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The Historic Complex of Mazkeret Batya

Early Settlements

Mazkeret Batya was founded in 1883 by 11 farming families from White Russia. It was an idea conceived of by Rabbi Shmuel Mohaliver and proposed to Baron de Rothschild, who later purchased the agricultural land.


The moshava residents enjoyed an extremely simple lifestyle and preserved the rural character of the area. Mazkeret Batya fulfilled important defensive roles at various historic periods, from World War I through the War of Independence. A Jewish police station to protect the local roads was located there during the British Mandate. Throughout the War of Independence, the settlement served as a jumping-off station for the convoys departing for besieged Jerusalem, and maintained a field hospital for those wounded in the Latrun battles.


The founding families, under the auspices of the Local Council and in cooperation with SPIHS, managed to preserve the settlement’s historic core. Many buildings, notably Beit Ha’Itut (signaling in Hebrew), the Great Synagogue, the Smithy, the Farmers’ Way Station known as Beit Meshek Ha’Baron (now used as a day center for the elderly and as a community center for exhibitions), the Water-Wheel and the Well, the Water Storage Pool and the Historic Farmyard, have survived to this day.


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