A short account of the Ayalon Institute, given by your Israel & Jerusalem private tour guide

What is the Ayalon Institute?

In 1941, while the German army was getting close to Palestine, the British agreed to let the Jewish community in the country participate in the war efforts. They opened a training base, and hundreds of boys were trained as field fighters, AKA Palmach (acronym for Striking Forces).

When the danger was over, the Palmach had to go underground and train secretly. After the war, the Palmach was engaged in operations against British targets, with the goal of of moving them out of the country. It was also clear that upon their departure, a brutal war between the Jewish and Arab communities would break.

For these operations, and for the war to come, the defense forces needed a lot of ammunition that had to be produced secretly, in clandestine facilities. One of them was called the Ayalon Institute. It is located outside of Tel Aviv, near the city of Rehovot.

What is there to see?

Being located near a British base, the Ayalon Institute was built as a kibbutz that was meant to train future kibbutzim members to become farmers. The museum shows you all of the ploys that were used to keep the munitions factory a secret from the British, and from the other members of the kibbutz, who knew nothing of what was going on right beneath their feet. Such was the use of a bakery and a laundry under which the bullet factory was working.

This is a fascinating 1½-hour tour.

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