Updated: May 27, 2021
Think you've seen EVERY museum in Israel? Here are a few less-known museums you should definitely check out.
The Mosaic Shul: Akko’s Tunisian Synagogue
Or Torah, also known as the Akko Tunisian Synagogue (also known as “Jariva”) was created in 1955 by the Tunisian immigrants who moved to Akko, and it is one of the most breathtaking sights in the world! The entire synagogue is covered in mosaic (from Kibbutz Eilon) and stained glass, depicting the history of the Jewish people, the flora, fauna, animals, and language of the Land of Israel. It shows Bible stories, modern Israeli history, and the horrors of the holocaust. This synagogue is a stunning tribute to the Jewish people and their history, and a piece of art to behold! (Plus a nice trip up North!)
The Search For Indigenous Israeli Art: The Rubin Museum
Formerly the home of one of Israel’s most beloved artists, The Rubin Museum is more than just the former studio and residence of artist Reuven Rubin. In the heart of Tel Aviv, the Rubin Museum is a celebration of Israeli art with a permanent collection of Rubin paintings and a revolving collection of Israeli artists and guest exhibitions. If you are looking for culture, look no further!
Israel’s National Poet: The Bialik Museum
Neither daylight nor the darkness See how silently I wander. Not on mountain, nor in valley, Does an old acacia ponder.
-The Acacia Tree
Step into the 1920s of Israel and experience Tel Aviv through the home and poems of Israel’s National Poet, Haim Nahman Bialik. One of the pioneers of Modern Hebrew Poetry, Bialik’s work has inspired generations of poets, just like the ones you’ll see in coffee shops and on graffitied walls all around the coastal city of Tel Aviv. Spend the day like a Tel Aviv hipster and bask in the beauty of the written word.
Undercover Under Fire: Ayalon Institute Museum
Disguised as a kibbutz to fool the British while Jews were fighting for their independence from British occupation in the 40s, the Ayalon Institute was a secret ammunition factory run by the Haganah that produced more than 2 million 9mm bullets between 1945 and 1948. Explore the hidden factory hidden underground, and learn how the impressive operation went down! Experience the history of Israel’s establishment in this unique (and really cool) museum.
The Old, Old City: Old Yishuv Museum
500 years before the Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem, there was an old Jewish settlement within the walls of the Old City. The Old Yishuv Museum brings the story of this small settlement of Jews to life, with period items and displays. As a vital piece of the puzzle of Jerusalem's history, this museum is a must-see for anyone visiting Jerusalem!
A New Architecture: The Bauhaus Museum
When thousands of Olim from Germany made Aliyah to Israel in the 1930s, they brought their styles of architecture with them too! Tel Aviv has the largest number of buildings in the Bauhaus/International Style of any city in the world, a style meaning “building house” which emphasizes functionality and inexpensive building materials- perfect for the growing state of Israel. The Bauhaus Museum in Tel Aviv contains furniture and belongings related to the Bauhaus movement of the 1920s and 1930s, as well as exhibitions about the International Style, and...it’s free!
Museum on the Seam
Less than a minute walk from the Jerusalem Light Rail "Shivtei Israel" station, Museum on the Seam is a perfect stop just minutes from the Old City of Jerusalem with a view you won’t see anywhere else. Its changing art exhibitions present a range of artists in order to raise diverse social issues for public discussion and bridge societal gaps. Experience the Jerusalem “seam” from an artistic perspective, located only five minutes' walk from Central Jerusalem, Mea Shearim, and the Old City.
Design Museum in Holon
Learn more about how design affects your everyday life with a visit to Israel’s world-renowned design museum in Holon. Explore the iconic building built by internationally acclaimed architect, Ron Arad, where you will find vital and dynamic resources for designers, students, creative industries, and well… just about anyone! Each year the museum presents an exciting and varied program of exhibitions and events, each dedicated to helping visitors gain a deeper understanding of design and the role it plays in our lives.