Gems in Israel
Specializing in Custom Private Tours of Israel and Israel's Lesser Known Tourist Attractions, the Gems.

February/March 2002  
ISSN: 1527-9812  
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Silk & Honey Production on the Ancient Israeli Silk Road
Dvorat Hatavor

Why is honey Kosher? What does the Koran say about the honeybee? Where in Israel did the ancient Silk Road pass? Answers to these and many other interesting questions will all be part of your visit to Dvorat Hatavor, a unique rural tourist attraction, just minutes away from Mt. Tabor and the Sea of Galilee.
The Ben Zeev family created this attraction, which focuses on the production of honey and silk, from, biblical to modern times. To put it in his own words, Jigal Ben Zeev is, “an educated farmer”. In fact – he is an agronomist with a specialty in sheep herding. In 1967- 1968 he worked in Iran. He says that while he taught the locals how to grow sheep – they taught him how to grow silkworms. Ten years ago, he and his wife Malka, established Dvorat Hatavor in Moshav Shadmot Devora.
A visit to Dvorat Hatavor entails a guided tour that lasts roughly an hour and a half. Visitors advance from one ‘station’ to the next – receiving detailed explanations at each stop. Your tour will include a demonstration of honey bread removal, an up close and personal look at bee hives (behind a well fenced-in area - to ensure that you won’t be stung by the bees) as well as a detailed explanation about silk making and the related mulberry trees.
In the silkworm building, you’ll see how silkworms are grown and find out all about making silk and other products (such as paper). Children will have the opportunity to make their own beeswax candle and prepare a small magnet in a special area that is set aside for these creative activities.
Dvorat Hatavor is located very close to Mt. Tabor, which was on the Israeli part of the ancient Silk Road. Mt. Tabor is believed to be the site Transfiguration of Jesus (although some scholars dispute this). Silk production was a closely guarded secret – which the Chinese kept to themselves for a very long time. Even before the official establishment of the Silk Road in the second century BC, silk was already a prized commodity. In Israel, Baron Edmond de Rothschild tried unsuccessfully to introduce silk making in Rosh Pina as well as other places.
Dvorat Hatavor offers a picnic area (see photo) that can accommodate 150 people. There is also a shop where you can purchase honey and a variety of honey-related products and even ornamental flowers made from silkworm cocoons. Like many other places – there is also a small petting area, with a variety of animals – which the children are sure to enjoy.
A visit to Dvorat Hatavor should prove to be both fun and educational. Ben Zeev recommends making a reservation in advance, to ensure a “personal touch”.
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Directions: Dvorat Hatavor is located in Moshav Shadmot Devora, which is located off Route #767, near Route # 65.
+972(0)4/676-9598 TEL
+972(0)50-532-6160 Mobile
+972(0)4/676-7459 FAX
Email: Dvorat Hatavor
Web site: Dvorat Hatavor
Visiting Hours: Friday, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Saturday, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, weekdays by prior arrangement only.
Entry fees apply.
Tip: For a beautiful view of the Sea of Galilee, once you finish your visit to Dvorat Hatavor, drive down Route #767 toward Lake Kinneret.

Picnic Area at Dvorat Hatavor
Picnic Area at Dvorat Hatavor
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