Art and cheese

Dairies and galleries add to the charm of the hilltop town.

April 17, 2014 13:05

Art galleries in Safed. (photo credit: MIRIAM KRESH)

The Meiri Dairy

In 1837, Persian goldsmith Meir Arzoni heard the news of Safed’s earthquake some months after it happened. Fired with the determination to help rebuild the devastated town, he packed up his possessions, put his family on horseback and emigrated. He bought a house in Safed at the bottom of the Jewish Quarter and changed the family name to Meiri.

The enterprising Meiri used a local resource to establish a new business: making cheese. Sheep and goats roamed the nearby wadi and hillsides, and their milk was abundant. With buckets of that milk and plenty of grit, the first commercial dairy in Israel began production in the cool stone family home. To this day, Meiri’s descendants make delicious cheeses there.


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