5 Fab­u­lous Mu­se­ums to Ex­pe­ri­ence His­tory First Hand

Un­der­stand­ing thou­sands of years of his­tory is so much more fun when you get into cos­tume and try work­ing and eat­ing as the an­cients did

The Jewish Voice - - TRAVEL - By: Abi­gail Klein Le­ich­man

Mu­se­ums show you things, and some­times let you han­dle things, which demon­strate a cer­tain sub­ject or era. Liv­ing his­tory mu­se­ums, on the other hand, in­vite you to im­merse your­self in a re­cre­ation of a cer­tain time and place with the help of cos­tumed guides and in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ences in an au­then­tic set­ting. It’s the clos­est thing to get­ting in a time ma­chine and go­ing back­wards.

Next time you’re tour­ing Is­rael, es­pe­cially with chil­dren, con­sider putting one of these liv­ing his­tory mu­se­ums on your itin­er­ary.

1. Ge­n­e­sis Land

Ge­n­e­sis Land is sit­u­ated in the Judean desert on the way to the Dead Sea. As its name sug­gests, this venue of­fers a guided bi­b­li­cal ex­pe­ri­ence to vis­i­tors – while dressed in pe­riod cos­tume — that in­cludes a camel ride to “Abra­ham’s tent,” fresh pita bak­ing, shep­herd­ing, mo­saic making, drum­ming, pot­tery, scribal arts and other hands-on work­shops as well as au­then­tic kosher meals served in a tent. You can re­serve a spot for overnight desert camping, guided jeep rides and camel treks, or book the site for an event. In­for­ma­tion: 972-(0)2-997-4477

2. Ein Yael

Ein Yael liv­ing mu­seum is a for­mer arche­o­log­i­cal site across the val­ley from the Jerusalem Bi­b­li­cal Zoo, ded­i­cated to con­serv­ing an­cient crafts found dur­ing digs here. Mostly it’s open by reser­va­tion. Dur­ing the sum­mer and school hol­i­days, it fea­tures fes­ti­vals and a recre­ated an­cient Ro­man street fille with craftsm n demon­strat­ing arts of an­cient times. The e’s an an­i­mal cor­ner with don­keys and goats, and work­shops in wool weav­ing, bas­ket weav­ing, mo­saics, pan flutes and more. Groups of up to 30 peo­ple can ar­range a pri­vate tour and two work­shops, suit­able for young chil­dren to adults. In­for­ma­tion: 972-(0)2-645-1866.

3. An­cient Katzrin Park

Katzrin is the un­of­fi­cia cap­i­tal of the Golan Heights. Here and in the nearby Galilee, fi st-mil­len­nium schol­ars lived and be­gan com­pil­ing Jewish oral laws and tra­di­tions into the many vol­umes of the Tal­mud.

An­cient Katzrin Park brings vis­i­tors back to these times in a re­stored Tal­mu­dic vil­lage ex­pe­ri­ence built on ac­tual arche­o­log­i­cal ru­ins. Ac­tors and ac­tresses in pe­riod dress lead you through typ­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties of the times, in­clud­ing mu­sic, cook­ing, pot­tery, grape-stomp­ing and olive-oil making us­ing an au­then­tic press. Tour an an­cient syn­a­gogue and recre­ated homes, and watch a movie ex­plain­ing the com­pi­la­tion of the Tal­mud. In­for­ma­tion: 972-(0)4-696-2412, mu­se­u­mag@netvi­sion.net.il

4. Kfar Ke­dem

Lo­cated at Hoshaya, a Jewish com­mu­nity near Nazareth and Zip­pori (Sep­pho­ris), Kfar Ke­dem in­volves vis­i­tors in recre­at­ing an­cient day-to-day life in the Lower Galilee. Dressed in bi­b­li­cal garb, you’ll ride the rolling hills on a don­key, thresh grain and bake pita bread, milk goats and make cheese, spin wool, press oil from olives and juice from grapes.

The ex­pe­ri­ence ends with a rus­tic kosher meal in­side a typ­i­cal shep­herd’s tent. The e are year-round and sea­sonal ac­tiv­i­ties for in­di­vid­u­als and groups, and the venue also can be booked for group events of up to 250 guests. In­for­ma­tion: info@kfarke­dem.co.il, 972-(0)4-656-5511

5. Neot Ke­du­mim

Late-af­ter­noon guided tours for in­di­vid­u­als and groups in English can be ar­ranged in ad­vance at this unique bi­b­li­cal na­ture re­serve in the Ben She­men For­est be­tween Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Along the way are hands-on sta­tions where par­tic­i­pants can crush olives, thresh grain and per­form other agri­cul­tural tasks as they were done in bi­b­li­cal times. In­for­ma­tion: 972-(0)8-977-0770.

Liv­ing his­tory mu­se­ums, on the other hand, in­vite you to im­merse your­self in a re­cre­ation of a cer­tain time and place with the help of cos­tumed guides and in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ences in an au­then­tic set­ting.

Ru­ins of Katzrin

Kfar Ke­dem an­cient vil­lage

Tour a re­con­structed Tal­mu­dic vil­lage at An­cient Katzrin Park. Photo via Facebook

Camel rides at Ge­n­e­sis Land. Photo via Facebook

Bak­ing pita at Kfar Ke­dem. Photo: cour­tesy

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