Beit Slutzkin Restoration

“Beit Slutzkin” is an historic house in Rehovot, built in 1908 by Australians Lazar and Rose Slutzkin. It has exceptional Australian Zionist and ANZAC links, and is now part of De Shalit Education Campus. In need of substantial repairs, a restored Beit Slutzkin, with your help, will become headquarters for the “Brichat HaHoref” (Winter Swamp) Environmental Educational Project and will include a Visitor Centre presenting the many historic and environmental assets of Rehovot.

Rare species, ecological systems and endemic flora and fauna unique to Rehovot’s Winter Swamp are in danger of extinction. As an authentic natural environment, the importance of the swamp is critical, and its conservation is a major aim of the project.

The Winter Swamp Project is integral to the municipal vision of a “Green Corridor” of environmental, historic and cultural resources in east Rehovot – which include the Minkov Citrus Orchard Museum, the Yekev (old winery), Chaim Weizmann’s House, the Pill Box, the Partition Plan Sabras Line, the Great Synagogue, Beit Ha’Am, and Beit Slutzkin.

Environmental / Education Vision: To support an environmental and educational project around the Winter Swamp and to raise awareness for its preservation. The project is led by De Shalit students and teachers, the Davidson Institute for Science Education, scientists from the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the Weizmann Institute, and Rehovot Municipality. It will include educational activities and a unique ecology research laboratory, in addition to involving Rehovot elementary and high school students in preserving their heritage for the benefit of the community

Historical Importance: Beit Slutzkin is a rare example of a family house of that time, built by Lazar and Rose (nee Blashki) Slutzkin, who made aliyah from Melbourne to Turkish Palestine in 1911. Remarkably, in 1917 it became headquarters for Lt Gen Harry Chauvel of the ANZAC Desert Mounted Corps after the famous battle at Beersheba, which led to the liberation of the Holy Land – and ultimately to the State of Israel.

Restoration Vision: A private home until WWII, Beit Slutzkin will be restored as an historic Australian, Zionist and educational landmark, with appropriate ANZAC and family memorials. It will offer improved disabled access and be prominent in the Green Corridor. It will include an open education centre with exhibitions and research presentations, and will house the operational hub of the Winter Swamp Project.

The restoration project is funded jointly by Rehovot Municipality and Israeli organisations. It is coordinated by the De Shalit Education Centre, and Australia has been invited to assist.

This unique project is represented in Australia by Friends of Beit Slutzkin. For more information, go to www.beitslutzkin.org or email beitslutzkin@gmail.com.

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