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2 hours at Israel Museum - what to see / need a guide?

boston
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2 hours at Israel Museum - what to see / need a guide?

We have a couple of hours to spend at the Israel museum and would like some advise as to how best to use the time. Of course we will see the Dead Sea scrolls. Will we have time to see anything else? If so, what would you recommend?

Also, there will be 11 of us, including some kids (12-16). Would it be best to hire a guide to see the scrolls, etc. - so that we can really understand their significance? Would audiophones be just a s good, if they ahve them?

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Israel Museum
Israel Museum
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1. Re: 2 hours at Israel Museum - what to see / need a guide?

There is no need for a tour - you can take audio guides at the museum and all the exhibits also have explanations in English. The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit has lots of material about the history of the scrolls, the Essenes and so on.

Besides the Dead Sea Scrolls, be sure to see the 2nd Temple model which is just beyond the Shrine of the Book. I also really love the sculpture garden. If you take the path down the hill within the garden, you can go inside one of the sculptures. Of course there are many, many interesting things to see inside the museum too... but I think these three are among the best, and really things that you won't see in another country.

Avigail

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2. Re: 2 hours at Israel Museum - what to see / need a guide?

Besides the Scrolls, the Model, the Sculpture garden and the Weissbrod Pavillion which hosts temporary exhibition, there isn't momentarily anything else as the museum is closed for a monumental facelift and will open in full regalia only in a few years' time. No guide needed, in my opinion.

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3. Re: 2 hours at Israel Museum - what to see / need a guide?

I agree with the others. If the archaeological wing was open, having a guide can help. But I wouldn't just hire one for the Jerusalem model or the Scrolls. I doubt you spend much more than an hour there.

You should also be aware that some of the scrolls on display are replicas, not the real thing. For good reason, perhaps, but a little disappointing.

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4. Re: 2 hours at Israel Museum - what to see / need a guide?

The sculpture garden is among the best in the world, with many works spread out over quite a bit of terrain. Much of it is abstract and large in scale. It's worth strolling there for half an hour, while also taking in the views of the new city. It's actually fun for kids, as one is a totally enclosed room and another is a kinetic sculpture you push a button to activate.

During my earliest visits to the Israel Museum, the real Dead Sea Scrolls were displayed magnificently in the Shrine of the Book. Unfortunately, a number of years ago, they removed many of them, including the one that was displayed in one long circle in the rotunda--now replaced by a replica. Besides the fact that they learned they were not preserving them to the best practices of the field, they worried about them being damaged in an attach--even though the display structure was originally designed to decline underground to safekeeping in such an occurrence. They do have some of the real fragments on display, but the real star is the architecture of this signature building.

I also must mention that the wonderful scale model of ancient Jerusalem that used to be at the old Holy Land Hotel (for about 40 years, in fact!) was acquired last year and installed on the grounds of the Israel Museum--and in a wonderful outdoor display with seating built in. It is a marvelous thing to behold and you can walk up close to this rather large exhibit. Kids especially love it.

Finally, the parking lot at the museum appears large, but is actually inadequate for the crowds who come there during holiday periods. We had to do as the locals did--park in no parking zones within the lot. No ticket and we did not get towed--but it was scary. Take a taxi or bus there--or better yet walk--if it's during a holiday.

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5. Re: 2 hours at Israel Museum - what to see / need a guide?

Israel Museum has a good website: imj.org.il

I recall getting a 2-for-1 admission deal from their website 2 years ago.

I have been receiving their emails for a couple of years, and received this recently, with their new hours & English language tour information:

Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs 10 am - 5 pm

Tues 4-9 pm

Fri 10 am - 2 pm

Sat 10 am - 5 pm

Free entrance for children aged 17 and under

Tuesdays and Saturdays courtesy of the Canadian Friends of the Israel Museum and the David and Inez Myers Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio

Free entrance for soldiers doing compulsory military service and for those doing National Service courtesy of the Israeli Friends of the Israel Museum (IFIM).

Coat check services and folding chairs are

available in Weisbord Pavilion.

Please inquire at the Information Desk for

details.

Audio guide in selected languages available

free of charge in the Entrance Pavilion

Guided Tours in English

Meet at the Entrance Pavilion

(unless stated otherwise)

Shrine of the Book: Sun, Mon, Wed,

Thurs 1 pm; Tues 4:30 pm; Fri, Sat 11 am

Model: Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs 11 am

Stories in Stones: Sun, Wed 3:30 pm

Sculptures on the Promenade:

Mon 3:30 pm

Ancient Synagogues Revealed: Thurs 3:30 pm

Made in China:

Sun, Wed 2 pm

Rockefeller Museum - Beliefs and Believers: Mondays in November. Leaves Israel Museum parking lot at 11 am; returns at 1:30 pm. Tour from 11:30-1:00.

See details of other tours inside.

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6. Re: 2 hours at Israel Museum - what to see / need a guide?

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