The Northern District is one of the largest in Israel according to the demarcation of The Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel. It includes the Northern Region, apart from Acco (Acre) and the Western Galilee, and stretches across the Golan and the Upper Galilee in the north, to Megiddo and Beit She’an in the south. As to be expected from its size, the district includes a particularly rich range of sites and heritage-associated landscape: ancient towns like Tzfat (Safed), Tiveria (Tiberias) and Beit She’an, First Aliyah settlements, the birthplace of the kibbutz and the moshav and historic training farms, Ottoman and British buildings, historic transportation sites (the Emek Railway) and construction dating from the period of the founding of the State. Heritage sites in Nazereth and the northern Arab villages, supervised by my colleague, Amir Mezarib, director of the Minorities District, further enrich the picture.
These sites and the cultural landscape, combined with the North’s natural landscape, endow the Galilee, the Golan and the Valleys with a unique character. The future of the district depends to a large extent on the ability to preserve its character and its variety of cultural sites, even in times of development, integration of new inhabitants and “drawing closer to the centre of the country”. Conservation alongside development adds cultural, social and economic quality to the lives of northern residents.
The Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel is the professional organization for the building conservation of historic compounds and sites. Its work encompasses several areas: support and monitoring of the district’s authorities and planning and construction committees, initiation of conservation projects, leading public protest against developers and plans harmful to heritage sites, gathering geographical, architectural and historical information about different sites and making the principles of conservation widely known to decision makers, planners and the public discourse.
The cornerstone of our work is those people who care about conservation, who are passionate about the subject, who are involved, lend assistance, alert us to possible problems and contribute their time and abilities. Many are active on The Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel public conservation committees.
Yossi Moreno – volunteer, chairman of the northern Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel conservation committee
Uri Ben Tzioni – director, The Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel Northern District