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The Metropolitan Jerusalem Master Plan

The Metropolitan Jerusalem Master Plan


Along with year-round routine

activities, ceremonies and central events

may be offered, such as the Three Jewish

pilgrimage holidays, events for Tu B’Av, Tu

B’Shvat, Chanukah (an olive harvest), the

firsts of the Hebrew month, the Ethiopian

Jewish holiday of Gez, wine festivals, and


These events will serve to attract visitors

throughout the year and will be marketed to

local tourists as well as those from abroad.

The visitor’s center at the agricultural

compound will bring in more income

selling local produce to visitors. Wheat

and bread, grapes and wine, almonds, and

nuts, dates, figs, pomegranates and carob,

recreated dishes, tools, and even furniture,

ancient-style handmade clothes and fabrics,

jewelry and various memorabilia of the

experience will all be available for purchase.

The agricultural expanse will serve as a

tourist attraction and as a place of research,

learning, and education. Research on

handcrafts and culture of ancient materials

will be conducted through the activities

taking place, and at the same time, learning

and teaching of these fields – on all levels,

from kindergarten through academia – will

go on. The option to collaborate with

institutions of education and learning

interested in the agricultural expanse’s

activities may be examined.

The New Zoo Compound –

the Water Kingdom

This compound, under construction,

will be a 40-acre extension of the existing

infrastructure of the Biblical Zoo and will

allow more visitors while expanding to

address a greater variety of interests.

Agricultural Compounds –

Preserving Ancient Agricultural


This compound will be Emek Refaim

Park’s flagship project. The project’s

purpose is to create a rural expanse

wherein ancient Jerusalem will be

reenacted. This expanse will be some

1500 acres in size, and will act in the

spirit of biblical times by preserving the

values of nature, landscape, heritage,

and culture – and by rebuilding and

reconstructing the flora, buildings, terraces,

ancient roads, springs, archeological sites,

cultural landscapes, irrigation systems, and

agricultural structures – all while creating

conditions that will enable the area to serve

tourism, education, and urban life.

Designated for this purpose is an area

in Nahal Refaim comprised of forest and

non-forest areas, which in the past served

as a central part of the agricultural expanse

surrounding Jerusalem. Remains of ancient

agriculture have been found in the area,

with ancient terraces, springs, and more.

According to the proposed plan, different

elements will be developed in the area

that will together create an experience that

reenacts the world of biblical agriculture:


Living quarters:

ancient living quarters

reconstructed for actual use.



reconstruction of the

ancient terraces in a manner that enables

growing produce.


Animal farming:

raising livestock as

part of the ancient farming network.


Workshops and industry:


for experiencing traditional crafts.



: reconstruction of the ancient

waterworks such as cisterns, wells,

aqueducts, and means of collecting


The reconstructed agricultural expanse

will be managed as a self-supporting unit.

Each of the activities will have its own

manager. The manager will oversee it

in accordance with the annual plan for

cultivation and maintenance. Income from

paid activities will be divided between

the maintenance budget for free activities

and the operators. Free areas will include

services, transportation and pedestrian

plazas, and lookout points. Paid services,

such as guides or private spaces, will be

available for rental.

All forms of educational and

recreational activities will give visitors

hands-on experiences. These include:

plowing, sowing, reaping, planting field

and garden crops, pruning, harvest,

weeding orchards and vineyards, building

terraces, clearing rocks and thorns, making

bread – from treating the wheat grains

to baking – all stages of making olive

oil, wine, milk, and cheese – including

milking by hand, caring for work animals

(ox, donkey, mule, horse), building using

ancient techniques, pottery and ancient

ceramics, making tools of wood, stone,

and metal.

The urban expanse of the

holy basin will be planned

and operated as a large open

museum. This central urban

expanse is meant to serve as

a continuous spiritual biblical

experience with a network of

activities, sites, hotels, and

logistical means.

A model of a biblical

village at Ein Yael, 2013



Hotels and Tourism

Hotels and Tourism