Israel’s Top Experiential Museums

June 13th 2013

With their focus on art, science, history and more, Israel’s many acclaimed museums have much to offer in the way of exhibitions in standard formats. But many seek out museum experiences that go beyond documents and canvases on walls and artifacts under glass. On your next trip to Israel, consider visiting one of the country’s many experiential museums, and find yourself immersed in true stories through hands-on activities, poignant role play and compelling multimedia presentations.

Children’s Museum in HolonThe Children’s Museum in Holon features three especially popular experiential exhibits. The most well known is called Dialogue in the Dark, where visitors are guided through experiences of what it’s like to content with everyday tasks while completely blind. Invitation to Silence helps visitors to understand what it’s like to be deaf and to communicate entirely non-verbally. The newest exhibit in the series, Dialogue with Time, allows museum visitors experience growing older by undergoing simulated challenges that are common to individuals as they age.

The Palmach Multimdia Museum in Tel AvivThe Palmach Museum in Tel Aviv offers no displays or documents. Instead, the museum employs immersive storytelling to convey the story of the Palmach, an elite striking force of the Hagana, an underground military organization that operated prior to the establishment of the State of Israel. Visitors tour the museum in groups and, primarily through films and three-dimensional displays, encounter stories of young men who fought for the establishment of the country.

The Begin Center museum in Jerusalem uses multimedia to tell the story of important chapters in the history of Israel through the life of Menachem Begin. Featuring reenactments, rare film footage, interactive touch-screen exhibits and presentations with surround-sound narration, the museum’s goal is to lend visitors the experience of pivotal events in the life of the controversial and significant Zionist figure, starting with his early years in Poland and concluding with his years as Prime Minister of the State of Israel.

Bloomfield Science Museum in JerusalemThe Bloomfield Science Museum, located on the Givat Ram campus of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, specializes in interactive science and technology exhibits. As an educational institution, Bloomfield also develops a range of learning-oriented activities related to its hands-on exhibits. The museum’s goals include making science accessible to the curiosities of youth and the general public alike. One wing of the museum includes a space specially designed for preschool-aged visitors.

The Herzl Museum in JerusalemThe Herzl Museum in Jerusalem shares the innovative, experiential approach of the Palmach and the Begin museums to tell the story of Theodor Herzl, the visionary who called for the establishment of a contemporary political Jewish state. Relying primarily on audio-visual material, the 60-minute guided tour of the Herzl Museum makes Herzl’s aspirations for the Jewish people, as well as his personal and professional disappointments, come alive.