Ancient Sussya awaits your visit! The ruins of the “old” are being given a new lease on life, so to speak, by the Visitor Centre’s bustling activities in the midst of all the newly established communities in this region which lay desolate for hundreds of years. An ancient coin found during the excavations bore the inscriptions “Shekel Yisrael/Holy Jerusalem” signifying a down payment made hundreds of years ago and which is now finally beginning to yield dividends as the Jewish people are once again returning to inhabit this heartland of Eretz Yisrael.
Apart from the fact that one gets to drive along the Ridge Route known as the Way of the Patriarchs, there are several other reasons to plan an outing to this historical site!
A newly renovated Visitor’s Centre with its pitched roof and exposed beams emulating the architectural style of the nearby ancient synagogue blends the NOW and the THEN. Manager Nadav Abramahov coordinates the smooth running of this constantly expanding tourist attraction in the Har Hevron region.
Fun galore to be enjoyed by the whole family! During Pesach and Succot this archeological site becomes a hive of activity drawing visitors from all over the country. They come with their picnic baskets to view the excellent video which portrays the history and daily life of this once vibrant community and probes the mystery of its demise. Several other activities like decorating pottery, drumming etc provide an enriching fun-filled day for all. The festive atmosphere is further enhanced by actors dressed in biblical attire, riding on donkeys or filling their pitchers with water from an ancient well. Ancient Sussya just comes alive!
Smachot amongst ancient ruins! Just imagine experiencing a wedding under a chuppah in the excavated courtyard of the 1500 year old synagogue, followed by a joyous celebration under the starlit skies at the Visitor’s Centre! Or a bar/bat mitzvah in the restaurant of the Visitor’s Centre which can seat up to 150 people!
Proudly presenting Har Hevron’s entrepreneurs! The Ancient Sussya Visitor’s Centre is fast becoming the venue for local entrepreneurs to put their products and crafts on display. Currently 14 local businesses originating in Har Hevron are represented. A wide variety of products and crafts includes the following: Wines from the Yatir Winery which has won several European awards and the Shokek and Livni Wineries, as well as an organic Merlot produced by the Weiss family. On sale are also glass ceramics, 100% natural skin and hair products, chocolates produced by “Holy Cacao”, Chava Stern’s hand-crafted Judaica, as well as honey from Mitzpe Avigail and Movshovitz’s award winning honey produced in Sussya. A new addition to this array of Har Hevron’s achievements is Rahel Roni Alon’s beautiful Anglo-friendly calendar “Land of the Bible” in Hebrew/English. All of the above can be viewed and purchased at the Visitor’s Centre!
Walking along the dusty trail leading from the Visitor’s Centre to the ancient synagogue and passed excavated wells, homes, olive presses and burial caves gives one a sense of taking a walk through history as well as a feeling of gratitude that we can continue on where our ancestors have left off.
Compiled by: Yoana Yehudah