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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Neot Kedumim©

Written by: Vardah Littmann             Photos by Rimonah Traub
Neot Kedumim was built literally with the Tanach in one hand and  a spade in the other hand. Much of the 625 acres (2500  dunams), located ten minutes from Ben Gurion Airport, was transformed into replicas of regions in Biblical Israel. Hundreds of  Biblical and Talmudic plants and trees were planted. Domestic and wild animals and birds were brought in to enhance the setting. 

When driving into Neot Kedumim, to your left is a pinewood forest with natural rock gardens covered in hundreds cyclamens of different shades of pink and scarlet.  

This is a wonderful place to learn about the flowers of Eretz Yisrael since each trail has signs detailing the plants bordering it, with their appropriate posukim from the Tanach. Each placard is numbered and the Hebrew, Biblical, and English name and family of the corresponding plant can be looked up in a plant identification list that is given to you with your entrance ticket.

Of the four trails, all except the last (D) are both wheelchair and pram friendly.  
The pergolas and benches, placed in strategic points along each route, provide you with a shaded place to rest and study the displays nearby.  For instance, the ascending benches near a Hasmonian village on Trail A, can seat a large group. Excavated alleys, houses, and courtyards with cisterns and mikvahs from the early period of the Second Temple are seen here. There are also underground getaways for times of danger.On display are a reconstructed arch from the Fourth to Seventh Century CE and a reproduction of a typical Roman sundial. 

Grape and olive presses can be viewed and examined in great detail, with certain hands-on activities as well.

The view in all directions is pastoral and with such expansive beauty that it feels liberating. Looking northwest, you see Petach Tikvah in the far foreground with the tall buildings of Tel Aviv behind it, and Cholon and Bat Yam to its left.  To the north, you see Arab villages with the security fence around them. To the east, Jerusalem is hidden from view by high hills, and far to the south Kiryat Sefer is visible.     

An open sided tour train takes visitors around to view this beautiful nature reserve in its entirety. Each train seats 50 adults or 70 children. On regular days, the train ride must be ordered in advance, while on Chol HaMoed there’s no need for reservations.

It’s possible to make weddings at Neot Kedumim. Although the kosher supervision is under the Rabbinate at this point, they are hoping to upgrade it.

Neot Kedumim is located on Route 443 between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. From Jerusalem, take Connex Bus No. 110, near the Central Bus Station (217Jaffa Road), with the bus leaving approximately every half an hour. Get off at Shilat Junction (before Modiin), and from there take Connex Bus No. 111 (in the direction of Tel Aviv). The bus stops at the entrance to Neot Kedumim.
Neot Kedumim is open Sunday – Thursday, 8:30 - 16:00;
Friday and holiday eves, 8:30 - 13:00.
Admission is NIS 25 per adult and NIS 20 per child.

There are special family activities during Chanukah and Chol HaMoed of Sukkos and Pesach, and there are different entrance fees at these times.
For more information, call 08-977-0770. 
Published in 'The English Update' 10 March 2011


  1. Neot Kedumim used to publish some very nice materials. I am mostly familiar with Nogah Hareuveni's books in Hebrew. They are easy to read, and quite enjoyable with nice photos.

  2. Rav. Scher,
    Thank you so much for your input, it enhances the posting.
    Mrs. Littmann