Just as the Passover Haggadah says that we should see ourselves as though we came out of Egypt, Avital Efrat, director of the First Aliyah Museum in Zichron Ya’akov says that we should also see ourselves as though we were part of the First Aliyah.
The First Aliyah Museum, which opened in 1999, is located in the quaint tourist town of Zichron Ya’akov, and recounts the journey of the pioneers who came to Eretz Yisrael during the First Aliyah, 1882-1903.
The three-story museum, which sees 20-25,000 visitors annually, represents all 28 colonies (moshavim) across Eretz Yisrael that were established during both the first and second waves of the First Aliyah.
“This is a national museum; it’s not a museum of Zichron Ya’akov. It’s a national museum dedicated to the era of First Aliyah,” explains Efrat.
The museum was established in memory of Moshe and Sara Arisohn, two pioneers who were part of the founding colony in Zichron Ya’akov. Zichron Ya’akov was one of the first seven colonies established in the First Aliyah.
The First Aliyah museum was financed by Moshe and Sara’s grandson, Ted Arison, who wanted to honor his grandparents and preserve the story of all of the other pioneers from the First Aliyah. There were approximately 25,0000 in the First Aliyah, who settled in various colonies across the land against the wishes of the ruling Ottoman Empire who tried to keep additional Jews out of Eretz Yisrael.
The museum’s purpose is to tell the story of the first real pioneers of Eretz Yisrael. They