The first moshav in the Judean Hills


Atarot, one of the first workers' cooperative settlements in the country, was almost totally razed to the ground in the 1948 War of Independence; only an abandoned airport and a mass grave  - "Shomrei Hamakom" - were left, remains of the settlement's cemetery.


In 1912, lands were purchased in Kalandia and its environs by Hachsharat Hayishuv, (a company that acquired land in Palestine and prepared it for Jewish settlement) for the Jewish National Fund. At the end of World War I, a group of halutzim established an agricultural settlement on the land. In 1928, the group decided to establish a workers' moshav named Atatrot, joining Tnuat Hamoshavim that was founded a short time earlier in Nahalal. The same year a British airport was built in Atarot, which left ten dunams of agricultural land for members of the moshav.

In the 1929 Palestine Riots the settlement was almost entirely demolished by Arab rioters, but its members managed to ward off the aggressors. During the Arab Revolt (1936-1939) the settlement and transportation to and from it suffered attacks, costing the lives of five members.

While it existed, the isolated moshav, surrounded by Arab villages, was Jerusalem's northern outpost. In April 1948, after months of a heavy siege the women and children of the moshav were evacuated, and on May 14th, 1948, the day the State of Israel was declared, the remaining members were ordered to leave and join the defenders of Neveh Yaakov. The following day they watched their homes burn down from Neveh Yaakov, and their 28 years of endeavor goin up in smoke. Two days later, on May 16th, after a fierce battle, the defenders were forced to leave Neveh Yaakov as well, and marched during the night to Mount Scopus. After long months of wandering, from besieged Jerusalem through Jaffa, the members of Atarot settled in the abandoned Templer village of Wilhelma, which was later renamed Bnei Atarot.


Curator: Kineret Palti

Opening: May 3, 2012 - July 31, 2012