At the heart of Gush Dan (Tel-Aviv metropolis), at the outskirts of Holon, lies a pastoral “French” village from the late 19th century. This is Mikveh Israel, which brings the story of the first agricultural school in the Land of Israel, which holds credit for many important chapters in all fields of Zionist activity: agriculture, education, defence and absorption of new immigrants.
The school was founded in 1870 by Karl Netter, the secretary of the “Kol Israel Haverim” (Alliance) movement in Paris, in order to serve as an educational facility for teaching the new sons of Israel how to work the land and be the base for the establishment of farming settlements across the land. The site has a visitors’ center.
What’s at the site: the reconstructed 19th century school buildings. New sculptures near the Jerusalem Gate, telling the story of the meeting between Herzl and the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, a famous palm avenue, banyan next to the architecturally unique synagogue, darkish stone carved wine cellars, a reconstructed mechanical workshop, in which the famous “Davidka”, the first Israeli mortar, was invented in 1948, a rich botanical garden with collection of trees and bushes which are rare in the Land of Israel and the film “Up the palm avenue”.
For the general public: guided pre-coordinated tours for groups; on holidays – tours for single visitors and families. The tour provides an introduction to the stories of the special houses, the interesting architectural style as well as the stories of the people of Mikveh Israel over generations up to these days.
For children: experiential and educational guidance for groups, tailored for various ages, from kindergarten children to youth; on holidays – a happening for families, with activations and creative workshops, including a tractor ride around the village.