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JEWISH Haifa

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Haifa is the number one port city in Israel overlooking the Haifa Bay along the Mediterranean coast. The city also spans over the entirety of Mount Carmel giving the whole area a very unreal almost fantasy-like appearance with the mountain meeting the beautiful coastline. The city plays host to a number of groups including Jews, Christians, Arabs, Druze, and those of the Baha'i faith which has created a diverse cultural scene in addition to a major center of faith for just about every Eastern born religion under the sun.  The History of Haifa In terms of Judaic history, Haifa is first mentioned by name in the Talmud sometime between the 1st and 4th centuries CE. The city is referenced in relation to the murex snail which was farmed in the town near Haifa. This snail was used to produce the purple and blue dyes used for coloring tallit, Jewish prayer shawls typically worn by men.  The area has been inhabited before this citation with the earliest archaeological remains dating to the Late Bronze Age up until the Hellenistic period. At this time, the settlement was known as Tel Abu Hawam, and held the function of a port city just like today. The city is mentioned in various sources throughout Israel’s history of conquest, except for when Muslim rule dominated the land. When the Crusaders arrived, the landscape of Haifa played a large role in building defensible fortifications to gain advantage when enemies attacked. By 1742, the Jewish community which had dwindled over the last few centuries slowly started to build itself back up again. These were mainly Jews returning from the diaspora in North African nations like Morocco and Tunisia. Just a century after this, the Baha’i faith made its way from Persia to the north of Israel by way of a man called Baha’u’llah. He had been exiled by the Shah of Iran and later imprisoned. When he was released, Baha’u’llah came to Israel and made Haifa the center of the Baha’i religion.    Baha’u’llah Another century later, during the War of Independence in 1948, the city itself was a highly coveted territory for both Israelis and Arabs but eventually fell to the Haganah. Before the war, the city had over 50,000 Arab inhabitants, and by the end of the conflict their numbers had fallen into the lower thousands. The Arabs that stayed consented to live under Israeli rule. Despite this drop in population, Arabic culture is still a large part of the city’s fabric of daily life, none more so than food culture.  The Baha'i Gardens in Haifa, Israel The Baha'i Gardens of Haifa Out of all the religious groups that contributed to Haifa’s history and architecture, there is one monument that stands above the rest. Literally. The Baha’i Gardens situated on Mount Carmel travel up the entire face of the mountain. The steep white staircase stops are various terraces as you climb each one decorated with the most breathtaking vegetation. You will never see a wilting flower in these gardens, which are attended day and night. At the very top is the golden dome and Shrine of the Bab. This is the final resting place of the Prophet Herald, a central figure of the Baha’i faith. Once you reach the top you can see the entire scope of the city; it is a once in a lifetime view. view of haifa from the top of the bahai gardens View of Haifa from the top of the Baha'i Gardens Other Must-See Sites in Haifa In stark contrast to the steep heights of the Baha’i Gardens, Elijah’s Cave is also located on Mount Carmel. This site is sacred to Jews, Muslims, and Druze. It is a natural grotto where Elijah was said to have rested during his time in the wilderness. The precise location of the cave was unknown for centuries and is still contested till this day. However, this particular site associated with the prophet still welcomes thousands of pilgrims every year. Aside from the city's rich religious history, one of the things that entices people about Israel’s northern region is its abundantly green landscape. One of the best places to visit in order to take in the foliage and landscape of the north is the En Afek Nature Reserve. It is named for the ancient town of Tel Afek, in the hinterland of the reserve, mentioned in both the book of Joshua and Judges. The reserve itself contains extensive swamp land waterways and every freshwater plant and tree native to the northern region. This is also one of the best places to catch a glimpse or two of the local and very colorful water birds of Haifa.  marshland with plants and a pond in haifa, israel En Afek Nature Reserve in Haifa, Israel Outside of these attractions don’t neglect the various cultural happenings that take place year round in the city. Some of these include the Karmiel Dance Festival in July, and the Haifa Food Fair that runs from November to December. However one of the best festivals has got to be the Haifa Wine Festival in September. Some of the most delicious grape varieties are grown in the north yielding world renowned wines.  wine being poured into a wine glass at the Haifa Wine Festival The Haifa Wine Festival It is no surprise, that with all this history and culture, Haifa has produced some of the most notable Jewish Israeli figures in the world of arts and academia. One of the most famous names is the great Israeli architect Moshe Safdie. He was born during the era of British Mandate Palestine and educated at McGill University in Montreal. Moshe then returned to his native Israel and designed some of the most prominent and breathtaking architectural pursuits in the world. His resume includes Yad Vashem, the world Holocaust museum and research centre, and Ben Gurion International Airport. Another well known name is Hillel Slovak. Born to Holocaust survivors, Hillel made his way to Los Angeles and became the original guitarist for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The band and its members would go on to be multi-time Grammy award winners and all around American cultural icons.    It is a common phrase in the Jewish world that you go to Jerusalem to pray and Tel Aviv to play, but Haifa to stay. It has the character of relaxed beach life combined with the hustle and bustle of a big city. Haifa is the best of all Israel has to offer and then some.   

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SITES TO SEE

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Haifa Museums

The Haifa Museums fits six museums into one. The Haifa Museums include the municipal museums located around the city: the Haifa Museum of Art, the Art Center, the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, the National Maritime Museum, the Haifa City Museum, the Mane Katz Museum, the Hermann Struck Museum, and the Prehistoric Museum. When this was establishment, the company included all museums that belonged to the municipality. Until 1977 these museums were located in City Hall, and in 1977, some of the museums were transferred to their current location, at 26 Shabtai Levi St. The Haifa Museum of Art (also called "the Museum of Modern Art") was opened in 1951 at City Hall, and was run by Dr. P. Shif between the years 1955 – 1964. In 1978 the museum was transferred to its current location at 26 Shabtai Levi St. The Moshe Stekelis Prehistoric Museum was opened on February 15, 1962. It was the first museum in Israel and the Middle East dedicated solely to the prehistoric era, and one of the few such museums in the world. The museum had around 100,000 relics from prehistoric times in Israel, many of them from the Carmel area. Most of them have been returned to the national collection. The museum also has dozens of prehistoric European figures. The Museum of Japanese Art on the crest of Mount Carmel is dedicated exclusively to the preservation and exhibition of Japanese art works, and is the only one of its kind in the Middle East. The Museum is a municipal foundation, set up in 1959, on the initiative of Felix Tikotin (1893-1986) from Holland, and Abba Khoushy (1898-1969), Mayor of Haifa at that time. The Museum aims to allow Israelis to learn and become acquainted with Japanese culture; to promote mutual understanding between Israel and Japan, and between East and West; and to encourage research into the arts and culture of Japan. The National Maritime Museum was established in 1953, based on the private collection of Arye Ben Eli, the founder and first manager of the museum. The museum presents spectacular exhibitions of seamanship from different eras. One of the permanent exhibitions, The Pirates, is experiential and unique in the country. The museum also presents rare findings that survived from antiquity, sub-marine archeology, Greco-Roman coins, marine mythology, etc. The museum is located at the southern entrance to Haifa and attracts thousands of visitors every year. The Haifa City Museum is located in the first Templar building of the German Colony. The building was used as the Templar community center. In 2000 the museum underwent massive conservation and restoration work. The museum exhibits the history of Haifa from different eras and points of view. There are also temporary exhibitions on urbanism, identity, multi-nationality, multi-culturalism and others. During the year, the museum organized a series of fascinating tours to introduce the city and its history. Mane Katz Museum was established in the home of the artist Mane Katz, an important figure in the "School of Paris". The building is located in the Carmel Center near the Louis Promenade and the entrance to the Bahai Gardens. The museum presents the connection between traditional Judaism and art, along with temporary exhibitions that focus on modern art and international artists such a Chaim Sutine, Maurice Vlaminck, Maurycy Gottlieb, Jozef Israels, Camille Pissarro, and Max Liebermann. The exhibitions create an interesting combination between Mane Katz's paintings and the paintings of contemporary artists from Israel and worldwide. The Hermann Struck Museum was established in the artist's house and is dedicated to his memory. Struck is considered one the most important print artists in Israel and Germany of the 20th century. Among Struck's important paintings are Theodor Herzel's portrait and portraits of the great philosophers, scientists, and Zionist figures of his times. The museum presents the artist's furniture, his personal possessions, and his original print machine, which has undergone restoration and conservation and is still operating. The museum is located in the Hadar HaCarmel neighborhood, in an elaborate, eclectic fancy building that was designed by the known architect, Alexander Baerwald. The house has undergone thorough restoration and conservation. It was opened to the public in October, 2013 with a retrospective of Struck's paintings.

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World Jewish Travel Official May 23, 2022

Haifa, Israel: You Go to Jerusalem to Pray, Tel Aviv to Play, and Haifa to Do It All

Haifa is the number one port city in Israel overlooking the Haifa Bay along the Mediterranean coast. The city also spans over the entirety of Mount Carmel giving the whole area a very unreal almost fantasy-like appearance with the mountain meeting the beautiful coastline. The city plays host to a number of groups including Jews, Christians, Arabs, Druze, and those of the Baha'i faith which has created a diverse cultural scene in addition to a major center of faith for just about every Eastern born religion under the sun.  The History of Haifa In terms of Judaic history, Haifa is first mentioned by name in the Talmud sometime between the 1st and 4th centuries CE. The city is referenced in relation to the murex snail which was farmed in the town near Haifa. This snail was used to produce the purple and blue dyes used for coloring tallit, Jewish prayer shawls typically worn by men.  The area has been inhabited before this citation with the earliest archaeological remains dating to the Late Bronze Age up until the Hellenistic period. At this time, the settlement was known as Tel Abu Hawam, and held the function of a port city just like today. The city is mentioned in various sources throughout Israel’s history of conquest, except for when Muslim rule dominated the land. When the Crusaders arrived, the landscape of Haifa played a large role in building defensible fortifications to gain advantage when enemies attacked. By 1742, the Jewish community which had dwindled over the last few centuries slowly started to build itself back up again. These were mainly Jews returning from the diaspora in North African nations like Morocco and Tunisia. Just a century after this, the Baha’i faith made its way from Persia to the north of Israel by way of a man called Baha’u’llah. He had been exiled by the Shah of Iran and later imprisoned. When he was released, Baha’u’llah came to Israel and made Haifa the center of the Baha’i religion.    [caption id="attachment_36736" align="alignnone" width="519"] Baha’u’llah[/caption] Another century later, during the War of Independence in 1948, the city itself was a highly coveted territory for both Israelis and Arabs but eventually fell to the Haganah. Before the war, the city had over 50,000 Arab inhabitants, and by the end of the conflict their numbers had fallen into the lower thousands. The Arabs that stayed consented to live under Israeli rule. Despite this drop in population, Arabic culture is still a large part of the city’s fabric of daily life, none more so than food culture.  [caption id="attachment_36730" align="alignnone" width="1200"] The Baha'i Gardens in Haifa, Israel[/caption] The Baha'i Gardens of Haifa Out of all the religious groups that contributed to Haifa’s history and architecture, there is one monument that stands above the rest. Literally. The Baha’i Gardens situated on Mount Carmel travel up the entire face of the mountain. The steep white staircase stops are various terraces as you climb each one decorated with the most breathtaking vegetation. You will never see a wilting flower in these gardens, which are attended day and night. At the very top is the golden dome and Shrine of the Bab. This is the final resting place of the Prophet Herald, a central figure of the Baha’i faith. Once you reach the top you can see the entire scope of the city; it is a once in a lifetime view. [caption id="attachment_36731" align="alignnone" width="1200"] View of Haifa from the top of the Baha'i Gardens[/caption] Other Must-See Sites in Haifa In stark contrast to the steep heights of the Baha’i Gardens, Elijah’s Cave is also located on Mount Carmel. This site is sacred to Jews, Muslims, and Druze. It is a natural grotto where Elijah was said to have rested during his time in the wilderness. The precise location of the cave was unknown for centuries and is still contested till this day. However, this particular site associated with the prophet still welcomes thousands of pilgrims every year. Aside from the city's rich religious history, one of the things that entices people about Israel’s northern region is its abundantly green landscape. One of the best places to visit in order to take in the foliage and landscape of the north is the En Afek Nature Reserve. It is named for the ancient town of Tel Afek, in the hinterland of the reserve, mentioned in both the book of Joshua and Judges. The reserve itself contains extensive swamp land waterways and every freshwater plant and tree native to the northern region. This is also one of the best places to catch a glimpse or two of the local and very colorful water birds of Haifa.  [caption id="attachment_36727" align="alignnone" width="1200"] En Afek Nature Reserve in Haifa, Israel[/caption] Outside of these attractions don’t neglect the various cultural happenings that take place year round in the city. Some of these include the Karmiel Dance Festival in July, and the Haifa Food Fair that runs from November to December. However one of the best festivals has got to be the Haifa Wine Festival in September. Some of the most delicious grape varieties are grown in the north yielding world renowned wines.  [caption id="attachment_36733" align="alignnone" width="1875"] The Haifa Wine Festival[/caption] It is no surprise, that with all this history and culture, Haifa has produced some of the most notable Jewish Israeli figures in the world of arts and academia. One of the most famous names is the great Israeli architect Moshe Safdie. He was born during the era of British Mandate Palestine and educated at McGill University in Montreal. Moshe then returned to his native Israel and designed some of the most prominent and breathtaking architectural pursuits in the world. His resume includes Yad Vashem, the world Holocaust museum and research centre, and Ben Gurion International Airport. Another well known name is Hillel Slovak. Born to Holocaust survivors, Hillel made his way to Los Angeles and became the original guitarist for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The band and its members would go on to be multi-time Grammy award winners and all around American cultural icons.    It is a common phrase in the Jewish world that you go to Jerusalem to pray and Tel Aviv to play, but Haifa to stay. It has the character of relaxed beach life combined with the hustle and bustle of a big city. Haifa is the best of all Israel has to offer and then some.   

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HOTELS IN Haifa

Hotels

Carmella Boutique Hotel

The Carmella Boutique Hotel is a restored historic building in the old, green heart of the Carmel. The hotel offers its guests personal hospitality, unique rooms and the perfect location. Carmella, a concept boutique hotel with a pampering spa, centrally located in the heart of the Carmel, offers a unique hospitality experience. Every item in the hotel has been chosen and placed with thought, precision and great love, from the spacious pampering beds, to the original artwork on the walls, the manicured gardens and the authentic cafe tables. The Carmella Hotel is located in a historic Templar stone building in the heart of the Carmel, on 130 Hatishbi Street. Adjacent to the hotel is the old and green Mother Garden, and the Haifa Zoo. Nearby are several other of the city's attractions - the Louis Promenade that overlooks the beautiful Baha'i Gardens and offers breathtaking views of the bay, auditorium and cinematheque, museums, music clubs, cafes, state-of-the-art restaurants, specialty bars, art and fashion stores. In every application, you will discover something unique that only in Haifa has a multifaceted eclecticism. It is the perfect location to experience the unique spaces of Haifa, and to set off on a stroll through the unique streets, alleys and corners that only those who know the city well know about. A short drive and you are down, in Hadar and the regenerating lower city, in the beautiful German colony and the port complex, which in the evening becomes a center of entertainment and a vibrant culture. The staff of the Carmella Hotel will be happy to guide you through the ups and downs of the city, directing you to the interesting exhibition, festival, show or experience point or experience to the perfect place to have a glass of wine. The magical and authentic atmosphere of Carmela will meet you even before entering the hotel. The beautiful structure, built in the early 20th century by the Templar settlers, almost commands the guests to slow down, a little and enter the period. This is the moment to look at the precise architecture of the period, and the meticulous conservation work done on the site. The hotel's café slides out onto the garden plaza, which is an indoor and outdoor meeting place. The hotel's spa and its intimate and stylish rooms combine the relaxed atmosphere connected to the pampering spa garden of the outdoor jacuzzi and relaxation areas in the hotel gardens. On the walls hang the woodwork of Tamara Morgenstern, a Haifa-born artist who specializes in restoration and preservation. But beyond the design, to the original and restored furniture items, to quiet and green, Carmela offers a personal, intimate and attentive hospitality experience. A sense of home away from home, of relaxed elegance that celebrates all that is beautiful and good in life, to unforgettable memories.

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