BEN SHEMEN YOUTH VILLAGE
The Ben Shemen Youth Village has for good reason been declared as one of the fifty heritage and national preservation sites in Israel. Take time out, to go back 100 years in time and come to the site where Nahum Wilbush founded the “Atid” oil factory (1905); to the inner courtyard where Israel Belkind founded the “Kiryat Sefer” for study and labour (1906); to the place where Boris Schatz, the founder of “Bezalel” in Jerusalem, planned and founded the first industrial village (1910) and built houses which he populated with Yemenite artists who specialized in gold work; to the place where the “Volkani Institute” began as an experimental station run by Yitzhak Volkanski and where the idea of combined farming (“Meshek Meurav”) was conceived and out of which grew the workers farm (“Meshek Haovdim”); and back to the inner courtyard where Dr. Siegfried Lehman founded the Ben Shemen youth village in 1927. Since then children and youth from the 1st to the 12th grade, have received their education under boarding school conditions, where they have both worked and studied. Many of the founders of the Labour Settlements Movements (“Hahityashvut Haovedet”) and the state’s leaders were educated at the village.
“For me Ben Shemen was the place where I made the transition from childhood to adolescence and adulthood. The two and a half years I spent at Ben Shemen set the course of my life later on” (Shimon Peres, 2008)
What’s at the site: a visitor center with heritage stories about the educational, moral and Zionist experience from the beginning of the 20th century to today. At the Museatar one can see the telescope given as a present in 1928 by Prof. Albert Einstein to his friend, the founder of the youth village, Dr. Siegfried Lehman.
For the general public: tours take place by advance coordination with Shuki Shukrun. Tel. +972-52-3629150, email:
For children: the museum is run by pupils with activities for children, including a zoological park.