Time to celebrate

The Caesarea National Park (photo credit: SAGI MORAN)
The Caesarea National Park
(photo credit: SAGI MORAN)
Shavuot is the time of year when we go out to the dairies on kibbutzim and try to learn a little about agricultural life and how the food we eat is grown. A time to recognize farmers for the heroes they are. Finally we can show our children that milk doesn’t come from the grocery store and that bread is made from wheat that must be grown, reaped, ground and only then mixed with other ingredients to create the delicious bread we eat every day.
Indeed, our country is full of natural goodness. There are dozens of small, family-run farms that grow a wide variety of delicious healthful vegetables. All you have to do is get into your car and follow your nose. Many manufacturers, kibbutzim and family-owned farms will be opening their doors to visitors as part of the Shavuot celebrations. If you’re the type of person who likes to have a detailed plan for the day, the following is a list of activities that I guarantee will fill your holiday with joy and an appreciation of our local farmers.
Menahemya The goat farm at Menahemya is holding a special program over the Shavuot weekend during which it will conduct guided tours of the goat pen and a demonstration of milking and feeding the goats. Tours begin at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.
Afterwards, an expert will give a short explanation of how the cheeses are made, there will be a workshop on how to cook pita on a taboun, and everyone is invited to taste the chocolate milk made from goat milk.
Throughout the festival, there will be booths where visitors can purchase locally made food and crafts. NIS 25 to NIS 35 For details: 053-729-2996.
Shavuot in Caesarea The Caesarea National Park invites visitors to take part in this year’s Shavuot celebration, which includes a humorous theatrical show set in ancient Rome, a display of ancient coins and guided tours. There will be performances on the hour every hour between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. during the holiday weekend. There is no extra charge for these special activities. Entrance NIS 40 adults; NIS 24 children.
Kibbutz Ortal Located in the eastern Golan, Kibbutz Ortal is offering a variety of activities this Shavuot, such as a display of the traditional bikurim (first fruits and vegetables offered to the high priests at the Temple in Jerusalem), mini golf, pony rides, archery games, arts and crafts and the kibbutz’s petting zoo.
In addition, there will be cheese-making workshops and sessions for children on cooking pita on a taboun. On Sunday, a two-and-a-half-hour agricultural tour will leave the kibbutz and weave its way around the northern Golan. Participants will get to see which produce is grown on the kibbutz and taste wine produced from locally grown grapes (children will be offered grape juice).
Entrance to Hai Tal Petting Zoo NIS 15 to NIS 25. Tour NIS 135 per person.
For details: (04) 696-0808 Celebrating first fruits in the Sharon On Saturday, the Shamna Olive Oil Press at Moshav Hagor in the Sharon is holding a first fruits fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The fair is a collaboration between the oil press and the nonprofit organization Derech Hayam, which consists of Arab and Jewish residents and aims to promote regional tourism. Together, they invite visitors to partake in regional produce and are happy to recommend short hiking trails in the Sharon area.
For details: 052-396-5160 Beit Lehem Haglilit At Beit Lehem Haglilit, visitors will be led down the Milky Cow Way as they learn how cows are milked. They can even try milking a cow and giving a calf a bottle. At the end of the tour, participants will be treated to cool chocolate milk, can have their hair braided or get a tattoo, make pita and buy handmade crafts. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. NIS 40.
For details: (04) 983-2437 The Modi’in region covered in white In commemoration of the first fruits, the Ben-Shemen Forest Area will have a Celebration in White during the Shavuot holiday weekend. It will include activities to connect children and adults to nature and the land. Participants can milk goats and make cheese at the Ben-Shemen Youth Village and herd goats at Judy and Shafir Avraham-Chai’s farm. There will also be an event at the Havat Gilad farm on Moshav Ginaton where children will get to interact with the goats, and a tour on the Aladdin Farm in Kfar Ruth where participants will search for each of the Seven Species.
For details and to purchase tickets: www.thm.org.il.
Water festival in Ma’ayanot Park The Ma’ayanot Park will celebrate Shavuot, also known as the Holiday of Water, following a Moroccan Jewish belief that anyone who has water poured on him during Shavuot will be kept safe during the upcoming year. Visitors to the Ma’ayanot Park on Sunday are invited to participate in activities between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. such as riding in an electric car or on bicycles, and playing a game where you try to put out a flame using a water pistol.
For details: (04) 688-1427 Ever milked a goat? Naot Farm in the Negev, just north of Sde Boker, invites visitors to learn how to milk a goat and taste their gourmet goat cheeses. Tours will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and are suitable for the whole family. Visitors will see firsthand exactly how goats are milked. At the end of the tour, participants will be invited to the visitors’ center to taste the various goat cheeses prepared on the farm.
For details: 054-421-8789/8 Shavuot at Kibbutz Yagur Kibbutz Yagur continues its traditional Shavuot kibbutz agricultural festival between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. At the entrance to the kibbutz, there will be an exhibition of agricultural tools, kite-making, flower arrangement and basket-weaving workshops and a horse jumping competition. In addition, on Saturday and Sunday, there will be food stands selling cheeses, Druse pita and organic foods. Some of the activities require payment.
For details: (04) 984-8108
Translated by Hannah Hochner