Activities in the Tiberias Area
In Kabbalistic thought, each of Israel's holy cities has a corresponding natural element. Jerusalem is Earth, Hebron is Wind, Tzfat is Air, and Tiberias, which sits on the shores of Lake Kinneret, is Water.
In recent years, Tzfat has become a center of Northern Tourism and the nearby city of Tiberias, located 45 minutes southeast of Tzfat, has plenty of interesting activities in the area for visitors of all ages and backgrounds.
The Ancient Galilee Boat
In 1986 a wooden boat was discovered in the mud along the shore of the Kinneret. The boat was dated as having been constructed during the period when Jesus lived and taught in the area, and it was named "The Jesus Boat". After extensive (14 years) conservation project, the boat was brought to the Yigal Alon Center at Kibbutz Ginnosar, on the road leading north from Tiberias, where it can be viewed today.
Galilee Boat can be reached at 972-4-679-7700 or [email protected]
After the Galilee Boat was discovered, the renewed interest in the history of the boat, as well as in the history of sailing in the Kinneret/Sea of Galilee, brought about the development of Holyland Sailing. Visitors sail on the Kinneret in boats which are built to be replicas of the Galilee Boat found at Kibbutz Ginnosar in 1986, a boat which is dated to the time of Jesus. The goal of the sailing expedition is twofold: to reenact the boating excursions of Jesus and his Disciples, both in atmosphere and in location, and to recreate the spiritual atmosphere of reflection and contemplation that the Christian leaders felt while sailing in the Lake.
Holyland Sailing can be reached at 972-4-6790262 or [email protected]
The Jews who returned to the Land of Israel in the early 1900s, the "Second Aliyah" were responsible for the settlement of many of the kibbutzim and moshavim (collective settlements) of Northern Israel. Kibbutz Yiftah, south of Tiberias, has compiled their stories and experiences by showing visitors, in an authentic setting, what the lives of the early pioneers were like. The museum shows the children's' quarters, laundry, dining hall, and other communal living arrangements, alongside the various agricultural and industrial branches which brought the settlements their income. Early 20th century classrooms, clinics, and clothing storehouses are on display which show what early living arrangements were for the people who settled the area.
The Pioneer Museum can be contacted at [email protected] or 972-4-6548974
Home of Donna Gracia
During the years of the Inquisition in Spain, many Jews formally converted to Christianity, yet secretly maintained their Jewish faith, hoping to return to it when the situation improved. Most of these Jews became assimilated into the Spanish mainstream, but some Jews succeeded in escaping and finding new homes where they could return to Judaism and follow their religion.
Donna Gracia was one such Jewess. She was one of the richest women of the Middle Ages. She converted to Christianity under duress, yet once free from Spain she returned to Judaism and settled in Tiberias. Her home has been renovated to tell her story, as well as the story of the Jews who fled Spain during that period. The display also tells the story of what became of them once they reached Israel. Donna Gracia is best remembered for her overwhelming generosity towards her fellow Jews, and her patronage of those who needed her wealth to escape from Spain and start their lives anew.