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JEWISH Kiryat Tiv'on

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Kiryat Tiv'on is a town located in the Haifa district of the northern Galilee between the Zvulun and Jezreel Valleys. The region itself was long inhabited before the town appeared and mentioned in both the Talmud and the Mishnah. Today, Kiryat Tiv'on is a quiet and idyllic town covered in green vegetation, with rolling hills and tall trees. ancient burial site at Beit She'arim National Park in Kiryat Tiv'on The History of Kiryat Tiv'on The Jewish history of Kiryat Tiv'on extends all the way back to the 2nd century CE, the evidence for which can be found in the burial caves that were in use until the 4th century CE. During this time the settlement was known as Beit She’arim. This was the site for the highest court of justice in ancient Israel during the Roman period known as the Sanhedrin. After the destruction of the Second Temple and the expulsion of Jews into the diaspora Kiryat Tiv'on became a predominantly Muslim town. During this time the town was called Taubun. This all changed with the creation of the state of Israel and in 1956 several smaller settlements were combined to form what today is recognized as Kiryat Tiv'on. Excavations in the last several decades revealed the area's rich history, which is still yielding more and more discoveries. There has never been any major industry activity in Kiryat Tiv'on which has preserved the pristine green of the landscape. This town is a nature and history lover's paradise. Within its limits Kiryat Tiv'on has some of the most fascinating archaeological sites to visit, fantastic public parks, natural springs, as well as flourishing artistic life. There is not a more picture perfect town in the whole of Israel.        As previously mentioned, due to the lack of industry the soil of Kiryat Tiv'on produces some of the best grapes for wine in the world. Visitors to the town should check out the Tulip Winery. Established in 2003 by the Yitzhaki family, this small winery has since gained international recognition. The winery is rooted in the community, working with members of Kfar Tikvah, a special needs community. The winery integrates them into the workforce of the Tulip family. Visits to the facility can be booked online which offers a range of tasting experiences. Visitors can elect for a simple wine tasting or go big with additional add ons like local cheeses, breads, olives, and stuffed grape leaves. If you take great joy in the edible pleasures of life do not miss out on this experience. In Kiryat Tiv'on, people are rooted to the land through food, drink, and celebrations of local cultural and artistic life.  four bottles of wine on a wooden barrel at tulip winery Every year the community comes together for the Sheik Avreik Festival, a celebration of local artisans, musicians, culture, and community. The festival features over 280 performances and activities, a local experience not to be missed. One of the other best local experiences to have in this picture perfect fresh environment is a dip in the waters of the Alroi spring. As you enter the waters you are surrounded on all sides by the lush vegetation of Israel’s northern region. Stone steps leading down into the spring will take you back to the region's ancient history. Speaking of ancient history, one of Israel’s most famous necropoli is located in the Beit She'arim National Park. This necropolis also happens to be the resting place for the legendary Jewish sage and author Judah HaNassi. Judah was one of the original editors and redactors of the Mishnah, a central text of rabbinic thought and responsum. Other notable burial sites in Kiryat Tiv'on include the founder of several Jewish defense organizations, Alexander Zeid. Zeid was also the first to discover the necropolis of Beit She’arim. Be sure to look out for his commemorative statue which borders Beit She’arim park, overlooking the Jezreel valley.    Statue of Alexander Zeid in Kiryat Tiv'on Hanay, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons For such a small community Kiryat Tiv'on has had a major impact on the cultural and ecological life of Israel. All roads to Kiryat Tiv'on curve with the land. They lead to a wondrous and peaceful vacation destination just eighteen kilometers away from the hustle and bustle of Haifa. The town is a paramount example of an ideal marriage between culture, history, and the beauty of Israel’s environment.    

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SITES TO SEE

Sites

Tulip Winery

In 2003, the Itzhaki family fulfilled their long-held vision by founding the Tulip Winery, an expression of their great love of wine and huge love of people. This was a true milestone – combining fine, high quality wines with a committed contribution to the community. The hillside in Kfar Tikva, a small and pastoral settlement for residents with special needs, was the perfect and most natural setting for building the winery. The winery’s inspiring and thriving model of employing members of the community and providing a platform for their integration into the labor market just like ordinary people, formed an extraordinary, strong, inseparable and rooted connection. Tulip Winery annually produces about 300,000 bottles that are sold throughout Israel and in many countries worldwide. Tulip wines receive enthusiastic reviews from wine critics and customers alike, as well as international awards, complementing the holistic experience that every person feels when they encounter these wines. The passion to create unique, bold and out of the box wines constantly drives us forward. Tulip Winery’s entrepreneurial spirit enables us to continue to lead – creatively, innovatively, professionally and sensitively. The professional breakthrough discernible in the unique blends and the uncompromising quality throughout the winemaking process. Tulip’s unique combination of professional expertise and its new statement within the wine industry, lead to the winery’s great success. The vineyards are the first station in creating uncompromising, high-quality fine wines. Realization of the passion to create a bold wine that makes a truly unique statement begins where vision meets soil. Our commitment to excellence led us to make profound changes resulting in groundbreaking viticulture. And so, our new journey began, as a new wine is born. Initially, inside the mind of our expert winemaker, David Bar-Ilan, and from there it took root in the ground, with the vines clinging to the soil and growing towards the future, becoming an extraordinary creation. With the goal of pursuing our passion for precision and desire to make a personal statement, we selected the finest professionals, those best suited to realize our visions. The winery’s new agriculture department is professionally and expertly led by Professor Costas Bakiastas – a Mediterranean viticulture specialist, alongside Gil Sharon, who manages our vineyards. Under the direction of our winemaker, they are responsible for our new planting and growing methods, which were carefully selected based on a wide-ranging goal of attaining flexibility coupled with precision and professionalism.

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TOURS OF Kiryat Tiv'on

Tours

Beth Shearim with Shalom Israel Tours

Visitors to Israel are often amazed by the juxtapositions of ancient and modern that define their tour experiences. With findings dating back to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries, Beit She’arim National Park definitely falls on the ancient side of the continuum. Located approximately 12 miles east of Haifa, Beit She’arim is best known for its range of intact burial sites. The most famous is the grave of Rabbi Judah HaNasi, the compiler of the Mishnah, a central Jewish reference text that is still studied today. So impressive are the archeological finds at Beit She’arim that it appears on a tentative list for being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within the past five years, two new caves were opened to the public here, so that there are now more than 20 burial caves to explore. The Beit She’arim burial caves are richly decorated with reliefs and paintings rich with Jewish symbols, including the shofar, which is associated with the Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur holidays; the lulav and etrog, which are still used on Sukkot; and the Ark of the Covenant and a menorah with seven branches, which are symbols of the Temples in Jerusalem. Other images that are not specifically Jewish – such as boats, animals and geometric patterns – can be found here as well. Images of Greek gods in human form are also pictured. Inscriptions appear most often in Greek, but there are some in Hebrew, Aramaic and in the obscure Aramaic dialect known as Palmyran. In addition to touring the caves, the top of park’s hill has many ruins of the ancient city of Beit She’arim to explore. Look for the bronze statue of Alexander Zayid, who was among the founders of two Jewish defense organizations in the early 20th century, including Hashomer. Literally, Hashomer means “the guard.” It was an organization of Zionist pioneers that defended and protected the nascent Jewish agricultural settlements in pre-state Palestine. Also on the hill is the tomb of the Muslim Sheikh Abreik, distinctive because of its double dome. In 1956, a construction crew at this site unearthed what was eventually identified as a nine-ton piece of glass. When a furnace for glassmaking stood here, ancient Beit She’arim must have been home to a remarkable glassmaking operation.

Tours

Beth Shearim with Danny the Digger

Beth Shearim was an important Rabbinical center in the time of the Mishnah, and one of the Sanhedrin’s seats. Later, the site was abandoned, and even its location was forgotten. Rediscovered in the 1930s, today Beth Shearim is an important archaeological site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the fertile plains of the western Jezreel valley, Beth Shearim (In Hebrew ‘House of Barley’) was a Jewish center in antiquity. In the 2nd century CE Beth Shearim housed the Jewish high court (the ‘Sanherdin’) and was also the hometown of Rabbi Judah ‘Hanasi’ (‘The Prince’). During the Temple’s period, the higher court assembled in the ‘Hall of hewn stones’ which was on the Temple Mount. Later, after the destruction of the Temple, it resumed its activity in Yavne, and later it wondered between Usha, Sheferam, Beth-Shearim, Sepphoris, and Tiberias. The Talmudic-era Sanhedrin was disbanded by the Byzantine Christian Authorities in 425 CE, and was never resumed again. Read more about the Sanhedrin and a tour following the Sanhedrin here. Bet Shearim was also reputed for its cemetery, where many Rabbis were buried in catacombs. But following the Galus rebellion, in 350 CE the site was abandoned, and eventually even its location was forgotten. Beth Shearim was rediscovered by chance by Alexander Zaid, a Jewish pioneer who oversaw Jewish properties purchased in the Western Jezreel valley. He reported on the discovery of an ancient burial cave to the Hebrew University. An archaeological expedition dug the cave and its surroundings and discovered that it was part of an ancient cemetery (necropolis), adjacent to a city from Roman times. A Greek Inscription engraved over one of the tombs indicated the deceased was native of “Bisara” – the Greek name for Beth Shearim. Beth Shearim was finally re identified. The excavations yielded evidence mostly of the city’s cemetery. Hundreds of burials, mostly in stone coffins (sarcophagi) were recorded in over 50 burial caves set like catacombs. Some of the coffins were well decorated, and some were found with inscriptions. It is estimated that many Jews wanted to be buried here, as it was the burial site of the famous Rabbi Judah Hanasi. Of the city itself little in known, and most of ancient Beth Shearim is still waiting to be excavated. Nevertheless, two basilica-shaped public buildings found near the city’s walls are possibly ancient synagogues and perhaps even the Sanhedrin’s council building. Visiting Beth Shearim Today, Beth Shearim is a national Park and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is known mostly for its catacombs, now all lit up. One of the caves was developed to a museum that also includes an introduction video. The site is children-friendly and can be a great adventure for kids fond of mystery caves. A tour of Beth Shearim can be combined with in a day tour in the north.

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CITY GUIDES

Guides

Yuval De Joannes

My Name is Yuval De-Joannes. I live in Moshav Tzafririm in the Ella Valley and I lead tours throughout the country for over twelve years. My passion for traveling began in my early school days, when I've joined the school of environmental studies in the Negev desert. Upon completing my military service as a paratrooper, and traveling the world for a couple of years, I've joined Ben-Gurion University and started my academic life. First, I've achieved a bachelor's degree in Behavioral sciences, and then through Haifa university, a Master's degree in Cultural Anthropology. My fieldwork took place in Ireland, on one of the Islands off the west coast, where I stayed for nearly two years. Upon my return, I tried to put into practice the knowledge of people and history I've gained and completed an International tour guiding course, conducted by the Open University, and another tour guiding course conducted by the ministry of tourism. A third course I've completed was conducted by the ministry of education. Through the years I've received special expertise certificates, from the ministry of tourism in Christianity, Zionism, desert tourism and wine tourism. From here the road was open to a new career. I've decided to focus on Israel, and to put all my energy in exploring it in depth. For me guiding is a passion, if not a call. Every tour I take is different for me. Even if the sites might repeat themselves, they are always fresh for me, cause every time I see them through different eyes, the eyes of those I travel with. When I'm not guiding I enjoy hiking in Israel and around the world, mountain biking and reading. I guide families and individuals in Hebrew, English and Italian, and offer a wide range of focal points - theological, archaeological, historical, botanical, geological and more. It could be a day tour or a full package tour, all customized to your needs and desires. I use a luxurious Mercedes van, so you can be sure to travel in comfort and safety.

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READ MORE BLOGS AND EBOOKS

World Jewish Travel Official July 31, 2022

Kiryat Tiv'on, Israel: The Pastoral Paradise of the Galilee

Kiryat Tiv'on is a town located in the Haifa district of the northern Galilee between the Zvulun and Jezreel Valleys. The region itself was long inhabited before the town appeared and mentioned in both the Talmud and the Mishnah. Today, Kiryat Tiv'on is a quiet and idyllic town covered in green vegetation, with rolling hills and tall trees. The History of Kiryat Tiv'on The Jewish history of Kiryat Tiv'on extends all the way back to the 2nd century CE, the evidence for which can be found in the burial caves that were in use until the 4th century CE. During this time the settlement was known as Beit She’arim. This was the site for the highest court of justice in ancient Israel during the Roman period known as the Sanhedrin. After the destruction of the Second Temple and the expulsion of Jews into the diaspora Kiryat Tiv'on became a predominantly Muslim town. During this time the town was called Taubun. This all changed with the creation of the state of Israel and in 1956 several smaller settlements were combined to form what today is recognized as Kiryat Tiv'on. Excavations in the last several decades revealed the area's rich history, which is still yielding more and more discoveries. There has never been any major industry activity in Kiryat Tiv'on which has preserved the pristine green of the landscape. This town is a nature and history lover's paradise. Within its limits Kiryat Tiv'on has some of the most fascinating archaeological sites to visit, fantastic public parks, natural springs, as well as flourishing artistic life. There is not a more picture perfect town in the whole of Israel.        As previously mentioned, due to the lack of industry the soil of Kiryat Tiv'on produces some of the best grapes for wine in the world. Visitors to the town should check out the Tulip Winery. Established in 2003 by the Yitzhaki family, this small winery has since gained international recognition. The winery is rooted in the community, working with members of Kfar Tikvah, a special needs community. The winery integrates them into the workforce of the Tulip family. Visits to the facility can be booked online which offers a range of tasting experiences. Visitors can elect for a simple wine tasting or go big with additional add ons like local cheeses, breads, olives, and stuffed grape leaves. If you take great joy in the edible pleasures of life do not miss out on this experience. In Kiryat Tiv'on, people are rooted to the land through food, drink, and celebrations of local cultural and artistic life.  Every year the community comes together for the Sheik Avreik Festival, a celebration of local artisans, musicians, culture, and community. The festival features over 280 performances and activities, a local experience not to be missed. One of the other best local experiences to have in this picture perfect fresh environment is a dip in the waters of the Alroi spring. As you enter the waters you are surrounded on all sides by the lush vegetation of Israel’s northern region. Stone steps leading down into the spring will take you back to the region's ancient history. Speaking of ancient history, one of Israel’s most famous necropoli is located in the Beit She'arim National Park. This necropolis also happens to be the resting place for the legendary Jewish sage and author Judah HaNassi. Judah was one of the original editors and redactors of the Mishnah, a central text of rabbinic thought and responsum. Other notable burial sites in Kiryat Tiv'on include the founder of several Jewish defense organizations, Alexander Zeid. Zeid was also the first to discover the necropolis of Beit She’arim. Be sure to look out for his commemorative statue which borders Beit She’arim park, overlooking the Jezreel valley.    [caption id="attachment_35510" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Hanay, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons[/caption] For such a small community Kiryat Tiv'on has had a major impact on the cultural and ecological life of Israel. All roads to Kiryat Tiv'on curve with the land. They lead to a wondrous and peaceful vacation destination just eighteen kilometers away from the hustle and bustle of Haifa. The town is a paramount example of an ideal marriage between culture, history, and the beauty of Israel’s environment.    

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HOTELS IN Kiryat Tiv'on

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