Zichron Yaakov sure knows how to satisfy all the wishes of a tourist,both local and foreign. This historical settlement was a keystone of modern Jewish history and the home of the Nili spy underground (for the British against the Ottoman Turks), but still has plenty of room for a smashing “Wine Road” Pedestrian Street full of artists, coffeeshops, boutiques & restaurants. Pick your choice. I loved them all and return all the time. Don’t forget Rothschild’s Mausoleum and the Carmel-Mizrahi Winery (04-6391788) and the Tishbi Winery (04-6380434).
The first settlers from Romania purchased land in 1882 in a village, called Zamarin (or Samarin) in Arabic, populated by Arab tenant farmers. The settlers believed that this name came from “Shomron”. The official spelling is Zichron Ya’
This is the formal entrance to the First Aliya village of Zichron Yaakov. The gate is named after a mayor of Zichron, Yishai Shibovsky.
Monument For Baron Rothschild
In 1883, Baron Benjamin Edmond James de Rothschild saved the starving settlers became the patron of the settlement under the very strict administration of the infamous Eliyahu Sheid, the Baron’s clerk. The Baron renamed the village in memory of his father, James (Ya’akov) Mayer de Rothschild.
Zichron Yaakov Cemetery
The graves of many of the pioneers of the first Aliyah (1882) and their children are to be found in the cemetery. Sarah Aaronson of Nili, Nita Langa, David Remez were buried here.
Across the street from the Cemetery, aגjoining the Gidonim Tourism Information Centre and adjacent to the Rothschild Monument is the Founder’s Memorial (Yad Lameyasdim Museum) where you can read their names on the ceramic wall. The small auditorium there is a display of rare photographs. Contact Gidonim to visit the Museum.
As you walk along the cobble stone roads and pedestrian mall you can read about the history of each home.
The Beit Aharonson Nili Museum is part of the Aharonson home. View a multi-media film about Nili underground (available in English, French, Spanish and Russian), concealed weapons, escape tunnel, archives and library. The archives and library by appointment only.
The pool is modestly named after the Baron. Wells were dug and the water was pumped up to this reservoir to create a drinking fountain (sebil) and to provide running water for the settlers.
The First Synagogue
Ohel Yaakov, the first synagogue in Zichron Yaakov, was built by the Baron and named after his father, Yaakov. The original seating plan was not accepted by the settlers, who were Orthodox, and was another cause for tension between the Baron and the residents.
First Aliyah Museum
This building was Beit Hapikidut, the office of Eliyahu Sheid all the Baron’s officials. It now houses a modern museum of the history of the first settlers in Zichron Yaakov. The movies and multi-media exhibits are available in Hebrew and in English.
Lange Estate and Beit Daniel
The largest Jewish estate in Israel when it was built in 1912. Michael Lange was a very influential wealthy British Jew; his wife came from the wealthy Anglo-Jewish Bentwitch family. They fell in love with Zichron Yaakov and bought 80 or 90 dunam of land overlooking the ocean and built the house, living like English lords. Both died at a young age leaving no children so the estate was inherited by her sister Lilian Freidlander. Her son, Daniel, a talented musician, committed suicide. Beit Daniel is named in his memory. The estate is presently used by the Open University.
Bethel Society Homes
The Bethel Society is a community of Christian Zionists of mainly German nationality was founded by sisters Emma Berger and Elsa Berger in 1963. They live as a commune or kibbutz. There are approximately 800 adult members and children living in Zichron Yaakov. Bethel owns seven factories and is the second largest employer in Zichron Yaakov.
Bethel Society Homes
Opposite Beit Hapikidut, now the First Aliyah Museum, you can rest in the shade of Gan Tiyul (Walk Garden). It is not clear whether the Baron made the park for the settlers or for the French officials who worked across the street. The new city hall was built in Gan Tiyul, leaving a much smaller park.
The Maish Cave, which gets its name from a tree which grows through a “chimney” in the cave roof. This cave gets its name from a Celtis australis tree which grows through a “chimney” in the cave roof. Maish is mentioned in the Talmud (Masechet Tamid page 29b).
In the eastern corner of Zichron Yaakov is where the first settlers lived. Zamarin Hill (Givat Zamarin), flutes in Arabic, is where it all began. It has a lovely pastoral panoramic view. There you can take a winery tour, visit a brewery and eat out at one of the fine restaurants.