** WONDERFUL NEWS! ** July 26th, 2020
Our project has received a major boost through some matching funds! We now only need a few thousand $$ to reach the first step towards saving the mikveh! Please help get us over the finish line! Thank you!
WHAT A COOL SURPRISE!
The Israel Antiquities Authority discovered an ancient mikveh from 2nd Temple times next to Kibbutz Hannaton!
However, the amazing archaeological find sits in a highway construction site and will be covered up and destroyed in a matter of weeks!
The Hannaton community immediately decided to seize this unique, once in a lifetime opportunity to preserve the past, connect it to the present and envision the future.
Our mission is to save the ancient mikveh from destruction. We have contacted an engineering company specializing in salvaging ancient sites. They have agreed to excavate out and transplant this important Jewish find and place it in the heart of our kibbutz, thus creating a dialogue between our ancient Jewish heritage and modern life here in the Galilee.
The spot slated for this mikveh is just steps away from Shmaya: A Mikveh for Mind, Body and Soul, an active progressive mikveh that already draws visitors from Israel and around the world. This connection between the ancient and the modern will bring a tangible expression of Jewish tradition in the Galilee.
A mikveh (literally a gathering of living waters) is a ritual immersion pool that can be either natural or built by human hands. Full-body immersion as a transformative spiritual practice is referenced in the Hebrew Bible and explicitly drawn in the Talmud. It is a uniquely Jewish ritual still practiced to this day much as it was 2,000 years ago — whose meanings and applications have adapted in fascinating ways throughout Jewish history.
Hannaton’s mikveh is the only mikveh in the State of Israel with a stated mission of being open to all people — regardless of affiliation or identity of any sort — who are invited to immerse in the manner in which they choose. It is part of a world-wide movement to reclaim and reframe this ancient practice for all who are interested in experiencing its transformative power.
Plan of Action:
Our plan has two phases. The first one is immediate, as we must rescue and salvage the ancient mikveh from destruction during the highway’s construction. The second phase is the creation of a beautiful educational archaeology park.
Phase I: Salvaging the Ancient Mikveh (must be done by end of August 2020)
- Complete preservation work to stabilize the ancient stones/plaster
- Cover and protect the ancient stones/plaster and prepare it for transport
- Prepare the new site: clear vegetation, level the ground, and dig a proper hole
- Saw out, lift and transfer the ancient mikveh from its current location to the new location in Hannaton.
- Set the ancient mikveh in the ground
- Cover and protect the ancient mikveh until ready for display
- The estimate for Phase I is $75,000
The urgency to raise the needed $75,000 for Phase I is immediate as the Highway Authority is eager to move on with construction by the end of August, 2020.
Update: July 11, 2020
Phase II: Construction of the Educational Archaeological Park
We are working closely with the Antiquities Authority has agreed to lend us archaeological finds to display and help us create a beautiful archaeological park, providing a platform for engagement with the public. The educational archaeological park will do two things: be an added value for visitors from Israel and abroad that already come to Hannaton for its unique characteristics, and entice others to visit.
Immediate Next Steps
- Hire a landscape architect to create the plan for the educational archaeology park
- Build the educational archaeology park, reaching from the ancient mikveh to the Canaanite era wine press at the top of the hill
- Receive and display artifacts lent to us by the Antiquities Authority
- Design and implement educational projects for students, local communities and tourists, highlighting the connection between our ancient past and the present
As we are moving as quickly as possible, your much needed donations will be directed to the Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel and transfered to Kibbutz Hannaton.