Birya was erected on Jewish National Fund (JNF) lands in 1945 by the religious department of the Palmach, members of Bnei-Akiva who were working for the JNF and dealt with land preparation and planting forests; however, in February 1946 the British discovered weapons hidden by a Palmach unit, arrested the 24 members and took over the fortress. The Jewish community in the Land of Israel and abroad raged. Several weeks later, on a cold and rainy night, 3000 people carrying heavy loads went up and established Birya B – a new Hebrew point next to the fortress. The surprised British attacked the new settlement, destroyed its buildings and tried to imprison the remaining defenders. Hundreds of locals climbed up again and started building Birya for the third time. Eventually, following local and international rage, the British Army allowed the settlers to remain.
What’s at the site: a fascinating visitor center documenting the site’s history and settlement struggle prior to the establishment of the State of Israel. The display includes exhibits of the age, photos and a short film and an observation tower overlooking a vast area; a multimedia system for producing a newspaper in the spirit of that time; there are many tour tracks to graves of the righteous and antiques.
For the general public: guided tours of the site by advance booking and payment, including tour tracks in the vicinity; various experiential activities on Jewish heritage, JNF forests and more.
For children: educational and experiential activations, “Pioneer in Galilee” and team building, camping and night time activities.