The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot is located at Tel Aviv University.
It tells the unique and ongoing story of the Jewish people in Israel and abroad.
It was founded in 1978 as the Diaspora Museum, whose main goal was to tell the story of Jewish communities in the diaspora and connect Israelis to their past.
However, as part of the museum’s renewal, it was decided that there would no longer be a a separation between different groups of Jews.
Instead, the museum would emphasizing identity and culture, depicting Jewish people as "a rich mosaic with many pieces, each piece stands alone yet contributes to the understanding of the great picture."
This process also led to replacing the institute’s name from The Diaspora Museum to The Museum of the Jewish People.
Independence hall is the site of the signing of Israel’s Declaration of Independence and where David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel.
Once the home of Zionist leader and first mayor of Tel Aviv, Meir Dizengoff and later, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, today it is a museum dedicated to that historic day.
There is a tour which discuss the history of the building, the founding of Tel-Aviv, the story of the declaration of independence ceremony, and the dramatic events that led to it.
Today, it features the 4,000-year-old story of the Jewish people and the 2,500-year history of the Jewish diaspora, exhibiting Jewish communities around the world which established and grew uniquely.
As part of the tour you can listen to rare recordings from the day of declaration ceremony, including Ben Gurion’s speech, Rabbi Fishman’s greetings, and the Philharmonic Orchestra’s playing of Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem.
I've toured this museum when I was a little girl, as a young woman, and again recently.
I never stop being moved and when I close my eyes and listen to the recording, I feel like I've been transported back in time to be a part of one of the greatest moments in history.
The Jabotinsky Museum tells the story of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, illustrates life in the underground, and the Af Al Pi Aliyah by Betar and the Irgun.
It also exhibits documentary films about Zionist leader Jabotinsky, the Irgun, clandestine immigration, and more.
Jabotinsky became known mostly for his called to establish a Jewish state and the creation of a Jewish majority in the Land of Israel, and the political struggle which he conducted for its realization.
The exhibition at the museum includes documents, press clippings, photographs and films, weapons and audio-visual models illustrating the organization’s activities.
The Haganah Museum tells the story of the Haganah that defended the Jewish Yishuv during the British Mandate.
The museum is located in the house of Eliyahu Golomb, founder and leader of the Haganah, and what was once the Haganah’s secret headquarters.
The museum includes two rooms that have been preserved as they were when they were used for meetings.
These rooms are where critical decisions for the Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel were made.
The first floor tells the history of the Jewish Yishuv and the Haganah from the establishment of the earliest defense organizations – Bar Giora (1907) and Hashomer (1909).
The second floor features exhibits from the period of the illegal immigration, events during WWII such as Haganah soldiers volunteered in the British Army and the establishment of the Palmach, and the struggle they faced following the second world war.
The third and final floor features the events leading up to and during Israel's War of Independence.
The Palmach Museum tells the story of the Palmach, the Haganah‘s strike forces, which played a crucial role in the Israeli War of Independence.
The exhibits are very modern with three-dimensional scenery, films, and various effects incorporating first hand accounts and personal stories.
The tours begin and end in the memorial hall which is dedicated to Palmach soldier who died fighting for establishment of the state of Israel.
You can take two optional tours per visit, Palmach Journey and Gachal Memorial.
The Palmach Journey exhibit begins with the establishment of the Palmach and follows the story of ten friends during the battles of the Palmach, the settlements established by it, and its spirit and heritage.
The Gachal (overseas recruits) tells the moving story of Holocaust survivors and new immigrants, who took part in the battles and the part played in the War of Independence.
In addition, there are two collection rooms:
The Palmach Photo Gallery which exhibits 120 albums with photos taken by Palmach in the 1940’s.
Room of the Fallen Soldiers gives a glance to the world of the fallen among the Palmach through their letters, and life stories.
The Alexander Museum of Postal History & Philately tells the postal history of the Land of Israel within the context of historical, social, and political changes in the region.
The museum was founded by the Israel Postal Authority, the Tel Aviv Foundation, and the Eretz Israel Museum - where it is located.
The displays includes elements that relate to the postal services in general and to the postal services in Israel in particular.
The exhibits display postal history in general, and local postal history in particular, begin with a chronicle of the post in the Land of Israel from the mid-19th century though the establishment of the State of Israel.
The story is told through envelopes and letters, photographs and posters, mailboxes and telephones, and a 1949 mail truck from the early days of the country.
One of the exhibits includes a large-scale stamp album, where a chronological selection of Israeli stamps illustrates the changes in design and subject over the years.
The Bank of Israel Visitors Center is located in a historic building and has on display different currencies from the pre-coin periods, the invention of the first coins in the 600’s BCE, and up to the present day.
Many of the 400 items in the exhibition are exclusive to the Bank of Israel collection.
The exhibition mostly focuses on coins in circulation in the Land of Israel down the centuries.
The exhibition also displays all of Israel’s banknotes and coins from the British Mandate period to the present day.
All Israeli coins, from the very first mintage in 1948, are modeled after ancient Jewish coins or other Jewish archaeological artifacts.
Next to each modern coin is a photo of an ancient coin on which its design is based.
The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History is the home of the natural history collections of Tel Aviv University of five and a half million items.
The universities Zoological Museum, National Herbarium, National Anthropological Collections, and Collections of Biological Archeology have joined together to establish the museums collection.
The collections document the flora and fauna of Israel and the Middle East for thousands of years, as well as human development and the history of humankind.
The Father Schmitz Collection is also on display here.
It includes some of the museum’s rarest and most ‘precious’ items:
The last leopard hunted in the Jerusalem Hills, a Nile crocodile that was one of the last crocodiles living in Taninim River, the last cheetah hunted near the Dead Sea, and purebred wildcats that aren’t seen any more in nature in Israel.
Schmitz was one of the only collectors and recorders in the Land of Israel in the early 20th century.
Living Nature Museums
While most people would probably disagree with me, I believe zoos and botanical gardens are living museums that display nature.