is slain! How are the
mighty fallen!" Samuel 1, verse 19.
Along the route there are many parking
spots some with playground equipment
and picnic tables. Towards the end of the
winter, when wild flowers bloom, stop at
the "Iris" parking lot breathtaking beauty
of the Gilboa Iris's flower.
Getting there
Leave the Harod Spring National Park for
Navot Junction and drive back towards
Tel Jezreel. As you drive up, there is a
junction with three turnoffs, take the
road signposted to the Gilboa Scenic
Route, road 667. Drive along until the
junction of Malkishua and to the Harod
Spring and there turn left towards the
Harod Spring.
Disabled access to the site
LThe "Old Testament Route" has disabled
parking and access for people in wheel
chairs is good. The Iris parking lot is a
large one with lots of parking spaces and
easy movement in a wheel chair. There
are no special facilities for those with
other disabilities.
Center/Neot Kedomim
Biblical Agriculture
The Neot Kedomim nature reserve preserves the landscapes of Israel and
agriculture as practiced by our forefathers in the time of the Old Testament.
Come and be part of history!
"...we can no longer hear the sound
of the Prophets, but we can still see
what they saw and smell what they
smelt… Let us, therefore, establish
a park with plants from our ancient
book, and learn to write in it and read
from the Book of Books and the Song
of Songs in the letters and the colors
in which the Book of Book and the
Song of Songs is written…" (From
the program: "The Garden of the
Prophets and Sages of the Talmud:,
Dr. Ephraim and Hannah Reuveni,
1925).
So began the vision known today as
Neot Kedomim that was conceived,
planned and established by Neoga
Reuveni, the son of Ephraim and
Hannah Reuveni. The Israel Lands
Authority allocated 2500 denim (750
acres) for the establishment of Neot
Kedomim which today is both a
repository for an ancient heritage and
a place to study nature as described in
the Old Testament, the Mishnah and
the Talmud.
In 1944 the Reuveni' and the Neot
Kedomim team were awarded
the Israeli Prize for their unique
contribution to society and the State.
The Song of Songs Valley
Almost of the main paths on the site are
paved with some of the sites being situated
next to the path. Each of the parks areas
has its own special characteristics. Some
relate to the Old Testament including the
"Song of Songs Valley" that lies between
the "Books of Wisdom" section and along
the "Perfume Route". In the valley, you
will find plants mentioned ion the Song
of Songs. Biblical scholars disagree as
to the identity of some of the plants and
so the garden includes all the various
possibilities. Animals, such as deer
(represented by their relations the fallowdeer), antelopes, rock doves and herds
of sheep and goats, all mentioned in the
Song of Songs can also be found here
The Jessaiahu Vineyard, at the higher
end of the slope, instantly transports
us to an agricultural area – a thriving
vineyard which represents the work of the
People of Israel from the days of Joshua
and onwards when they transformed the
forested hillsides to agricultural terraces
planted with fig trees and grape vines,
pomegranates and olives. The vineyard
itself was established in a desolated area
during the 1980s.
In the "Seven Kinds" area are terraces
built over the past few years using stones
taken from the surrounding area. Above
the valley, wheat and barley grow and
flourish and above them, ancient olive
trees.
On the other side of the valley are
pomegranates and fig trees and on the
valley floor, date palms. Next to the wheat
and barley terraces, we find a threshing
floor where, during the harvest season,
all sorts of activities are organized. An
olive press that produces olive oil using
the same techniques as in ancient times is
also open for you to see and enjoy.
Other areas represent different regions
of the Land of Israel as mentioned in
the ancient writings including the banks
of the Jordan River, the Jericho (City of
Dates) Valley, the Sharon Forest and the
summits of the Carmel.
The Rebirth Trail
Yet another unique route is the "Rebirth
Trail" which winds its way over and
across the Menorah Hill. The trail is
suited for those who need an easier
and more accessible route and can be
comfortable explored on foot or with all
types of prams and stroller. The path
has numerous resting spots as well as a
support rail along its entire length.
The walk along the "Rebirth Trail"
includes descriptions of the flora and
fauna that are part of the Song of Songs
which invokes seeking and yearning,
achievements and disappointments,
reality and allegory. The tour along
Menorah Hill takes us through olive
groves and oil presses where we also learn
how the sage plant influenced the design
of the menorah or lamp that is one of the
symbols of the Jewish people and the State
of Israel. We also learn of the connection
between Zechariah's prophecy and the
symbol of the State of Israel and the
significance of light which symbolizes the
power of the human spirit.
Visitors to the site are provided with
9
Autumn Views
Pumping Water from an Ancient Water Hole
Difficulty Level: The trails are
recommended for those travelling
alone, for groups and for families
and for students of all ages. We
recommend using the services of a
guide but there are trails suitable for
those wishing to be independent.
Guided tours can be arranged in
advanced by telephoning 08-9770777
Accessibility for the disabled: The
trail is suitable for those in wheel
chairs, people who have difficulty in
walking and the visually and hearing
Theimpaired
Shepherdsas
Stage
well as for families with
baby carriages or strollers.
Length of tour: A number of tours
can be taken including one hour
walks and yearly workshops.
Required equipment: Hats, water
and food for the entire day. There are
restaurants and cafeteria in the area.
Best season to visit: Throughout the
year.
Watchtower at Kerem Yeshiyahu
an information sheet which explains the
importance of these crops in the lives of
our forefathers, who saw the plants both
as a symbol and an allegory of the life of
the person and the people. Throughout
the route, you can see the various
landscapes which represent the different
landscapes of Israel and the cultivation
of the "Seven Kinds. You will see
agricultural equipment and devices that
demonstrate how life was lived in biblical
times and as they are described in the
Old Testament and other Jewish writings.
The information sheet also includes
examples of Reuveni's descriptions and
explanations that explain the special
relationship between the People of Israel
to the crops and landscapes within which
they grew and developed.
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Accessible Israel 2012 Edition
The Fragrant Pomegranate Flower
Getting there
You get to Neot Kedomim via Road
443. To those coming from Jerusalem of
Modi'in, there are signposts directing to
the reserve. To those coming from the Tel
Aviv or Lod should drive to the western
entrance to Modi'in, turn around at the
first traffic circle and return to Road
443 East and then use the reserves main
entrance.
Disabled access to the site
There are a number of disabled toilet
facilities along the various paths. The
independent visitor is given a booklet
with details of all the paths and an
explanation of all the sites and the flora
and fauna you'll see during your stay. The
booklet is printed in regular type and is
not adapted for the visually impaired or
blind. There are clear signs both for the
various toilet facilities and explanations
at each stop along the routes. All signs
are in regular type and not adapted for
the visually impaired or blind.
If you are driving a registered disabled
person's vehicle, you can drive the car
Photographs courtesy of Neot Kedomim
straight into the reserve and park next
to the start of the accessible route or in
one of the disabled parking spaces. At
the entrance to the reserve there is a large
area with picnic tables some of which
are accessible to wheel chairs. Disabled
parking spaces are available next to them.
Alternate entrance: Entrance for all
visitors is through the gift store which ids
the official entrance to the reserve from
which you have access to all the different
pathways and routes. Next to the gift
store there are toilets for the disabled, a
lecture hall and a hall for special events.
Disabled with their vehicles can enter the
area via an alternate entrance.
If arranged in advance, a special guide
is available for adults and children with
learning or other disabilities. It's also
possible, if arranged in advance, to
arrange use of the "passenger train" for
organized groups to tour the site or to
use a mobility scooter (if arranged in
advance).
The Center/Tel Aviv
There's something
different here...
On our tour of Tel Aviv, in the footsteps of the events leading to the establishment of the
State of Israel, we'll learn about the daring exploits of the Palmach and the establishment of
Tel Aviv's harbor from which the famous Jaffa oranges were exported.
There are no more sand dunes in the city
of Tel Aviv – they've been replaced by
souring office blocks, apartment blocks
and commercial centers. Tel Aviv is a big
city; fabulous structures and architectural
palaces, but it's still possible to find magic
in almost every corner. This time, we’ve
chosen to visit two such magical corners
that combine the past and the present
– the Palmach Museum and Tel Aviv's
harbor.
Tel Aviv was officially established in 1909
as the "Achuzat Bayit" neighborhood
which was the names of the association
which founded it. The declared aim
was to establish a Hebrew city next to
Arab Jaffa. One year later, in 1910, the
new city was called Tel Aviv and, within
four decades, it grew into a metropolise
many times the size of Jaffa. The British
Mandatory authorities gave Tel Aviv
the official status of a city in 1934 and,
following the establishment of the State
of Israel, the two cities were amalgamated
into one municipal structure – Tel AvivJaffa – which runs the unified city.
The Palmach Museum
The Palmach, the enlisted framework of
the Hagana, the fledgling army of the
State to be, was set up in 1941 and
dismantled in 1949.
"We are always first" are the words of the
Palmach's anthem which was set up to be
the spearhead of military and security
operations, of immigration to the then
Palestine, settlement activities and also to
provide a defensive force. The Palmach
fulfilled these functions as part of the
Hagana. The first stage of the Palmach's
operation was during the Second World
War against the Nazi's and their allies in
this region.
The struggle on behalf of the Hagana was
carried out primarily by the Palmach.
The organization operated to bring Jews
from Europe to Palestine after the Second
World War. During this period, dozens
of ships carrying illegal immigrants or
"Ma'apilim in Hebrew, reached the shores
of Palestine. Many of these immigrants
were interned by the British in Cyprus or
an internment camp in Atlit just south
of Haifa. Some of the Palmach's more
famous operations included; organizing
the escape, from the Atlit internment
camp, (of illegal immigrants) the night
before they were due to be deported; the
blowing up of ships to be used for their
deportation; disrupting transportation to
and from Palestine; the operations known
as the "Night of the Trains" and the
"Night of the Bridges"; the establishment
of 11 new settlements in the Negev.
"Ready to obey orders" is another line
from the Palmach's anthem. As the
enlisted arm of the Hagan, as the military
arm of the organized Jewish presence,
the Palmach was under the orders of the
elected civilian authorities of the Jewish
population in the Land of Israel.
The Visit to the Museum
• The museum reviews the unique
atmosphere created within the Palmach
amongst the groups of young people who
volunteered to serve in its ranks.
• A visit to the museum must be arranged
in advance and is in groups of 25 people
(single visitors or small groups are
combined with larger groups but must
still be arranged in advance). Children
must be above the age of 6.
• The entire visit takes about 90 minutes
and the exhibits are in Hebrew. For
English, French, Spanish and Russian
speakers, translation headsets are
provided.
Getting there
By bus: lines 13, 24, 27, 94, 113 (Dan),
572, 575, 464 (Egged) and all lines
reaching Tel Aviv University.
By car: Leave "Netivay Eyalon" at the
Rochach junction, turn onto Rochach
West and, after a drive of about a
kilometer to the west, turn right onto
Namir Road. After about 200 meters,
turn right onto Haim Lavnon Street (the
Ramat Aviv neighborhood). Carry on
past the Land of Israel Museum and its
parking lot and, immediately after, you
arrive at the Palmach Museum.
Disabled access to the site
Outside of the museum there are parking
spaces for the disabled. Inside the
museum there is unrestricted access for
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The Palmach Museum,
Photograph: Ministry of Tourism www.goisrael.com
those using wheel chairs. Please note:
because of teaching restraints the surface
is not uniform. Headsets are available for
the visually impaired and there are toilet
facilities for the disabled.
Tel Aviv Harbor
What brought about the opening of
Tel Aviv's harbor? At the Jaffa harbor,
which before the establishment of the
State, was under Arab control, a general
strike that lasted for six months was
called. The strike also cut of Jaffa from
Tel Aviv. Much of the cargo passing
through Jaffa up until the strike was
meant for Tel Aviv. Due to the strike,
public pressure to cut off Tel Aviv from
its financial dependence on Jaffa grew.
The Jewish establishment demanded that
the Mandatory Government approve
the building of a harbor on Tel Aviv's
waterfront.
On the 15th of May, 1936, the Mandatory
Government authorized the unloading of
food cargoes onto Tel Aviv's beaches and
the location of the harbor was located,
on the beach of the "Yerid Hamizrach
Fairground" on the Yarkon peninsula.
Within 24 hours, an access road was built
and a customs shed and short wooden
jetty constructed opposite Café Galina
Sapir.
One month after the start of the Arab
Revolt, on the 19th of May 1936, Tel Aviv's
harbor was born. The first ship to arrive
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Tel Aviv Harbor, Photographs: Saterstock
at the harbor was the SS Cetorti with a
cargo of cement. One of the factors that
led to the establishment of the harbor was
the citrus fruit market, one of the central
export markets for Jewish agricultural
produce and which had been severely hit
be the Arab Revolt. As it was impossible
to transport the produce to Haifa Harbor
due to the security situation, Tel Aviv's
harbor, close to the fruit orchards of the
coastal strip and the Sharon regions, was
designated for citrus exports.
Tel Aviv's harbor was the only harbor
under Jewish control on the eve of
Independence and, as such, it played
a central role in supplying the Jewish
population and in breaking arms
blockade. The day after the establishment
of the State of Israel, Egyptian planes
bombed harbor killing four people. After
the establishment of the State, the harbor
resumed operations until, in the 1950s
it was decided to build another harbor
in Ashdod. Tel Aviv harbor's part in the
export of citrus fruit grew less and less
as did the number of passengers using
the port. In 1965, the port was officially
closed.
Until recently, the harbor was relatively
run down area, a sort of "back courtyard"
hidden from view. However, over the past
few years that harbor's face has changed
and it has become an area as one of the
most popular recreational areas of the
city, and a unique meeting point between
the Yarkon River and the sea.
Disabled access to the site
The harbor has many disabled parking
spaces and all areas of the harbor paved
pavements that allow easy and free access
for those in wheel chairs. Please note that
cyclists also use the pavements. Ramps
are installed in many locations however;
some of them are not adequately marked.
Curbstones can be a problem for the
visually impaired as they are, quite often,
not marked clearly enough. There are
a number of toilets for the disabled
available in the harbor area.
HaTachana. Photograph: Ministry of Tourism www.goisrael.com
HATACHANA (NEW STATION) COMPOUND
Old Jaffa by night. Photograph: Ministry of Tourism www.goisrael.com
Difficulty Level: The routes are recommended
for those travelling alone, for groups, for
families and students of all ages.
Accessibility for the disabled: The routes are
suitable for those in wheel chairs, people who
have difficulty in walking and the visually and
hearing impaired as well as for families with
baby carriages or strollers.
Length of tour: The Palmach Museum – 90
minute guided tour. Tel Aviv Harbor – tour
routes and shopping areas for the independent
visitor.
Required equipment: Hats, water and food
for the entire day. There are restaurants and
cafeteria in the area.
Best season to visit: Throughout the year.
The railway station for the Tel Aviv – Jaffa rail line
that operated until the establishment of the State
has been transformed into cultural and recreational
center for the entire family. In the compound,
there are various, changing exhibitions, fashion and
design stores and many restaurants and coffee bars.
The compound consists of 22 building from various
periods that have been professionally preserved
which make accessibility difficult. However, the areas
management has taken steps to make buildings and
businesses accessible to the disabled. Ramps have been
installed to the entrances of all businesses so that the
disabled have access and seating areas have been fenced
so that they don't present a hazard. The open areas
between the buildings are accessible to wheel chairs.
Apart from an art gallery on the second floor above
one of the coffee bars, all the businesses in the area are
on the ground floor. The gallery is easily accessible
using a lift. The compound has two public toilet
facilities both of which have toilet facilities for
both male and female disabled people. The areas
restaurants also have toilet facilities for the disabled.
The "HaTachana" compound is situated between
the Neve Tzedek neighborhood and the sea.
Entry to the parking lot is from HaMered Street
and the corner of Kaufmann Street. There are
parking spaces for the disabled in the parking lot.
13
Jerusalem/The Old City
Between the Walls
The history of the Jewish People has been inexorably linked to Jerusalem since
the days of King David. The story of the Holy City is told as we pass by the sites
where the ancient city's inhabitants lived.
The start of Jewish settlement in
Jerusalem can be traced back to the time
of King David who bought the city from
the Jebusites. After the destruction of
the Second Temple, during the Roman
and the Byzantine periods, the Jews were
expelled from Jerusalem and returned
after the Moslems conquered the city
in the seven century AD. During the
Crusader period, the Jews were, once
again, expelled from the city or butchered.
Jewish presence was renewed when the
Rambam immigrated to Jerusalem during
the Mamluk period. During the period of
Ottoman rule (1517 – 1917) the city had
a large Jewish community. Towards the
end of Ottoman rule at the end of the 19th
century, the number of Jews in the city
grew and the first Jewish neighborhoods
were established outside of the city's
walls. During the War of Independence,
the Jewish Quarter was under siege with
the inhabitants managing to survive until
they were expelled or taken captive by
the Jordanians. During the Six Day War,
the Old City was captured and the Jewish
Quarter renovated and archeological
excavations were also started.
Our route takes us through the Cardo,
along the Broad Wall, the Hurvah Square
and the Western Wall.
The Cardo
The Jerusalem Cardo was part of the
central street running from North to
South in Roman Jerusalem (just as in
every Roman city). It was discovered
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during archeological excavations after
1967. The Cardo that we see today, next
to the Jewish Quarter's entrance from
the Direction of Zion Mount is from the
period when Jerusalem was declared a
Roman city, Aelia Capitolina, during the
days of Hadrian. Parts of the Cardo are
from an earlier period, and some from
the Crusader period (it is still possible to
see openings that are characteristic of this
period). Today we can see two sections
of the Cardo: the open Cardo that can be
seen from the street and the closed Cardo
which can be accessed along the street
and which has stores belonging to the
neighborhoods Jewish inhabitants.
Getting there
We reach the Jewish Quarter on foot from
Zion gate or by car or bus from the Jaffa
Gate, through the Armenian Quarter and
then park in the Jewish Quarter's parking
lot.
At the entrance to the Jewish Quarter in
the Jews Street there is a route marked
as suitable for those in a wheel chair.
The rout was developed by the Quarter's
Community Center and later adopted
by the Jewish Quarter Development
Association. Some 50 meters from the
entrance to the Quarter, we find the
Cardo and, if we carry on northwards, we
see other remains of the Cardo to the east.
You can get to the Cardo between the
shops before David Street – just follow
the signs.
Disabled access to the site
Accessibility to those in a wheel chair is
average. The path is paved with stone
which tend to cause vibration. Disabled
toilet facilities are available and are
suitable for wheel chair users. No special
arrangements are available for the visually
impaired.
The Broad Wall
The Broad Wall was constructed
during the period of Hizkiyahu, King
of Judah, most probably as part of
the fortifications against the King of
Ashur in 701 BC. When deciding on
the walls line of passage, no account
was taken of existing buildings and, if
necessary, they were destroyed. These
were emergency measures taken during
a time of approaching danger and the
threat of war. Hizkiyahu's preparations
for a siege bore fruit as Jerusalem was
not conquered. It is not known if this
was because Sennacherib, the Ashurian
King, was forced to return home due to
internal political problems or because of
the miracle of a plague described in the
Old Testament.
The Broad Wall is vital evidence in
archeological arguments relating to the
boundaries of Jerusalem during the First
temple period.
Getting there
Enter the Jewish Quarter as described
earlier and, immediately after the
archeological excavations on the eastern
The Cardo. Photograph: Ministry of Tourism www.goisrael.com
Difficulty Level: The route is recommended
for those travelling alone, for groups, for
families. We recommend using a guide.
Accessibility for the disabled: The route is
suitable for those in wheel chairs, people who
have difficulty in walking as well as for
families with baby carriages or strollers.
Length of tour: Two to four hours.
Required equipment: Hats, water and food
for the entire day. There are restaurants and
cafeteria in the area.
Best season to visit: Throughout the year.
The Western Wall. Photograph: Ministry of Tourism
www.goisrael.com
The Hurvah Synagogue: Photograph: Saterstock
side of the street, turn west. After about
30 meters you'll see the excavations of the
Broad Wall.
Disabled access to the site
Accessibility to those in a wheel chair
is average. Disabled toilet facilities are
available. No special arrangements are
available for those with other disabilities.
The Hurvah Square
The Hurvah Square gets its name from
the Hurvah Synagogue. Over the past few
years the 300 year old synagogue has been
completely restored. Built in the 18th
century by the Ashkenazi community
it was later burnt and destroyed by the
Moslems and rebuilt in the 19th century
only to be blown up by Jordanian fighters
in May of 1948 to become a pile of rubble.
After the capture of the Old City during
the Six Day War, the synagogue was not
restored but one of the four arches that
supported its domed roof was restored.
In 2003, work on the restoration and
rebuilding of the synagogue began
and seven years later the magnificent
synagogues was inaugurated. The Hurvah
synagogue is most probably the first
synagogue in Jerusalem to have been
designed and built as a synagogue since
the destruction of the Temple.
Getting there
We carry on eastwards through the Jewish
Quarter from the Broad Wall and arrive
at a large courtyard with, at its western
end, the Hurvah Synagogue.
Disabled access to the site
Accessibility to those in a wheel chair is
average as path is paved with stone which
tends to make wheelchairs rock. Disabled
toilet facilities are available nearby. No
special arrangements are available for
those with other disabilities.
The Western Wall
The Western wall was constructed around
the year 20 BC, during the reign of King
Herod. He wanted to expand the Temple
Mount north and south and so rebuilt the
Temple Mount walls.
During the Roman period, the Temple
Mount was a pile of rubble and Jews were
forbidden to live in Jerusalem. Only
after Christianity became the recognized
religion of the Empire were Jews allowed
to enter the city on the Ninth day of Av in
order to commemorate the Temple and
its destruction. There the worshippers
would congregate next to the Western
Wall of the Temple which was, so we
think, the closest to the Holy of Holies.
During the early Arab period, Jews were
allowed to live in Jerusalem. Then it
was customary to pray by the southeast wall of the Temple Mount. During
the Ottoman period, the worshippers
regularly congregated at the Western
Wall which soon became a central site
for prayers. Today, the Western Wall
square is open every day of the year, 24
hours a day for people to pray. It is also
the site for many national and private
events: Remembrance Day Ceremonies
for Israel's War Dead, IDF oath taking
ceremonies, mass prayer gatherings and
even Bar Mitzvahs.
Getting there
You can get to the Western Wall from the
Jewish Quarter but this involves many
stairs. (Work started a few years ago
on the building of an elevator from the
Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall). You
can also get to the Western Wall on foot
via the rout that passes through Zion gate
along the walls of the Old City and up
to the Dung Gate where there is a steep
slope. Access is also possible by car.
15
Jerusalem/ Mount Herzl and Yad VaShem
Remembering & Remembrance
Mount Herzl in Jerusalem symbolizes some of the events that forged the path of the State
of Israel. As you walk, you also pay your respects to the founders of Israel and those who
fell in wars and who are buried here as well as to the victims of the Holocaust whose stories
are told and commemorated in the Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum
Mount Herzl
"When the Jewish State is established",
wrote Theodore Herzl in his will, "I ask
that my bones and those of my parents
and my sister, Paulina, be brought there.
In 1904, Herzl, known as the "foreteller of
the Jewish State", died and was buried in
Vienna, Austria. After the establishment
of the State of Israel's establishment, its
leaders decided to honor his will and,
in a State ceremony his bones and those
of his family where reinterred on a hill
in Jerusalem that was later named in his
honor – Mount Herzl.
Mount Herzl rises to a height of 834
meters above sea level and is in West
Jerusalem between the Ein Kerem, Beit
HaKerem, Bait Ve'Gan and the Yafe Nof
neighborhoods. On the slopes leading up
to Mount Herzl is the Jerusalem Forest
and on the hill itself is Israel's National
Cemetery. On the southern side of the
hill we find the Herzl’s burial site and a
large plaza used for State ceremonies.
Surrounding this area is the National
Civilian Cemetery where the country's
leaders are buried. There is also an area
where illegal immigrants (Ma'apilim)
who drowned on their way to the then
Palestine are buried. Also on the hill is
the Herzl Museum and the Yad VaShem
Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Getting there
There are two parking lots next to Mount
Herzl: the upper and the lower parking
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lots. The lower parking lot is next to the
entrance to the Military Cemetery and
the upper parking lot is next to the Herzl
Museum entrance and the gardens. You
can also get there by public transport
using the 20, 23, 24 and 26 bus lines.
Disabled access to the site
The public parking lot is close to the
museum but lacks marked parking spaces
for the disabled. Access to the site is via
a series of steps or a path close to the
vehicle entrance. The path is paved with
rough stones. Entry is also possible in a
disabled vehicle through the main gate
but you need to use the intercom to get
permission. The only toilet facilities for
the disabled are in the Herzl Museum,
next to the main entrance.
Herzl Museum
At the Herzl Museum you can learn about
Herzl's life through and audio-visual
presentation that takes place in four,
separate rooms. Each room is dedicated
to one specific period in Herzl's life: his
Zionist activities, the books he wrote
("The Jewish State" and "The Old New
Land"), the Zionist Conferences and his
efforts with then world leaders and his
family's history until his death at the age
of 44. The Museum was opened on the
100th anniversary of Herzl's death.
Getting there
Entrance to the Museum is through
Mount Herzl's upper parking lot – the
main entrance to Mont Herzl.
Disabled access to the site
The museum is accessible to those using
wheel chairs, to those with walking
difficulties and to those with visual or
hearing impediments. There are disabled
toilet facilities available in the museum.
The Military Cemetery & the
Nation's Statesmen Plot
The Military Cemetery on Mount
Herzl is the "first amongst equals" and
epitomizes the essential equality between
all of the fallen, regardless of their burial
place. This is further emphasized by
the uniformity of the military graves.
The aim of the cemetery as a Pantheon
of Heroism for the Jewish settlement
in Israel and the Jewish people under
Nazi rule expands the stories of heroism
beyond the boundaries of the State of
Israel's history.
The memorial services and ceremonies
observed in the Mount Herzl Military
Cemetery are held within a framework of
ceremonies commemorating the various
Remembrance Days for Israel's war
dead. This includes the State ceremony
held every year on the 7th of Adarin in
remembrance of those whose final resting
place is unknown. This is also the date
that, according to Jewish tradition, Moses
died.
The Nation's Statesmen Plot on Mount
Herzl's Grave, Photograph: Saterstock
Memorial to Those Killed in By Enemy Actions,
Photograph: Saterstock
Herzl is an area where the nation's
greatest statesmen are buried: Presidents
of the State, Prime Ministers, Knesset
Speakers, Medal of Honor holders and
the spouses of all those mentioned before.
The Jabotinski Family Plot is a State
burial plot, next to the Nation's Statesmen
Plot and close to Herzl's grave, set aside
specially for Ze'ev Jabotinski and his
family. The burial plot for Chairmen
of the World Zionist Organization and
Herzl's family is another State plot,
located close to Herzl's grave and the
Nation's Statesmen Plot.
The Illegal Immigrants (Ma'apilim) plot
is a State burial plot that honors and
commemorates those illegal immigrants
who drowned when trying to get to the
Land of Israel by sea. This plot also
includes a memorial to those whose
burial place is unknown.
Disabled access to the site
Entry to the area in a disabled vehicle
is possible from the main entrance
but permission must be obtained via
the intercom. The pathways between
the various memorials and burial plots
are accessible to those in wheel chairs.
Disabled toilet facilities are only available
in the Herzl Museum next to the main
entrance.
Difficulty Level: The
route is recommended
for those travelling alone,
for groups, for families.
We recommend using a
guide.
Accessibility for the
disabled: The route is
suitable for those in
wheel chairs, people who
have difficulty in walking
as well as for families
with baby carriages or
strollers.
Length of tour: Two to
four hours.
Required equipment:
Hats, water and food for
the entire day. There are
restaurants and cafeteria
in the area.
Best season to visit:
Throughout the year.
The Hall of Names (Hechal HaShemot) at Yad VaShem. Photograph:
Ministry of Tourism www.goisrael.com
The Yad VaShem Holocaust
Memorial Museum
Yad VaShem was established in 1953 in
order to commemorate and perpetuate
the six million Jews murdered during the
Holocaust and to perpetuate the memory
of the Holocaust from generation to
generation so that it would never be
forgotten. The Museum can be found
on the Western slope of Mount Herzl
and includes an extensive archive and
library (to document and research
the period), memorial sites (the Hall
of Remembrance (Ohel Yizkor), the
Children's Memorial (Yad LeYeled),
the Valley of the Communities (Emek
HaKehilot), the Hall of Names (Hechal
HaShemot) and memorials), a historical
museum, a museum of the arts and a
central school for the study and teaching
of the Holocaust.
In 2005 the new Yad VaShem museum,
which includes extensive data bases, was
inaugurated. The new museum placed
a unique emphasis on presenting the
history of the Holocaust from a human,
a personal and a Jewish perspective by
displaying original, personal belongings
and the stories behind them. The museum
has more than 2500 exhibits including
original artifacts, documents, testimony,
films, works of literature, diaries, letters
and works of art.
The museums structure takes us along
a chronological and thematic path with
an emphasis on human and personal
stories. The information is presented in
sound and music, with documents and
with feeling, in film and in testimony.
The museum is built as a triangle which
simulates walls that are slowly closing
around European Jewry. Between each
exhibition hall, other exhibits prevent
free movement from one hall to another
and which compel visitors to visit all the
exhibition halls.
Getting there
There is a shuttle service from Mount
Herzl to Yad VaShem. You can also use
a private car to get to the museum's
parking lot.
Disabled access to the site
The museum's parking lot has disabled
parking spaces. The entire museum area
is accessible to wheel chairs. Those with
walking difficulties may have difficulty as
there are few places to sit and rest. There
are disabled toilet facilities in numerous
locations in the museum. Audio guide
equipment in seven languages can be
hired from the Visitors Center for those
with hearing impediments.
17
South/Mitzpe GvulotVaShem
Looking Forward (Kadima)
The National "Border Outpost" (Gvulot) site offers an insight into the beginning of Jewish
settlement in the Negev and the struggle to establish agriculture in a desert area.
Vision becomes Reality
The first new settlement in the Negev,
since the resettlement of the land of
Israel began, was Rukhama, established
on the 5th of April 1912. This was
the initial attempt at settling the Negev
which continued for five years until the
outbreak of the First World War.
In 1937 the United Kingdom's State
Commission for Palestine, published its
recommendations for the partitioning
of Palestine. According to this proposal,
the Land of Israel was to be divided
into three separate states: Jewish, Arab
and Mandatory. The entire Negev area
was included in the Arab State. In an
attempt to alter this impossible situation,
a number of settlements were established
in the south and the northern Negev. The
first was Negba which was followed by
Dorot, Gat, Gevaram, Nir Am, Be'erot
Yitzhak, Yad Mordecai and the reestablished Kibbutz Rukhama.
Three outposts, forming a sort of triangle,
were also set up: Beit Eshel in the east,
Gvulot in the West and Revivim the most
southerly. After this, 11 settlements were
established – settlements that were key
points for the inclusion of the Negev
in the map of Jewish settlements and
which dictated the present borders of
the State of Israel. Our trip, this time,
concentrates on the "Border Outpost"
(Gvulot) national site.
The History of "Gvulot"
The name "Gvulot" was given to the
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kibbutz by the Jewish National Fund as
it represented the line that separates life
from death. From the kibbutz north –
there was life and from the kibbutz to the
south – dessert. Gvulot was the first of
three outposts established in 1943 which
represented the start of Jewish settlement
in the Negev.
The story of Gvulot starts in May of 1943
and continues up until the present day.
At the beginning, Kibbutz Gvulot was
just 12 members whose main source of
work was on the agricultural station that
still exist today and whose purpose was
to find out what crops could be grown in
an area with no water sources. Water for
cooking and for showers was collected in
barrels and later used water the trees and
the potatoes, In order get get fresh water,
they took mules to a neighboring Arab
village and brought back water from the
local well.
The settlers were paid by the Jewish
National Fund as they were considered
workers at the agricultural stations,
employed to plant trees and guard the
area. The members took turns sitting in
a watchtower of the Gvulot Outpost, day
and night, to guard the area.
Our visit to Gvulot will take us back to
the middle of the fourth decade of the
previous century. We will learn about
the challenges that these Negev pioneers
faced, day in and day out. We'll visit
the Diamond Polishing Museum that
operated her in the 1950s and try our
hands building with the mud blocks
(adobe) that were used to build most of
the buildings on the outpost.
A water pipeline was built thanks to Jewish
ingenuity. During the second World war,
the British were afraid of the effects of
German bombing on London. They built
many water pipe lines around the city
to help put out the fires that resulted
from the bombings. After the war, the
pipes, which now had no use, remained in
Britain and the Jewish Agency, seized the
opportunity and bought 150 kilometers
of pipe at a bargain price from the British.
The pipes were brought to Israel and used
to build a water pipeline from Nir Am
to the other settlements in the Negev.
When the pipeline was finished, the War
of Independence broke out, thanks to
a regular supply of water, the lives of
many of the settlers in the region were
saved. During our visit to the site we'll
learn about Mekorot's Western Water
Line which was laid in 1948 as well as the
Negev water pipeline.
Activities
Amongst the activities possible at the
"Border Outpost" (Gvulot) are guided
activities for all the family, which
includes stories from the sites history,
dressing up as pioneers and making mud
(adobe) building blocks, baking rolls in
a mud oven and more. The site offers a
guided tour with various tales form the
past and agricultural tours through the
Photographs: Doron Horowitz, Courtesy of the National "Border Outpost" (Gvulot)
filed to give you a taste of what life was
like then. Special evening events with
a moon light tour of the Basor Stream
as well as workshops and unique team
solidification days are also available.
Getting there
If you're coming from Yad Mordecai,
drive south to the Sha"ar HaNegev
junction. Carry on south on Road 232.
Four kilometers after Maon (Magen)
junction, turn left onto Road 222 and
carry on for another nine kilometers.
Those coming from Be'er Sheva: drive
via Ofakim Junction directly to Maon
(Magen) Junction) then turn left onto
Road 222 and carry on for another nine
kilometers.
Disabled access to the site
Disabled parking spaces are available
just before the entrance to the "Border
Outpost" (Gvulot). The site is accessible
to the disabled and has paved pathways
suitable for wheel chairs and there are
toilet facilities for the disabled. Most of
the activities are suitable for everybody
with the possibility of adapting activities
for children with learning difficulties are
those with developmental disabilities.
Difficulty Level: The trails are
recommended for those travelling alone,
for groups and for families and for students
of all ages. We recommend using the
services of a guide.
Accessibility for the disabled: The trail is
suitable for those in wheel chairs, people
who have difficulty in walking and the
visually and hearing impaired as well as for
families with baby carriages or strollers.
Length of tour: A number of tours can be
taken including one hour walks and yearly
workshops.
Required equipment: Hats, water and food
for the entire day. There are restaurants and
cafeteria in the area.
Best season to visit: Throughout the year.
19
South/ Ein Feshkha Springs and Qumran
Sweet and Salty
Even though it is known as the "Dead Sea", the area is far from lifeless. At the Ein Feshkha
Springs you can bathe in the fresh water pools and enjoy the hidden beauties of the nature
reserve. At Qumran we will learn about the Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the most important
archeological discoveries from the Second Temple period, as well as the monks who lived
in these ancient caves and dwellings.
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The Dead Sea is shrinking as can clearly
be seen when you visit the area. The
shrinkage of the Dead Sea is a process
that began during the last century and
continues today. The main reason for
the phenomena is the over exploitation
of water flowing into the sea from the
Jordan and other rivers as well as climatic
change.
In the 19th century, attempts were made
to dry the northern section of the Dead
Sea known as Petach Tikva. Settlers
tried, unsuccessfully, to get a franchise
from the Turkish Sultan. They then
returned to the center of Israel and
founded an agricultural settlement in the
Malbas area – today the city of Petach
Tikva. In 1930, the British Mandatory
government awarded a franchise for
the production of salts from the Dead
Sea to a joint Hashemite-Jewish-British
venture. Later on, the plant relocated to
the southern area of the Dead Sea where
it is active today. In the 1940s, Kibbutz
Beit HaArava was established in the
area under the guise of farm that would
provide fresh vegetables to workers at the
salt plant.
When the possibilities of tourism were
first considered, a company called Kalia
was established to exploit the areas
tourism potential. At the Lido junction, a
hotel was built and a bathing beach with a
jetty was set up and sea planes. THz plan
was for the planes to land there on their
way from the United Kingdom to India.
Unfortunately, the War of Independence
Accessible Israel 2012 Edition
in 1948 curtailed this activity before it
could begin. Today the area is the site of
a number of settlements and agricultural
activities. Two kibbutzim, Kalia and
Almog engage in agriculture and operate
tourist activities. There are also a number
of bathing beaches in the northern area of
the Dead Sea.
Qumran
The Qumran National Park was the center
for a cult during the Second Temple
period. Known as the Judean Desert
cult it has been identified by a number
of investigators as being the Essenes
monastic cult. Over the past 60 years
Qumran has been the site of the discovery
of the Dead Sea Scrolls which are today
on display in the Shrine of the Book at
the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. These
are some of the most important ever
finds from the Second Temple period and
allow us a unique glimpse into life during
this period. In 1947, Bedouin shepherds
found some clay pots in a cave opposite
the site. Inside the posts they found
the scrolls and sold them to an antiques
dealer. Today, the scrolls are held by the
Israeli Antiquities Authority who ensure
their preservation for future generations.
Qumran is an extremely harsh area where
life is difficult and where, in the summer,
the heat can be intense. The site is built
on a hill of natural, chalky stone cut off
from its surrounding by the bed of the
Afik Stream. Archeological excavations
held at the site, identified a settlement
from the eighth century BC (the period
of the Judean Kings) and another
settlement from the second century BC
(the Hasmonean period). Following the
destruction of the Second Temple in 70
AD, people ceased to inhabit the site.
Archeological excavations have revealed
numerous water storage cisterns, a few
public areas and very many Mikvas (ritual
cleansing baths). Almost no dwellings
have been discovered.
Getting there
Leave Jerusalem on Road 4 in the
direction of the Dead Sea until you reach
the Beit HaArava junction. From here,
turn onto Road 90 in the direction of
Ein Gedi until you reach Kalia Junction,
then turn right and immediately left and
continue until you reach the site's parking
lot. Egged bus 486 from Jerusalem will
also bring you to the site. Please note that
the bus is not adapted for those in a wheel
chair. There is a steep slope from Kalia
Junction to the site entrance.
Disabled access to the site
There are marked parking spots for the
disabled in the parking lot. Access for
those in a wheelchair is average for most
of the site. Some areas are of compacted
soil and there some wooden bridges.
The film, shown in the visitor's center
has sub-titles. Toilet facilities for wheel
chair users are available however, they
are usually kept locked and you will need
to ask for the key from employees of
Visitors to Qumran. Photograph: Ministry of Tourism www.goisrael.com
The Ein Tsukim Nature Reserve.
Photograph: Amir Aloni, the Nature Authority
Difficulty Level: The site is recommended
for those travelling alone, for groups and
for families. We recommend using a guide.
Accessibility for the disabled: The site is
suitable for those in wheel chairs, people
who have difficulty in walking as well as for
those with sight or hearing impediments
and families with baby carriages or
strollers.
Length of tour: A number of tours can be
taken ranging from one hour walks that
include just some of the route and a walk of
four to five hours that includes a visit to all
the recommended sites.
Required equipment: Hats, water and food
for the entire day. There are restaurants and
cafeteria in the area.
Best season to visit: Autumn, winter and
spring, During the summer temperatures
are very high.
the National Parks and Nature Reserve
Authority at the site. When leaving the
site, you should ask that the gate be
opened.
Ein Feshkha Springs
The Ein Feshkha Springs nature reserve,
also known by its Arabic Name of Ein
Feshkha, is the lowest nature reserve in
the world and, was a recreational site
of Hashemite Kingdom before the Six
Day War when it was captured by Israel.
In 1969, the site was declared a nature
reserve. A few years ago, a brush fire
broke out on the site and large areas were
The caves where the scrolls were found, Photograph: Saterstock www.goisrael.com
burnt. However, since then the reserve
has recovered and rejuvenated itself and
the characteristic plants and bushes now
thrive.
In the open area of the reserve there
is a natural, fresh water, paddling pool
and picnic areas. In the closed area,
known as the "Hidden reserve" you can
experience and enjoy the reserves unique
natural wonders only when accompanied
by a guide. In the "Hidden Reserve" you
will see the remains of solitary dwellings
from the Second Temple period, a
farm with a magnificent villa and an
internal courtyard and many, beautiful
and breathtaking landscapes. Within
the "Hidden reserve" you can also see a
device which is thought to have been used
to produce persimmon oil – valuable oil
produced by the Judean Kings during
the Second Temple period and sold
throughout the Roman Empire. You can
also stroll along a paved path surrounded
by the areas plants and vegetation, mainly
Tamarisk trees and reeds and magical
water pools. Part of the "Hidden Reserve"
is used solely for research purposes and is
closed to the public.
Getting there
Leave Jerusalem on Road 4 in the
direction of the Dead Sea until you reach
the Beit HaArava junction. From here,
turn onto Road 90 in the direction of
Ein Gedi until you reach the Ein Feshkha
Springs junction. Turn left and continue
on to the sites parking lot. Egged bus
486 from Jerusalem will also bring you
to the site. Please note that the bus is not
adapted for those in a wheel chair.
Disabled access to the site
There are marked parking spots for the
disabled in the parking lot. Access for
those in a wheelchair is good within the
nature reserve. The pathways are paved
and easy to navigate. Toilet facilities
for wheel chair users are available but
explanation sheets regarding the reserve
are not available for the blind or those
with a visual impairment. Within the
reserve there are pathways of compacted
earth that is often wet.
21
Presented to you with
Over the past few years, more and more of the
central and important tourist sites in Israel have been
transformed and made accessible to the disabled.
The Ministry of Tourism through the Government's Tourism
Company, and in cooperation with the National Insurance
Authority and other agencies, are continuing to work to make
even more sites and tour trails accessible to the disabled
population.
In 2010 – 2011, a number of projects to
make sites accessible were completed. These included: Ein
Feshkha, the Jordan Park, the Yisrael archeological site (Tel
love
Yizrael), the Illegal Immigrants (Ma'apilim) boat at Attlit, Neot
Kedomim, Kfar Nachum, the Round the Sea of Galilee trail,
the Bible Trail on the Gilboa, the Tsukim Springs and more.
Recently, a number of projects have been completed
to make the Beit Shean national archeological site and
the Rosh Hanikra Grottos accessible. At Rosh Hanikra
a bridge was erected on the cliff overlooking the sea
which is accessible to those in wheelchairs arriving
from the parking area at the sites upper entrance.
For more information: Please go to the Ministry of Tourism site at goisrael.gov.il
ISRAEL GOVERNMENT
TOURIST CORPORATION