• Talma Gotteiner

Yad Mordechai – One Kibbutz, Plenty of Reasons to Visit

Updated: Apr 22


Hi there!

I chose to visit Yad Mordechai this week because of two upcoming occasions that I wished to address. The first is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day that will take place on Jan 27, 2018 and the second is the holiday of Tu BiShvat, the “New Year of Trees” that will take place on Jan 31, 2018. When you see the agenda options you’ll understand the fit.

Trip Itinerary Options:

Heritage Sites
  • Yad Mordechai’s Holocaust to Revival Museum

  • Monument Hill

  • The statue of Mordechai Anielewicz

  • The Original Water Tower

  • The armored vehicle in memory of Gershon Dubenboum (Debambam)

  • The Reconstructed Site of the 1948 Independence War Battlefield

Kibbutz Lifestyle (and Tu BiShvat) Sites

  • The Bee and Honey Center

  • A Tractor Tour

  • A Museum of Kibbutz Collectibles

Tailored Activities

  • Family Occasion Kibbutz Lifestyle Activities (e.g. for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs)

  • Corporate Consolidation Day Challenges

  • The "Darom Adom" Festival Activities

Trip Anchors:

Yad Mordechai’s Holocaust to Revival Museum

The museum at Yad Mordechai is unique in that it presents both the holocaust and the resurrection. The Kibbutz itself was named after Mordechai Anielewicz, the first commander of the Jewish Fighting Organization in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising who was killed just a few months prior to its establishment in the Negev.

The museum tells the story of the holocaust through the experience of the Polish Jews in Warsaw. It has a number of exhibits that traverse the pre-war period in Poland with its thriving Jewish communities throughout the holocaust ending with the settlement in Israel and heroic fighting that took place in the Kibbutz during the Independence War.

Key exhibits include: pictures of Warsaw’s grand culture in the 1920s, an exhibit related to the zionist youth movement activities, a one of a kind complete model of the Warsaw Ghetto, a simulation of the bunker at 18 Mila St., a model train car used during the war and a model of the kibbutz in 1948. All are accompanied by films and explanatory plaques and are described in further detail in guided tours.

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In light of the upcoming International Holocaust Remembrance Day the current exhibit in the changing exhibitions section, has been dedicated to “Righteous of the Nations” Polish resistance movement fighter Jan Karski. This major exhibit serves as a tribute to the efforts of the heroic gentiles who risked their lives in order to save jews during the holocaust.

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The museum is currently undergoing digitalization and audio-guides will be available in the near future. In the meantime, the visit can either be self-guided or a tour can be reserved in advance.

Phone: 08-6720559 or 052-3923104

Open: The museum is open on Sundays, Tuesday and Fridays.

Entrance Fees: 25 NIS for a self-guided tour. The price will change once the audio-guides are available.

The Reconstructed Site of the 1948 Independence War Battlefield

The original battlefield site in Kibbutz Yad Mordechai is something that you cannot miss. It really brings home the threat and danger that the Kibbutz was under in 1948 and conveys the great bravery of the kibbutz members that withstood the attack for 6 days with very little help from the outside. The critical battle at Yad Mordechai enabled the newly established Israeli Defense Force (IDF) to build its southern defense line just 25 km north of the kibbutz.

The battlefield is open daily and again can either be self-guided with audio-information points on site or be included as part of a tractor tour.

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A Tractor Tour

Even if you don’t visit the bee and honey center, you should take the tractor tour to see how people live in the kibbutz. The kibbutz’s honey and olive oil are well known brands within Israel, but they have additional industries. A tour will take you through the cowsheds, the chicken houses, the orchards where they grow citrus for export and will show you both the original homes and the newer extension for the younger generation as well as the battlefield site.

An unexpected bonus for my tractor tour was the tour guide, Ilan Meiri, born and bred on the Kibbutz who was one of the young children that were evacuated on the eve of the war. His memoirs will be coming out soon and I hope to add a link to his book as soon as it is available.

Additional Options

A Museum of Kibbutz Collectibles
The items collected over the years from the very early days of the kibbutz till today demonstrate the communal ideology and agricultural way of life, the frugal beginning and self-reliance of the kibbutz on its own produce.

Monument Hill

A hillside overlooking the Kibbutz was dedicated to three monuments.

The bronze statue of Mordechai Anielewicz made by famous sculptor Nathan Rapoport and the original water tower of the Kibbutz that withstood all the bombardments during the independence war serve together as a combined monument related to the holocaust and resurrection. The hillside monuments can be visited daily and an audio-information point is available.

The armored vehicle at the bottom of the hill in memory of Gershon Dubenboum (Debambam) is related to the heroic effort to save the Kibbutz’s children on the eve of the battle.

The Bee and Honey Center

The bee activity visitors center is especially suitable for families with younger children. It includes acquaintanceship with a beekeeper in full dress, who will open a beehive and give you a taste of honey directly from the honeycomb. Children will enjoy playacting and craft making. Adults will enjoy the discourse that accompanies the activities.

Family Occasion Kibbutz Lifestyle Activities (e.g. for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs)

The kibbutz offers family occasion events that can be tailored to your needs. For example, in the case of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah the child can spend a day working on the kibbutz at the apiary.

Corporate Consolidation Day Challenges

This is more for internal tourism, but that’s important too so I’ll just mention that the kibbutz has developed an application full of challenges, that enables teams of 2-10 to undergo an inspirational experience, which will both teach them something about themselves and something about the kibbutz. The challenges in the application are tailored for each organization.

The duration of the activities can range between 1.5-4 hours. The cost depends on the amount of activities included.

The "Darom Adom" Festival Activities

During the festival, the kibbutz is planning 3-hour visitor tours suitable from age 3 and above. The tours will include a visit to the Bee and Honey Center, the Museum of Kibbutz Collectibles and a Tractor Tour that includes the Reconstructed Site of the 1948 Independence War Battlefield. In addition, due to the festival, the kibbutz is arranging for shuttles to take the visitors to the adjacent anemone fields, which are just starting to bloom.

Phone: 08-6720559 or 052-3923104

Open: Every Friday and Saturday between 10:00-16:00 throughout the month of February

Entrance Fees: 55 NIS per child, 50 NIS per adult.

For additional options, go to my previous post “Darom Adom Festival Preview – What it is and Where to go”.

The Kibbutz has special activities nearly every holiday and is gearing up for Independence Day. Don’t forget to look them up when planning your visit.

Food

Group tours can include a kosher meal in the Kibbutz’s dining room or outside catering.

Accomodation

The Kibbutz does not offer B&B accommodation at the moment.

My timeline

Covering all the optional activities can take a full day. If you want to visit only part of them and combine with nearby locations, you can refer to my previous posts on the "Darom Adom Festival" or to my post on Ashdod.

This is what it looks like on the map:

I told you there was plenty to do. Where do you think you’ll visit?

Best,

Talma

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#history #Monument #Holocaust #Kibbutz #Apiary #Tour #Museums

Disclaimer: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links, I will receive a small percentage of the profits at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Israel-Best-Trips.com

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