This week's blog post is written by Adam, a Yahel Social Change Fellow living in the Ramat Eliyahu neighborhood in Rishon LeZion.
One of the advantages of being European in Israel is that home is close and there are cheap flights, so my friends from the Czech Republic can actually visit me. That brought me a challenge of finding some cool places to show them around where I live in Rishon LeZion.
If you spend even a bit of time in Rishon, you’ll hear about THE well -- you can visit it at the Rishon LeZion museum. The well and other buildings recreate Rishon from its early days of settlement. It’s in the center of Rishon LeZion and tells the story about incredible work the Jewish people did. But there’s more…
Let me start with a little bit of temptation. I bet you’ve heard about the Palmahim beach. It is around 20 minutes from Rishon, very beautiful, and kind of reminds me of the French coast from D-Day. I actually have heard people say that it's the most beautiful beach in Israel.
You can start your day by parking in a free lot by the beach, then if you enjoy hiking take a walk in a nature reserve and end up on a beach. This beautiful hike will only take you about 20 minutes. You can see the route here.
But wait! There is more.
Less than 2 km the other way from the parking spot, more adventure is waiting for you. The abandoned Arab village that you'll find on this route is very interesting. Today, not many people know that it exists, but it used to be a very important pilgrimage place for Muslims.
The village, called Nabi Rubin, has a beautiful mosque and tomb (check out the Google street view). In my experience, the Jewish population in Rishon doesn’t know much about the 1,000 years of history associated with Nabi Rubin. At the site, there isn’t even a small sign about how important a pilgrimage place it is for Muslims.
The next time you're wondering about what to do around Rishon in the afternoon, I hope you'll go enjoy the beautiful Palmahim beach -- and maybe take 30 minutes and go explore life in the area even before that famous well.