Katzrin Talmudic Village
History and Archaeology of Katzrin
The Golan Heights were first surveyed by the German-Templar archaeologist and cartographer Gottlieb Schumacher. But only after the Six Day War, more detailed surveys and excavations provided proper data of the region’s past. Among others, excavations were also carried out at Katzrin, an archaeological site about 25 miles north east of Tiberias. The excavations proved that the site was inhabited as early as the Middle Bronze age, some 4,000 year ago, but its main occupation level was in the Byzantine period. Between the 4th and the 6th centuries a Jewish village developed here, one of 30 that were thriving in the Golan Heights in that period. Its Jewish character is inferred from the discovery of a big synagogue, uncovered in the center of the village. Following its excavations, a remarkable restoration project turned it to a Talmud themed park, where visitors can experience the daily-life realia as reflected in the Rabbinical literature.
Touring Katzrin Talmudic Park
The site is open Sunday to Friday and charges an admission fee. During the Jewish Holidays and summer vacations the site gets quite popular, mostly by religious Jewish youth groups. It offers guided tours, various seasonal workshops, and re-enactments by dressing in the period’s costumes.
Bar-Mitzvah in Katzrin’s Talmudic Park
Katzrin’s ancient synagogue can also be a great and special location for a Bar/Bat-Mizvah ceremony. Reading from the Torah, inside a genuine 1,500 year old synagogue, is a truly special spiritual moment, connecting the event so strongly to ancient Judaism in the Holy Land.
The event can also be combined with a visit to a Shofar workshop nearby (“Kol Shofar“) where the child can make his own Shofar from a Ram’s horn.