Grushkevitz House – a historical museum and archive of the history of Kiryat Motzkin in the spirit of the time
The decision on the founding of Kiryat Motzkin was taken in 1933, and this is the only settlement in the country established by the “Middle Class Organization of Haifa”. The members of the organization were identified with the “General Zionists” party and most of them owned small businesses in Haifa. The goal of the organization was to enable its members a comfortable life in ground attached houses, at a reasonable distance and with good access to their businesses in the big city. The name of the new town commemorates the Zionist leader Aryeh Leib (Leo) Motzkin, who had passed away earlier the same year. The laying of the cornerstone ceremony took place on Tuesday (on which the phrase “And God saw that it was good” is said twice)’the first of the month of Heshvan 5675 (9th October 1934). The first building was inaugurated in May 1935 – the water tower. The construction of the first of the 440 planned units was commenced immediately afterwards. The museum and the historic archive are located at the house of the first elected head of the local council (1945-1958), Arie Leib Grushkevitz (1897-1960). The family had lost its only son Aaron during the Second World War. Their house was contributed to serve as the municipal borrowing library. In 2004, the city’s 70th anniversary, it was decided to renovate and preserve the building and to house the historic museum and archive of the city’s history in it. The museum was inaugurated in 2006 and has since been a municipal institution for education and heritage.
What’s at the site: the archives contains, among others, protocols and original documents from 1935, over 10,000 photos of the life of the city, aerial photos from various times, a model of the city and barracks quarter in the 1940’s, personal records and founder stories, publications, newspaper articles and more.
The museum part has hundreds of objects representing the time in a variety of fascinating thematic exhibitions; an audio and video hall, presentations of the early days and more.
For the general public: optional thematic field tours: “following the founders”, “combat heritage”, “synagogues” and more.
Guided tours of the museum and a variety of tailored activities for different target audiences, starting from kindergarten children and school pupils to pensioners.
For children: active guidance, assignment sheets and activities (for groups and/or school classes by advance booking).