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Katz Gardens Kiryat Bialik

Agricultural History

Sabina and Ephraim Katz arrived in Israel from Rumania in 1924 and were the first Jewish family to settle in Zevulun Valley in Haifa Bay. The first shack they built on their farm is on the same site where the historic Beit Katz (the Hebrew term for Katz House) stands today. In the riots of 1929, Arab marauders robbed the villages close to the farm. In an attempt to sabotage the first Jewish settlement in the Zevulun Valley, they also burned the farm.

 

Fortunately, the shack was partly saved thanks to an Arab guard who raced to extinguish the fire. The blow was hard. A tremendous amount of property went up in flames. Ephraim Katz, the founder, took sick from his great distress. But with a show of determination and persistence, he rebuilt his house and the Sabinia farm. The Katz bequeathed their house to the residents of Kiryat Bialik, and in 1959 the local council (now the city hall) designated it for public use.

 

Gaining a better understanding of the fifth wave of immigration to Israel

Part of Ephraim and Sabina Katz's house was preserved by its new owners, the Cooperative Association, together with the Society for the Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites (SPIHS) a JNF partner agency. The house features an activity and enrichment center to document the lives and work of the town founders. Emphasis will be placed on the fifth wave of immigration to Israel (between 1929 and 1939).

 

A well-designed room about the founding families is dedicated to documenting their homes through an interactive, high-tech exhibit that shows household and agricultural equipment. The founding families contributed photographs, certificates, documents and other exhibits, and coordinators assist in completing 'Family pages' connected to the families' history.

 

Younger students will have fun learning about Kiryat Bialik as they creatively 'follow' the map, find a treasure, build a city or village and solve social dilemmas, all activities revolving around the personal stories of immigrants who came to Israel between 1929 and 1939.

 

The vision

Built by the founding fathers of Kiryat Bialik, Beit Katz is a unique stone house with a large courtyard. The house will be used as an educational center for the children of Kiryat Bialik and surrounding towns, mainly for studying the heritage and preservation of the urban environment. The courtyard will afford a center for interactive activity for teaching subjects connected to the historical heritage of this town.

 

http://www.shimur.org/

 

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