In the footprints of history…
Take a journey back in time with a unique experience from the heart of the old kibbutz way of life.
The journey begins with the establishment one of the earliest cut stone buildings in the Galilee – an architectural gem from the 1920’s.The first house on the first kibbutz in the Galilee tells the story of settlement in the north of Israel. The journey continues with the second incarnation of the house, which from the early 1950′ to this dayhouses the shoemaker’s workshop. The workshop was recently re-established by the Society for the Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites and is now part of the story of pioneers and settlers of the Galilee and the workers movement throughout the country.
How does a shoemaker shoe?
The shoemaker’s workshop is one of the earliest service branches established on the kibbutz. The four shoemakers that worked over many decades primarily produced homemade shoes.
The workshop is now operated by a shoemaker who is the son of the previous and last shoemaker. Visitors to the workshop can observe the traditional shoemaking techniques by which footwear is lovingly crafted, using the same machinery and tools which are nearly a century old.
The shoemaker’s apprentice experience
Come and partake in the magical transformation of a piece of leather into a practical work of art. The working and the feel of leather is rich with smells and textures that evoke memories of a simpler time, rustic and rural. The “shoemaker’s apprentices” visiting the workshop can enjoy the experience of working the leather and fixing shoes, using the unique and traditional tools on hand. Additionally available are art kits for the creation of leather bracelets and ornaments. The activity is appropriate for groups of up to 15 people.
Moshe (Mosh) Har’el
“I have fond memories of wandering through the workshop as a child, the smell of leather sandals and rubber soles around me and the sounds of the sewing machines tiktiktik… The reopening of the workshop is not only a dream come true but also a historical and ethical commitment to the people and the community”
Mosh is the next generation of shoemaker – operating the workshop and manufacturing shoes in addition to establishing the workshop as a living historical monument. With a first degree in economics, he coaches in various entrepreneurial courses, an entrepreneur himself and a self-proclaimed fulfiller of dreams.
Mosh is the stepson of the previous shoemaker Shaul Shabtai (66) – The last shoemaker in a long line of honored & skilled laborers operating the workshop since the 1930’s. Shaul, who was initially apprenticed at the age of 12, was taught the skills of the profession in Tel Aviv and Haifa after his army service, and has been working at the Kibbutz workshop since then.
With the cooperation of the Society for the Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites and the participation of the Kibbutz management, Mosh &Shaul have, through their restoration of the workshop, brought it back to life and by so doing have established a focal point for travelers to experience traditional craftsmanship in its original environment.
“when the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten…” (chuang tzu)