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
Tel. (08) 991-8597, (08)
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
Address: Beit Eshel-Dimona
Tel. (08) 623-3694,
050-635-3263 (Gidon Sapir)
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
Address: Kibbutz Gvulot Tel. (08) 998-7775
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)
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 -
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
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,
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)
Yoav Fortress - Givati Brigade
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