On top of a hill, overlooking the wide Hefer Valley and the Sharon, stands an impressively beautiful structure, housing the Beit Hagdudim Museum. The museum was established at moshav Avichail in 1961 by veterans of the Hebrew battalions (gdudim) of the First World War and it presents Jewish courage and volunteering. Moshav itself was also established by veterans of the Hebrew battalions. During the two world wars Jews from Land of Israel and the diaspora joined the British Army to fight for the Land of Israel. They struggled to bear a Hebrew symbol on their uniforms and practically designed the base on which the Israel Defence Forces were later established. Among the Hebrew warriors were central figures in the history of the Jewish settlement: David Ben-Gurion, Joseph Trumpeldor, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Haim Laskov and others.
What’s at the site: exhibitions containing rare exhibits, weapon exhibition, short films and multimedia presenting the Hebrew battalions of the First World War – the pioneers of enlistment to the Hebrew units in the struggle for a national cause; a display on the volunteers of the Jewish settlement in Land of Israel to the British Army in the Second World War – the fight against the Nazis, the encounter with Holocaust survivors and the volunteers’ contribution to the establishment of the IDF; a roofed sitting corner and lawns and gardens for visitors’ enjoyment, a library and an archive.
For the general public: guided tours introducing the fascinating story of the Hebrew men and women soldiers accompanied by short films. Groups are offered a tour of the nearby moshav Avichail following the stories of warriors, slicks (hiding places for weapons) and clandestine immigrants.
For children: experiential activation with written riddles, assignment sheets and creative workshops.
The museum belongs to Museums Unit of the Ministry of Defence.