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zichron yaakov fountain

Zichron Ya’akov is a small town on the western slopes of the Carmel, halfway Between Caesarea and Haifa. Founded in 1882, it is a precursor of the Zionist movement and the establishment of the state of Israel.

Short history of Zichron Ya’akov

‘Zichron Ya’akov’ (In Hebrew: ‘In Memory of Jacob’) is one of the first Jewish agricultural farms in the Holy Land.  Founded by Baron James (=Ya’akov) de Rothschild, Zichron Ya’akov was named in his honor and developed significantly thanks to his financial support. Rothschild also established a wine company in Zichron, which is still operated (Carmel Mizrahi). In the early 20th century, a Jewish espionage organization called NILI operated from Zichron Ya’akov to support the British.

Touring Zichron Ya’akov

zichron yaakov promenadeAs the Israelis call it, Zichron is known today as a small but welcoming town. Visitors are welcome to stroll along ‘Founders Street,’ where stone-built houses with pre-modern agricultural utensils are still stored in the backyard. Zichron is also great for wine tasting at several local wineries. Its old synagogue is an impressive sample of early Zionist architecture. The Aharonson Family House is also a popular attraction, presenting the family and their leading role in the NILI organization. The old cemetery is also worth a visit, delivering the terrible death toll among the early pioneers due to malaria, especially among infants. The most famous tomb, however, is of Sarah Aharonson, a member of the NILI organization. When the Turks captured her, she shot herself, favoring a more honorable death than being hanged in Damascus.

A tour of Zichron Ya’akov can be combined with a day tour in the north.

Setting a Bar-Mitzvah in Zichron Ya’akov

Zichron Ya’akov is a great and unique location to set a Bar-Mitzvah event. Its old stone-built synagogue is a great setting to read the from the Torah, connecting the event to the earliest stages of the Zionist movement. The ceremony can be followed by an event in one of the local restaurants or hotels.

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