The Land of the Baron
Baron Edmond Benjamin James de Rothschild is well-known for his two great loves: art and the settlement and development of Palestine. He supported the moshavot (villages) that were founded by members of the Second Aliyah, founded new moshavot, and purchased land throughout the country. With the help of his funds and under his supervision educational institutions, health services and industrial and agricultural plants were established.
Baron Rothschild's attitude towards the settlers was complex: as a man of the West he regarded the Ostjuden (Eastern European Jews) as wretched and inferior in status, and treated them with firm authority combined with compassion.
He had reservations vis-à-vis the Zionists as he thought they might endanger his enterprise. Only years later, when he saw the development of the settlements in Palestine, did he change his attitude towards the Zionist endeavor and expressed his appreciation for the first settlers and their efforts. "Without the Zionists, his endeavor would have been doomed, "wrote Haim Weizmann. The question needs to be asked - could the Zionist endeavor have succeeded without the massive infrastructure laid by Baron Rothschild?
The permanent exhibit, The Land of Baron Rothschild, follows this singular man and his endeavor in developing Jewish settlements in Palestine, from the beginning of his activities in Palestine in 1882 until his death in 1934.
The public is invited to join Baron Rothschild on his different visits to Palestine, view the objects, pictures and documentary films, see the activities of the Caesarea Foundation and follow him to his last place of rest in Zichron Yaakov.