The historic Yellin House in the Motza Valley on the outskirts of Jerusalem was built in 1890 by Yehoshua Yellin as his private residence. His father, David Tavya Yellin, and his father-in-law, Yehezkel Yehuda, had purchased the land from the Arabs of Qalunya in 1860.
Yehoshua built his house behind the khan (inn) he had built 20 years earlier, which was later converted into a synagogue. He planted a vineyard and a garden and tried his hand at
manufacturing roofing tiles. He also purchased more lands in order to expand the settlement in Motza. This effort represents the beginning of renewed agriculture, industry and private entrepreneurship in the Land of Israel.
After being abandoned for many years, the house was renovated and preserved by the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites, with great support from its partners including the Jewish National Fund USA (JNF-USA); today it serves as a visitors center that tells the story of the pioneering effort in Motza and the surrounding area, as well as an agricultural education center. You can book guided tours of the Yellin Estate and the first houses in Motza, including Lower Motza, as well as walking tours of the area, the Halilim Stream and Einot Telem National Park.
* The site is managed by the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage sites (SPIHS).
Don’t miss: The short film about the Yellin family.
Especially for children: Tours and activities (reservations required).
Did you know? A huge water cistern from the Crusader period was discovered next to the Yellin House.