Gems in Israel
Spotlighting Israel's Lesser Known Tourist Attractions and Travel Sites, the Gems.

February 2001  
ISSN: 1527-9812  


Old Gesher
An Impressive Crusader Fort with a Stunning View
Pilgrims' Crossing - Jesus around the Sea of Galilee
Grabbing a Bite to Eat
Volunteer on an Archaeological Dig

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Gems in Israel – Touring Israel
Old Gesher
The New Naharayim Reconstruction
by Yael Zisling

Old Gesher - On the Bank of the Jordan River For years it has been a place of strategic importance on the Syrian-African Rift. Now it is a tourist attraction on the bank of the Jordan River. In April 1948, this was the first settlement to withstand an attack by the Arab Legion. In May of that year – it was also the focal point of an Iraqi attack. On site, three old bridges are visible, as well as an old British police station, historic railway tracks, and an old Khan (inn) from the Middle Ages. The latest addition is a fully functional reconstruction (with water, music etc.) of the old Naharyim power plant. The place is Old Gesher.


An Impressive Crusader Fort with a Stunning View
by Yael Zisling

Twelfth century Muslim historians described it as a ‘nest of eagles and the dwelling place of the moon’. It overlooks the Jordan Valley and meandering Jordan River, 550 meters below. The most complete Crusader fortress in Israel sits atop a basalt plateau and offers a spectacular view of the valley below and the Gilead Mountains, across the way. When it was built, the fortress overlooked the most important crossings on the river, including Naharayim.


Pilgrims' Crossing - Jesus around the Sea of Galilee
by Rami Arav

Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret), by Tamar Levi The New Testament Gospels tell us that Jesus left Nazareth and moved to the Sea of Galilee. There were, perhaps, a few reasons for this. “Prophets are not without honor, except in their own country and in their own house” (Matt. 13:57) was one good reason but apparently not the only one.


Grabbing a Bite to Eat
Tzel Tamar
by Yael Zisling

Tzel Tamar, by Tamar Levi After your visit to Old Gesher, you may be ready for a bite to eat. A few miles up the road, at the entrance to Kibbutz Ashdot Ya’acov Ichud, there is a nice un-assuming place called Tzel Tamar (which means shade of the palm).


Volunteer on an Archaeological Dig
Archaeological Digs in Israel - 2001

For those with a special interest in archaeology, Israel offers a wide variety of opportunities to volunteer at an archaeological dig.

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