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  • Talma Gotteiner

Sderot, Netivot and Ashkelon: Southern Hospitality (Part 2)

Updated: Mar 19, 2021

Hi there!

The first part of my two-day trip to the south of Israel was in Sderot and you can read about it in my previous post.

Trip Itinerary

Sderot (Part 1)

  • Café Guté – a social café

  • ‘Rokmot’ - The local Ethiopian embroidery club

  • Sderot Adama Movement and Dance Center

  • Pasta and That’s It (in Hebrew ‘Pasta Vezehu’)

  • Caterpillar Park and the 'Tarbush' Cooperative

Netivot (Part 2)

  • Tales of Rabbis in a Spirituality Walking Tour

Ashkelon (Part 2)

  • The Life & Legacy of Ilana Shafir

  • Sea Park Ashkelon - A Marina-Park Combo

  • 'Niso the Fisherman' Restaurant

  • Karmazina's Beer Workshop, Talmei Yaffe

  • Harlington Hotel - Accomodation

Trip Details


Tales of Rabbis in a Spirituality Walking Tour

The tour of Netivot doesn't have to take place at night, but it does add a bit of flavor. Netivot was founded in 1956 by immigrants from north African countries such as Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. Each community had its own local traditions and rabbis about whom tales were told on their devoutness and brilliance.

The walking tour took us to some of the homes and tombs sharing with us stories about the prominent community figures behind them. People from all over Israel come to the tombs to pray and give charity to this day.

We also stopped at a local monument commemorating 22 immigrant children from Tunisia who lost their lives in a plane crash in Norway on Nov 20th, 1949 on their way to the Promised Land.

Contact: 053-9349844

Sderot, Netivot and Ashkelon: Southern Hospitality (Part 2)
Left: Yoram Touitou our guide


The Life and Legacy of Ilana Shafir

Sometimes you come across a genius. I had never heard of Ilana Shafir before, but was greatly impressed by her story and accomplishments. Ilana Shafir was an artist who passed away in 2014. She was a Yugoslavian born holocaust survivor who began painting at a very early age. Over the years, she evolved into sculptures and mosaic works, the latter on which has a genre named after her technique known as "Spontaneous Mosaics". She was recognized internationally and won several awards not the least of which was the title "Dearest of Ashkelon" her hometown in Israel.

Her original home and garden are full of her works and are up kept by her son Giora Shafir, the architect who designed Ashkelon's Cultural Center and other family members, who are willing to meet with groups of visitors to introduce them to her works and tell her story. The visit to her home also includes screening of a beautiful documentary film.

Contact: 2 Kaapstadt St., groups only, 052-5724440

Sderot, Netivot and Ashkelon: Southern Hospitality (Part 2)
Clockwise from Left: Giora Shafir, her son, a sample mosaic and a sculpture in her garden.

Sea Park Ashkelon - A Marina-Park Combo

This site is especially suitable for families. Sea Park, as its name suggests is a green park running along the coastline adjacent to the marina in Ashkelon. Beside picnic areas and playgrounds, the park has a few extreme attractions such as a 13m high climbing wall, a rope park with a zipline and bungee jump installation, a skateboard park and several cycling trails.

The marina has a nice boardwalk with several small shops, cafes and restaurants and even a central mall. There is a kayaking school on one side and Katamaran tours on the other. We boarded a Katamaran that seats up to 52 people and works every weekend and on holidays, offering 30 min tours for 35 NIS per person. You can rent it for longer for private occasions and even tailor the event since they have BBQs on board and can personlize the occasion. Ask Itzik.

Sderot, Netivot and Ashkelon: Southern Hospitality (Part 2)
Above at the Marina and below at the park

'Niso the Fisherman' Restaurant

Niso is actually a fisherman turned restauranteur with the help of his family. The beautiful restaurant is kosher and serves fresh fish daily with seating both inside and out. It also has two VIP rooms on the second floor overlooking the sea for private occasions. We enjoyed a meal of fresh salads and fish (mullets or tilapia) either grilled or baked or grilled meats. I had a gluten-free dish of grilled pullets.

Sderot, Netivot and Ashkelon: Southern Hospitality (Part 2)
Bottom right: Niso with his lovely fish

Karamazina's Beer Workshop, Talmei Yaffe

Talmei Yaffe is a settlement near Ashkelon that is home to a wonderful lady who brought our trip to its conclusion in good cheer. Hadas Karamazin has developed a passion for home-brewed beer and has decided to share her expertise with other beer lovers by opening a school in her lovely home. She has a variety of workshops and courses that you can register for. She even has a workshop on wheels that you can invite to a location of your choice. She also sells all the equipment that you need as well as... beer! She has 7 types of her self-made boutique varieties that you can taste during the workshop and purchase afterwards.

During the workshop I learnt how beer is made and what impacts its taste, but mainly where dreams can take you when you fulfill them.

Contact: 26 HaOren St., Talmei Yaffe, 052-2656118

Sderot, Netivot and Ashkelon: Southern Hospitality (Part 2)
Above: Hadas Karmazin


See above. This post is all inclusive.


Harlington hotel is located on the coastline of Ashkelon slightly north of the marina. It has 217 bedrooms of various sorts and serves both business executives and families depending on the season. All the rooms have recently been renovated and are very spacious and comfortable. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and indoor spa as well as two activity rooms for children, one for toddlers-preteens and one for adolescents. I enjoyed an early walk along the boardwalk in the morning. Shira Michaelovitch, CEO extends her welcome to you.

Sderot, Netivot and Ashkelon: Southern Hospitality (Part 2)
Above: Shira Michaelovitch, CEO Harlington Hotel Ashkelon

My Timeline

The tour in Sderot took till around 16:00. We then drove to the hotel and took a night tour to Netivot. After returning to the hotel, our second day was spent in Ashkelon.

I didn't place Netivot on the map, because it was impossible to enhance the map to differentiate between all the Ashkelon locations.

This is what it looks like on the map:

Sderot, Netivot and Ashkelon: Southern Hospitality Part 2 Trip Map

Personally, I prefer walking along the beaches in winter so this is the perfect season for a visit.



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