Beit Slutzkin, an historic building with important Australian and Jewish links, was at risk of falling into disrepair. Now, the restored Beit Slutzkin will become the Headquarters for Rehovot’s “Brichat HaHoref” (Winter Swamp) and “Green Corridor” Environmental and Educational Project.
The 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.
The Winter Swamp project is integral to the municipal vision of a “Green Corridor” of environmental, historical and cultural assets surrounding east Rehovot – Minkov Citrus Orchard Museum, The Yekev (old winery), The Weizmann House, The Pill Box, The Partition Plan Sabras line, Beit Slutzkin, the Great Synagogue and Beit HaAm.
To establish a joint environmental and educational project around The Winter Swamp to raise awareness for its preservation, 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.
The joint project 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.
Beit Slutzkin was built by Lazar and Rose (nee Blashki) Slutzkin in 1908 as they made Aliyah with their family from Melbourne to Turkish Palestine. In 1917 it was the headquarters for Lt Gen Harry Chauvel of the ANZAC Desert Mounted Corps after the famous charge at Beersheba, which led ultimately to the liberation of the Holy Land.
It will be restored as an historical, Australian Zionist landmark, among other assets in the Green Corridor and will include an open education centre with exhibitions and on-going research presentations.