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Joe Allon Center in the Lahav Forest -
Museum of Beduin Culture

This museum presents an extensive exhibit dealing with Beduin culture, focusing on such subjects as the Beduin in the Negev; the herd and its products; traditional agriculture; migration; the camel; the fisherman and hunter; everyday items from Sinai; the heights of Sinai; a sheikh’s tomb; traditions and customs, and Beduin art. Audiovisual presentations are shown at the museum and visitors are hosted in an authentic Beduin tent, with coffee and tea and the recounting of legends.
The center holds guided tours in the area, and activities such as field cooking, the baking of pitta bread, a visit to a modern Beduin settlement, and crafts workshops. It also highlights a network of hiding places from the time of the Bar Kochba revolt, some of which have been discovered in the area. Multimedia systems and interactive programs deal with local settlement.

Address: Lahav Forest, beside Kibbutz Lahav
Tel. (08) 991-8597, (08) 991-3322

Mitzpe Beit Eshel
Beit Eshel is a remnant of an abandoned settlement beside Beersheba, one of three settlements established in the Negev in 1943 (the others are Revivim and Gvulot). In Israel’s War of Independence, the settlement was besieged by Egyptian forces and heavily shelled. The defenders held on, but the settlement was destroyed. When Beersheba was captured by the Israel Defense Forces, the site was abandoned and its inhabitants created Moshav Hayogev, in the Jezreel Valley.In 1960, a small group of residents of Beersheba began to look after the site on a volunteer basis; they were high school students, soldiers, and pensioners, who worked very hard to refurbish it. A society was created for the preservation of the site, and it fosters the instilling of high school students and others with Zionism, love of the Land of Israel, and the value of manual labor, encouraging them to rehabilitate the site and plant vegetation around it.
Visitors can get a glimpse of the way life was at the site, where remains of buildings and trenches can still be found.

Address: Beit Eshel-Dimona Junction
Tel. (08) 623-3694, 050-635-3263 (Gidon Sapir)

Mitzpe Gvulot
Mitzpe Gvulot, founded in 1943, was the first Jewish settlement to be established in the Negev in modern times. Many activities and exhibits are offered at the site, showing the way of life in the period of settlement in the area in pre-State times.Among the things to see are the room in which residents hosted local Beduin; a reconstruction of a segment of the trenches from Israel’s War of Independence; the JNF Room, which served as the living quarters of JNF officials involved in purchasing lands in the Negev; the doctor’s room; the kitchen and dining room; the bakery; the security building; the diamond processing plant; the weapons cache; and the public shower.
Visitors can try their hand at creating mud bricks like the ones that were used in the construction of Mitzpe Gvulot.

Address: Kibbutz Gvulot Tel. (08) 998-7775

Mitzpe Revivim
This museum is situated in a community that was established in the pre-State period and played an important part in Israel’s War of Independence.
Visitors can view the trenches, positions, and bunkers. In the fortress of the settlement is an exhibit of items that illustrate life in those days. Also to be seen are the communication and residential rooms, the shower, the dining room, the culture room, the weapons room, and old agricultural tools and tractors. In addition, there is an exhibit on irrigation in the Negev. Mitzpe Revivim offers two tours, one taking two hours and the other four.

Address: Kibbutz Revivim Tel. (08) 656-2570, (08) 656-2638

Negba - The Open Museum
A bronze monument sculpted by Natan Rapaport depicts three Negev defenders. Beside it is the Open Museum, featuring the water tower that was a major lookout point in Israel’s War of Independence and was blown up by Egyptian planes. There are also an Egyptian tank, the first tractor on Kibbutz Negba, and Negba’s original tower and stockade site (the structures were put up overnight to create settlements before the British could stop them).

Address: Kibbutz Negba Tel. 050-556-0554 (Meir Mindel)

Nir Am -
Museum of Water and Security in the Negev

This museum is located in an old concrete pool containing two pipe links with the National Water Carrier. Beneath the pipes is a glass floor and under it is an illuminated fountain. On the walls of the pool hang photographs from early days of settlement in the Negev.
The Negev’s security in Israel’s War of Independence is depicted with the aid of an audiovisual presentation, which also deals with the problem of water and with settlement of the Negev in the pre-State period.

Address: Kibbutz Nir Am Tel. (050) 754-9930

Nitzanim - Yad L’Isha Halochemet
The battle of Nitzanim, whose fallen included three female fighters, inspired the creation of Yad L’Isha Halochemet, a monument dedicated to the women who lost their lives in the battle and to female fighters in all of Israel’s wars.
The monument is part of the Old Nitzanim site, which features an audiovisual presentation on Nitzanim’s heroism in Israel’s War of Independence and on the female fighters. Visitors can also see “The Palace” – an old Arab orchard house in which the defenders of Nitzanim bastioned themselves, reconstructed positions from 1948, and other monuments to fighters.The site offers a variety of guided tours in the adjacent Dune Park.

Address: Old Nitzanim
Tel. (08) 672-8755, (08) 672-7895, (08) 672-2065

Sa’ad - Outpost Facing Gaza
This museum is located in the only building that survived after Kibbutz Sa’ad came under heavy attack in Israel’s War of Independence. The site is devoted to a depiction of the history of the three religious kibbutzim in the area. On the ground floor of the museum is an exhibit of photographs from Sa’ad’s experience in the War of Independence and telegrams describing events in the time of the war. The exhibit shows the suffering of the fighters who had to spend day and night in the trenches. On the second floor, an audiovisual presentation is screened; it deals with the atmosphere in the Land of Israel in the time of the war and other topics. The building’s roof affords a nice view of the entire Gaza Strip.

Address: Kibbutz Sa’ad Tel. (08) 680-0267, 052-393-4516

Sde Boker - Ben-Gurion’s Hut

The hut that was the desert home of David Ben-Gurion, first prime minister of Israel, and his wife Paula has remained as Ben-Gurion left it when he died (1973), as he requested in his will. The area around the hut is well tended. In addition, approach paths have been paved, and plazas for presenting explanations have been built. Sayings from David Ben-Gurion’s philosophy and pictures illustrating early life on Kibbutz Sde Boker have been incorporated in the area.In the heart of the hut is Ben-Gurion’s workroom, containing part of his library. In this room, he wrote his many books and articles. In the next hut, which was used by his bodyguards, is an exhibit showing David Ben-Gurion’s special attachment to the Negev.

Address: Kibbutz Sde Boker Tel. (08) 656-0469

Yad Mordechai Museum
This museum is devoted to the Holocaust, to the partisan battles in World War II, and to the fighting in the area of Yad Mordechai during Israel’s War of Independence. The section depicting the Holocaust chronicles the rise of the Nazis to power, the life of the Jews in the ghettos, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, and the path to the crematoria of Auschwitz.The museum depicts the resistance of companies of Jewish partisans in Nazi-occupied territory, the clandestine immigration to the Land of Israel, the establishment of 11 settlement points in the Negev (1946), the battles against the Egyptian invaders, and mainly the bitter fighting for Kibbutz Yad Mordechai.
Beside the museum is a monument to Mordechai Anilewicz, leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and the person for whom the kibbutz is named. The scene of the battle for Yad Mordechai is re-created in the spot where it transpired.

Address: Kibbutz Yad Mordechai Tel. (08) 672-0529, (08) 672-0559 

Yoav Fortress - Givati Brigade House
This site played an important role in Israel’s War of Independence. The museum focuses on the deeds of the brigade in 1948 and also on the new Givati Brigade. It offers a selection of videotapes, and the memorial room has a wall with the names of the fallen of the brigade and a computerized system that provides information about them.In addition, there is a room with Israeli and Egyptian weapons; exhibits of Israeli and Egyptian military vehicles; a lookout tower; an amphitheater for various gatherings; a library, and an instructional center.
The museum offers guided tours to Givati sites in the area.

Address: Lachish  Tel. (08) 661-1315/6



Click on name for details
Joe Allon Center 
Mitzpe Beit Eshel
Mitzpe Gvulot
Mitzpe Revivim
Negba – The Open Museum
Nir Am – Museum of Water Nitzanim – Yad L’Isha Halochemet Sa’ad – Outpost Facing Gaza
Sde Boker – Ben-Gurion’s Hut  Yad Mordechai Museum
Yoav Fortress – Givati  House























































© ERETZ Magazine 2016