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Israel: The Land and Its People

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The Land of Israel, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and between Asia and Africa, is the birthplace of the Jewish people, and contains sites sacred to Jews, Christians, Muslims, Samaritans, Druze, and the Baha’i Faith. It is hard to excavate anywhere in Israel without coming across its rich history with archeological finds from prehistoric and biblical to recent times. Modern Israel is a democracy contributing to innovations in technology, science and medicine that benefit the region and the world. One of the many remarkable Israeli achievements has been the greening of deserts, turning arid areas into fertile agricultural land.

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Do You Know?
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Do You Know?

Click on a question to see the answer.

  • 1. Do you know when the Holocaust took place?
    The Holocaust is an historic event which began in 1933 and ended in 1945, during which Nazi Germany persecuted and tried to eliminate the Jewish people, based on its antisemitic and racist ideology. It took place in the areas occupied by Nazi Germany and its collaborators.
  • 2. Do you know who are the Romani people are, and why they were persecuted?"
    The same racist ideology and belief in the racial superiority of the German people that was used to justify the murder of Jews was applied also to the Romani tribes, or “gypsies” of Europe. It is estimated that about 500,000 and possibly more Roma and Sinti were murdered in extermination camps and died of hunger and disease in forced labor and concentration camps. The “Romani Holocaust” has been largely unknown and it was not until 1982 that Germany recognized that it committed genocide against the Romani tribes. https://www.romasintigenocide.eu/en
  • 3. Do you know about Jewish resistance to the Nazis?
    Resistance to the Nazis took many forms from individual acts of courage to organized resistance. To die with dignity was a form of resistance. To survive hunger and demoralizing brutality, were acts of resistance and victory of the human spirit. The military strength of Nazi Germany and its allies, the concentration of Jews into ghettos, the thorough administrative system put in place, and the hostility of the civilian populations made it impossible for Jews to resist effectively, but it did not prevent them from trying. There were over a hundred uprisings, of which the best known is in the Warsaw ghetto. The Warsaw uprising in 1943 was the largest armed resistance against deportations to death camps. The revolt was defeated, but the courageous act of resistance helped raise Jewish morale and fueled resistance across Nazi occupied areas. The Warsaw uprising has been documented, including a detailed report with photographs prepared by an SS officer, known as the “Stroop Report”, used as evidence in the Nuremberg Trials for war crimes held after WWII.
  • 4. Do you know about the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews?
    The planned deportation of the Jews from within Bulgaria's pre-war borders (but not the areas annexed during the war) was never carried out. Bulgarian public figures protested against the deportation - among them Bulgarian Orthodox Church bishops, and persuaded the Tsar to postpone their deportation indefinitely. Their property was confiscated, they were forcibly relocated and all Jewish males between the ages of 20 and 40 were sent to forced labor, but the majority were not deported to the death camps. A monument is located in Charles Clore park in Tel Aviv. Its twin is in Bulgaria near the National Assembly in Sofia. Both monuments were initiated in 2013, when Bulgaria marked the 70th anniversary of the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews.
Geography

The Augusta Jewish Museum has many more stories to tell.

Please come see us when the AJM opens in Summer 2024.

Israel's Geographic Regions

 

Click on the photo to start the slideshow.

Innovation

Israeli Technical Innovation

Starting with turning the desert to fertile green land, Israel has invented many of the products that are now used worldwide. Here are a few of them:

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After years of development, Netafim, a desert friendly irrigation system was started in 1965. Netafim, meaning drops of water in Hebrew, has been used to increase dramatically the crop yield and reduce water use in the Arava desert of Israel and has spread across the globe to 110 countries. In 2018 Mexichem, a global leader in plastic piping purchased an 80% stake in Netafim.

https://www.netafim.com/en/Netafim-irrigation-company_about-us/

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Wix was started in Israel and continues to be based in Israel. Wix is a website development company that allows webmasters to build websites. The Augusta Jewish Museum's website is built using Wix.

 

www.wix.com 

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Do you use Waze to navigate around Georgia and the CSRA? In 2006 Israeli entrepreneurs Ehud Shabtai, Amir Shinar, and Uri Levine started Waze, formerly named Freemap Israel. It was created to help people navigate Israel but has since grown into a worldwide direction-finding app. In June 2013 google bought Waze for $966 million dollars. 

Israeli Inventions: Waze

Archeology

Archeology in Israel

 

It is hard to excavate anywhere in Israel without

coming across its rich history of archeological finds​.

Teen Volunteer Archaeologist Finds a Cache of Gold Coins

During the week of August 16, 2020 two Israeli teenage volunteer archaeologists discovered a cache of gold coins dating back over 1100 years. The find was discovered buried in an earthenware pot buried by its previous owner. The dig is run by the Israel Antiquities Authority who encourages teenage volunteers to come and help during their summer holiday.

According to Oz Cohen, one of the youth, "It was amazing. I dug in the ground and when I excavated the soil, saw what looked like very thin leaves. When I looked again I saw these were gold coins. It was really exciting to find such a special and ancient treasure."

 

At 1.68 lbs of pure 24-carat gold, this much money could have purchased a luxurious home when it was buried during the 9th century. Interestingly, some of the coins have been cut into pieces, a convenient way to give change with a purchase.

 

The Israel Antiquities Authority is keeping the exact location of the discovery—at a dig conducted ahead of planned construction in Yavneh, south of Tel Aviv in central Israel—under wraps to avoid looting from would-be treasure hunters.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/israeli-teens-discover-trove-425-1100-year-old-gold-coins-180975657/

The Great Isaiah Scroll

One of the most complete Dead Sea Scrolls

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The Great Isaiah Scroll was found along with others in a Qumran cave located close to the Dead Sea. In 1946 Bedouin shepherds discovered the scrolls and eventually, they were obtained by the Israel Museum. The Great Isaiah Scroll is preserved almost in its entirety and is the oldest complete book of Isaiah.

https://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/learn-about-the-scrolls/introduction

The Israel Museum Jerusalem, The Great Isaiah Scroll 

Cardo Maximus

An ancient Roman road in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

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In many cities, the Romans built a road running from north to south with decorative columns on both sides. This is called a Cardo. The center of the road was open to allow animals and carts to freely move. The outside of the columns had a covered walkway for pedestrians and shops for commerce.

This Cardo was discovered during renovation work between Habbad Street and Hayehudim Street inside the Jewish Quarter in the city of Old Jerusalem. It was excavated and preserved as part of Israel's rich archeological history.

Photo used with permission from Barbara Weibel.

The Augusta Jewish Museum has many more stories to tell.

Please come see us when the AJM opens in Summer 2024.

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