Near the spot where in the past numerous enemies had
to be conquered, 35 young people from Gdud Ha'avoda
raised their tents in 1921 and began conquering the
It was a year after the Mandate for Palestine was
given to the British, during the Third Aliyah
(1919-1923) and the settlers began building a new life
at the Harod Spring. By the time they moved to their
permanent location at the foot of Kumi Hill in 1930,
there were 239 members. Permanent buildings went up as
the kibbutz movement itself was being built. Today the
kibbutz has over 500 members and a total population of
In 1953 the original kibbutz split into two distinct
kibbutzim, over ideological differences, this was known
as the 'pilug' (Ein Harod was not the only kibbutz to
undergo this turmoil). Ein Harod Ihud the new kibbutz
that resulted from the split is located just above Ein
Harod Meuchad, at the top of the hill. The differences
that once were the cause of fierce disagreements (even
causing members of the same family not so speak to one
another) have long since disappeared and in fact today
both kibbutzim belong to the same kibbutz movement, the
Takam (Tnua Kibbutzit Ha'meuchedet, or the United
The kibbutz offers visitors to the area a number of
attractions and is a great place to stop on the way to
the Stockade and Tower, Gan Garoo, the ruins at Beit Shean or the Sea of Galilee, beyond.
Attractions include an art museum, a petting zoo and
reptile corner (which may make parents cringe but which
kids love), and an antique store (which may be of more interest
to domestic tourists than those from abroad). The
petting zoo, and antique shop are all within
a stone's throw from each other. The museum is located a
bit further up the hill.
The Museum of Art Ein Harod
Who would have thought that a rural area would be the
place for the first building built specifically as a
museum in Israel? The Israel Museum was built in 1965.
And the Tel Aviv museum was housed at the home of the
city's first mayor, Meir Dizengoff, until 1970 (see
Independence Hall, in the Orange Routes article). While the art museum at Ein Harod, the first building in the country designed as a museum was built in 1948. A recent expansion of the
museum was designed by Ada Carmi, one the architects who
designed the magnificent Supreme Court building in
The painter Chaim Atar, a kibbutz member worked
various jobs at night so that he could paint by day. By
1937 Atar had a corner in a wooden shack as his studio.
He and other kibbutz members believed that a remote
rural settlement could also be a place of culture that
could influence the spiritual values of the country.
They were the driving forces behind the establishment of
The museum's permanent collection has over 10,000
items, with about 1,000 Judaica items (most of which
are from the 19th century, although there are some
earlier items, such as a 14th century Torah). Other
items include Jewish Folk Art, archaeological finds that
emphasize Jewish civilization in Israel and works of
Jewish artists from all periods including a collection
of works by artists who perished in the Holocaust. A variety of temporary exhibitions are featured at
the museum as well. It often features moder art exhibitions and its curator was recently named by Ha'aetz as one of the 16 most influential people on art in Israel.
One of the most distinguishing features of the
building is its natural light sources. The museum is
jointly owned, by both Ein Harod Meuchad and Ichud. It
is the largest museum in northern Israel.
Visiting Hours: Sunday- Thursday, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM,
Friday 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM, Saturday & Holidays 10:00 AM - 4:30
Entry fees apply:
04/648-6038, 04/648-5701 TEL
Web site: The Museum of Art Ein Harod
Petting Zoo and Reptile Corner
Your kids will thank you for stopping at this petting
zoo, or pinat hai as it is called in Hebrew. Here
they'll be able to see Oryx (a type of antelope), goats,
camels, ponies, ducks, as well as lizards, poisonous
snakes (and ones that aren't).
Visiting Hours: Saturday only. 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Yad Acheret - Antique Store
Here you will find a variety of items, some of which
are real antiques, others not. It is a good place to
find interesting items and pick up a gift for yourself
or someone else.
Hours: Saturday 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday 5:00 PM
- 7:00 PM
Other times, by special appointment by
calling 052-3700 973.
Directions to Ein Harod Meuchad: The kibbutz
is located about 45 minutes east of Haifa, off of Route
# 71 (about midway between Afula and Beit Shean),
opposite a gas station. If traveling from the Harod
Spring direction, make a left at the 2nd stoplight and go straight up the hill. Stay to the right where the road splits. The petting zoo and reptile corner will be on your right. The coffee shop and antique store are in the same building, a bit further up the road, on the left. The museum (known as the Mishkan Le'Omanut) is located on the hill at the end of the road (veer left with road) where there is a small parking lot. Note, that you take the turn off to Ein Harod Meuchad and not Ihud (it is easy to distinguish between the two - you want the turn off at the stoplight and gas station). Driving from Afula it’s the second Ein Harod and driving from Beit Shean it’s the first.