Mini Israel

Remember Gulliver’s Travels? After being shipwrecked,
he awoke in a land where he was a giant. Every person and object around him
was miniature. With that in mind, imagine being in a place where all the
buildings, scenery and people are tiny.

Think of the
Western Wall with Jews praying at the wall, while the Dome of the Rock is
up on top and Muslims are engaged in prayer there. As a giant, you can see
how different parts of the country are laid out and how communities are built
near each other.

The park,
which is located near Latrun, gives visitors a look at modern day Israel.
Built on a scale of 1:25, with numerous buildings — both modern and historic
— Mini Israel gives visitors an overview of the country.

and trees are all over the displays. We learned that all of the trees are
actually mini-trees that were planted and are now pruned so that they will
continue to grow on a proper scale with the rest of the project. Built on
14 acres, the project enables visitors to see many aspects of the country
from Haifa, Acre (Akko) and Safed in the north, Jerusalem, Ben Gurion Airport,
and Tel Aviv in the center to the south. Since much of the site is still
under construction, the south seems to be following the center and north
of the country in development.

Our kids
all enjoyed walking around Mini Israel and seeing places they had visited.
It was fun for them to recall different experiences in their lives as they
gained perspective into city layouts and saw places that they have yet to

Our youngest
child spent a good part of the visit playing at the airport, trying to manipulate
the planes on the runway.

The day
we visited, characters from Israel’s history were roaming the park in period
dress. Moshe Dayan had a long discussion with the kids as he quizzed them
on their knowledge of his role in the military.

The three
generations of our family who visited Mini Israel together all had a great
time. The teenagers even asked to go back again when the site is complete!

Text and photos by M. Kaplan-Green.


Getting There: Route 1 to Latrun exit.
Head south to Route 3 South. Mini Israel will be on the left.
Hours: Daily 10 am-6 pm; early closing at 2 pm on Friday.
Admission: Fee.

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