Rte 40 North: Or Yehuda, Rehovot, Negev

Ethiopian embroidery The areas on and around Rte 40 are rich in
hidden treasures. Starting in Or Yehuda, on Rte 412, visit the
[1] The Babylonian Jewry Heritage
, [2] Almaz Ethiopian Craft Center in Lod, the
8th Century town of [3] Ramle, city of science [4]
a Rothschild-sponsored village [5] Mazkeret Batya,
Barkan Winery, [7] Beit Herzl
(Herzl House in Hulda Forest),
[8] Outdoor Museum in Hulda Forest, [9] Lakiya Negev
Bedouin Weaving.


Remember to bring your mobile phone – comes in very handy when the gate is locked –
just call the number posted – and in you go! Cool

Rte 40 / Rte 412 Junction

[1] Tour starts at the town of Or Yehuda

Or Yehuda is a small working class town just off Rte 40, on
Rte 412. Hidden away, on a quiet street, find The
Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center
, a history-rich
museum of the Jews of Iraq, from ancient times to the 1940s, when many of the
members of this well-established, wealthy community were forced to emigrate to
pre-State Israel.

Rte 412

[1A] The Babylonian Jewry
Heritage Center

83 Ben-Porat Road, Or Yehuda

Sunday-Thursday: 8:30-15:30

Tuesday: 8:30-19:00

T: 03.533.9278/9

CoolRelated story:
Ancient Jewish Community of Iraq

Or Yehuda, Museum of Babylonian Jewry

Rte 40

[2] Town of Lod: Almaz Ethiopian Crafts

Note: There are 3 entrances into Lod – these directions are from Lod
(Center). Turn right at first traffic light. Continue straight and look for a
schoolyard on the right and the Almaz sign. Pull into the schoolyard to park.
Almaz is in the single story building in front of you.

Miki Shapiro conceived of a women's sewing center to employ Ethiopian
in 1993. Since then, the project has received governmental and
Jewish Agency supoort by way of custom sewing orders. In
addition, the women create table linens, accessories, Ethiopian women at work
Judaica, and even clothing incorporating unique Ethiopian embroidery. Embroidery
specialists are often Ethiopian men who supply squares of colorful embroidery
that are then appliqued onto fabrics.

Coordinate your visit in advance to get a tour and explanation of the
project. KissStop Shop Alert: Unique embroidered items for sale, as
well as Ethiopian ceramic items.

Ethiopian crafts

  • Open daily from 8:00 – 15:00
  • Where: Haim Moshe Shapiro St., Lod
  • T: 08.921.0194

[3] Town of Ramle

The town of Ramle , south of Lod, on Rte 40, was
founded by Arab Muslims in the year 716 CE. Located on main trade routes, the
city attracted Jews, Muslims, and Samaritans during the Middle Ages. Remnants of
this prosperous period remain, including old city walls, towers and a most
unusual underground water system are still visible.

Sites to see:

  • White Mosque: Rehov Mass
  • Great Mosque: Rehov Shlomo HaMelech
  • Underground boating in ancient cisterns:

CoolUnderground rowboating is recommended during the hot days of

  • Opening hours: Sun- Thurs: 8:00-14:00
  • Until 12 noon on Fridays and holiday eves
  • Until 15:30 on Saturday and holidays
  • T: 08.977.1484

Related story:
Explore the cisterns by rowboat.

CoolRecommended Eat Stop: Indian Vegetarian
Related story: Eating Indian in Israel

Ramle is home to the Karaite sect. Visits to the Karaite
Center and synagogue are welcome
but must be pre-arranged.

  • T: 08-9248435
  • Address: 7 Klausner St., Ramle

Related story: Karaites

Rehovot, Weizmann Institute of Science

Rte 40 / Rte 412 Junction

[4] Rehovot: City of Science and Pioneers

Rte 412

[4A] The Weizmann Institute of Science

Weizmann Institute welcomes visitors by pre-arrangement.

Levinson Visitor Center of The Weizmann Institute of Science
offers self-guided walking tours of the Institute. Visits should be reserved in

  • Hours: Daily 9:00-16:00. Closed Friday, Saturday.
  • T: 08.934.4500; 08.934.4499
  • Dairy cafe on premises. Kosher.

Sites to see on campus:

to The Weizmann Institute of Science

[4B] Ayalon Bullet Factory Museum

Located in Rehovot's hi-tech science park adjacent to The Weizmann Institute
of Science, the Ayalon Bullet Factory was an underground
bullet factory in a kibbutz bakery! See a video,tour the site. Reservations

  • T: 08-940-6552

CoolRecommended French Restaurant in Rehovot:

Five-star French restaurant, Margaux, is housed in an
architectural gem from the 1920s. Excellent kosher meat/fish menu.

Kosher. Reservations suggested. Click here for a
discount coupon.

  • T: 08.946.7030
  • Corner of Eisenberg and Herzl St.

[4C] Minkov Citrus Orchard MuseumMinkov Pardes Museum, Rehovot, Israel

On the site of the first citrus orchard and packing plant in
Rehovot, the Minkov Orchard is a slice of history and a peak
into Rehovot's, and the country's, past. Best known by the now world famous
brand, Jaffa, oranges and other citrus were exported from then
Palestine in the early 1900s. High tech science parks in Rehovot used to be
citrus orchards less than 30 years ago. This small museum is a salute to
Israel's first ambassador to the world, the Jaffa orange and
the citrus industry it created.

  • T: 08.940.6552; 08.930.0585
  • Video. While only in Hebrew as of May 2006 (English version to come), the
    video consists of period film footage from the Spielberg Archives.
  • Guided tours in English by appointment only.

Rte 40 / Rte 411 Junction

[5] Mazkeret Batya

Rte 411

One of the settlements founded with funds provided by Baron Edmond de
Rothschild, Mazkeret Batya was established in 1882 by pioneers from Russia.
Learn the history of this cobblestoned village at the Mazkeret
Batya Historical Museum

  • T: 08.934.952
  • Daily 8:00-13:30
  • Monday: 8:00-13:30 and 16:00-18:00
  • Fri: 8:00-12:00Sat: 9:30-13:30

[6] Barkan Winery

Rte 411

A state-of-the-art visitor center is scheduled to open in Spring 2007.

Call 08.944.7777 to check for opening date.

[7] Herzl House in Hulda Forest

Herzl House in Hulda Forest Portrait of Theodor Herzl

Although never inhabited by Theodor Herzl, this charming
stone house from the 1920s is located in the forest next to Kibbutz Hulda.

[8] Outdoor Museum in Hulda Forest

Hulda Outdoor Museum Hulda Forest

A video presentation explains the development of the area in the face of Arab
rioting and plundering in the 1930s. Farming in the area was difficult as water
resources were scarce. Besides the video, an outdoor museum,
replete with lifesize figures tells the story of Kibbutz Hulda, Arab riots and
murders, the hardships endured by the farmers, and how the water supply problem
was solved.

The outdoor museum never closes. Follow the numbered signs along the path and
among the lifesize figures populating the forested area.

  • Sunday — Thurs: 9:00 – 16:30, with the last entry at !5:30.
  • Video languages: English, German, Hebrew.
  • T: 08.941.4083

CoolNext door to the museum, dine at Beit Herzl Restaurant,
kosher French restaurant, with indoor and outdoor
seating. Meat and fish menu.

Recommend Restaurant: Beit Herzl Restaurant

  • Open for dinner only, Sunday thru Thursday at 18:00 until 22:00.
  • Call for reservations.
  • T: 08.941.1211

Lakiya Beduoin Weaving

Rte 40 / Rte 31: Lehavim Junction

[9] Lakiya Negev Bedouin Weaving

Lakiya Negev Bedouin Weaving welcomes visitors to see
first-hand how their designer rugs are created – starting from wool collection,
dyeing, spinning, and weaving into first class designer products. The line is
now being sold in New York and in other foreign markets.

Kiss Shop Stop Alert: Buy a hand-woven designer wool rug or other item at
the source.

  • T: 08.651.9883
  • 8:00-1:30 Sunday-Thursday, except on Muslim Holidays (please call for more
    information). Visits outside opening hours by appointment only.

CoolRelated story: Desert Weavings