Rosh Hashana in Zichron Ya’akov

By Nili Hess Ashkenazi,Israel

In the last Rosh Hashana that took place on September 2015, we met for lunch with grandma and grandpa in the pedestrian mall of Zichron Ya’akov. Because it was Zichron, we wanted to tour the place in the morning. The original plan was to visit the First Aliyah museum and then meet for lunch. We arrived from Ramat Hasharon and luckily the way was clear, probably because of the very hot weather and the haze. We found a parking spot next to the pedestrian mall and went to the museum,  but surprisingly it was closed. We didn’t check in advance because we were positive it will be open.

First Aliyah museum in Zikhron Yaakov

First Aliyah museum in Zikhron Yaakov

We had 2 and a half hours until lunch, and we needed to make a decision on what to do instead. Next to the museum is the Ohel Ya’akov synagogue that was built in 1886 by Edmond de Rothschild, in memory of his father, Ya’akov Rothschild. The synagogue was the most magnificent of all the other colonies’ synagogues. We – Ma’ayan and Nili – entered the synagogue in turns, with the children not wanting to go inside. Each one of us was impressed by the beauty of the synagogue.

the Ohel Ya’akov synagogue in Zikhron Yaakov

the Ohel Ya’akov synagogue in Zikhron Yaakov

We experienced briefly the ongoing prayer, heard the cantor’s singing and the shofar. We felt we could stay in this place for more, but the children were not interested so we continued to Tiul Garden that is located on the other side of the synagogue. It was planted by Francis Digore, one of the baron’s men, between the years 1886-1888 and it included many kinds of plants and trees. In the last few years the garden was renovated and a playground, ornamental pool and benches were added. The ficus and olive trees that Rothschild planted when he visited this place in 1913 still remain. The children had a lot of fun here and we let them linger for a bit more until we moved on to the next station – the Nadiv Gardens that are located just south of Zichron Ya’akov.

זכרון יעקב 7 זכרון יעקב 14 זכרון יעקב 15

It takes a 10 minutes drive to get there. There is a big parking lot in the entrance. The gardens spread on a vast territory and include a few areas: the rose garden that contains a statue of a woman hugging a sundial, the waterfall garden, the smells garden and more. In the center of the garden is the burial plot where Edmond de Rothschild and his wife Batya are buried, after they were brought to a renewed burial in Israel in 1954. From here you can see the beautiful sea. There is a visitors center in the entrance of the gardens where there is a shop with different products, including an informational booklet for the kids. Next to the shop is a theater where every half an hour a 15 minutes movie about the Rothschild family takes place. There is a snack bar and toilet in this place as well. On the other side of the center and the gardens is the Ramat Hanadiv Park that includes a few walking paths, with every path marked in a different color.

Hanadiv gardens in Zikhron Yaakov

Hanadiv gardens in Zikhron Yaakov

Hanadiv gardens in Zikhron Yaakov

Hanadiv gardens in Zikhron Yaakov

On a different visit to this place in Passover 2015 we chose one of the paths and enjoyed walking the grove that was full of beautiful spring blossom and a great view to the sea.

Hanadiv park in Zikhron Yaakov

Hanadiv park in Zikhron Yaakov

Hanadiv park in Zikhron Yaakov

Hanadiv park in Zikhron Yaakov

At the end of that visit we went to an adjacent playground with wooden facilities. At the end of our recent visit, after watching the Rothschild movie, it was finally time for lunch. We ate in the Chinese restaurant Chang Mai, located in the pedestrian mall. The restaurant was very good and the prices were reasonable. After the food we wandered around the place and had ice cream for dessert.

Zikhron Yaakov

Zikhron Yaakov

The pedestrian mall, Zikhron Yaakov

The pedestrian mall, Zikhron Yaakov

Zikhron Yaakov

Zikhron Yaakov

We ate in the Chinese restaurant Chang Mai, located in the pedestrian mall. The restaurant was very good and the prices were reasonable. After the food we wandered around the place and had ice cream for dessert.

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