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Dubrovin Farm and Yesud HaMa'ala and their inspiring stories

A wonderful combination for touring is the Dubrovin Farm and the nearby village of Yesud HaMa’ala. One can be done without the other but together they tell the inspiring story of First Aliya immigrants to the Hula Valley who refused to give up when objectively they had every reason to do so. The Dubrovin Farm demonstrates life in the early days of Jewish agricultural settlement and shows an inspiring movie about the challenges of living here. Consider also visiting the nearby Hula Nature Reserve to complete the picture.

Yoav and Rachel Dubrovin were Christian Sabbath observers (termed Sobotnikim) who converted to Judaism and came on aliya in 1904 as part of the First Aliya. They had been Russian farmers, had considerable experience in agriculture, and were familiar with the type of flat countryside of the Hula Valley. Baron Edmond Rothschild’s organization persuaded them to settle here. They purchased land in 1909 and were assisted in the construction of their farm. Because of their expertise, their farm became a model for other settlers in the area. As did other settlers living close to Lake Hula, they lost two of their children to malaria. In his old age, Yoav moved to Rosh Pina to avoid malaria and left the management of his farm to his bachelor son Yitzhak. His workers were local Bedouin. Yitzhak eventually donated the estate to the Jewish National Fund. The farm has since been reconstructed to demonstrate farming life during this period and the challenges of living in the Hula Valley.

Directions: Enter “Dubrovin Farm” into Waze and click on “Dubrovin farm, Ha-Shmura Street, Yesud HaMa’ala.”

Admission: The farm is open from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. There is an admission charge. A brochure is provided in English. Their phone number is 04 693-7371. For their website (in Hebrew) click here.

Public transport: Enter Dubrovin farm” into Moovit. The closest bus stop is at the Shmurat HChulah Intersection, which is serviced by an infrequent bus between Tel Hai and Kiryat Shemona. From here it is about 3.0 Km/ 37-minute walk. There are close bus lines to Yesud Hama’ala. Enter “Yesud HaMa’ala” into Moovit.

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The tour in the Dubrovan Farm is in Hebrew, but the guide will do his or her best to keep the Hebrew simple if needs be. There is an inspiring 12-minute movie about settlement in this area. There are also reconstructed living quarters and kitchen and a display of farming implements. The outside well you see was constructed by the Dubrovins. From the farm you are only 1.3 Km to the Hula Valley Reserve.

Oven in Dubrovin Parm.jpeg
Irons in Dubrovin Farm.jpeg


Although one can drive to Yesud HaMa’ala, if you have the time consider walking. It takes about 40 minutes each way and there is a paved sidewalk the entire way. The scenery is not exciting but you pass pleasant orchards. Whether driving or walking, once you are in the village walk to the former pier for Lake Hula.

Walking from Dubrovin Farm: From the farm go to the T-junction and turn right. At the next T-junction, turn right onto HaShmura St and this will take you to the center of Yesud HaMa’ala. Turn left onto HaMeyasdin St. 

To visit Yesud HaMa’ala by car. Enter “Yesud HaMa’ala” into Waze. This will bring you to a parking area on HaMeyasdin St. by the mo’aza or administrative center.

Yesud HaMa'ala - a delightful place to live - eventually


Yesud HaMa’ala was established in 1883 by Polish Jews in the First Aliya. They named their village after a phrase in the Book of Ezra (7:9) - "the commencement of the ascent (yesud hama’ala)." The immigrants initially lived in tents because the Ottomans refused permission for them to build houses. However, Baron Edmond Rothschild visited the settlement, and in 1887 persuaded the Ottomans to reverse this decision. He also built houses for them. Nevertheless, life was very difficult.


Yesud HaMa’ala was built next to Lake Hula and the settlers and their childen were dying from malaria. Dr. Mer, the malaria expert from Rosh Pina, advised them all to leave. However, they were determined to continue. This decision was reinforced by their finding of an inscription in Aramaic on a stone from the ruins of an ancient 5th century synagogue located in the village. It read “May his memory be for good, all who settle here.” This finding provided the settlers with the resolve to continue living here despite illness and frequent deaths.


Eventually, malaria was overcome with pesticides and the draining of Lake Hula. A more recent hardship was Syrian shelling from the Golan Heights. This too was overcome by the Six-Day War and Israel’s capturing of the Golan Height.


As you can see, Yesud HaMa’ala is now a delightful place to live.


  • For both walkers and car riders, walk along HaMeyasdin St in the direction away from Route 90. Cross HaShmura St. Note the concrete blocks on the sidewalk, many of which provide brief histories of the families living here. Continue to the fork at the end of the road.

  • To visit the ruins of the Byzantine synagogue, turn left. Adjoining the garden on your left are its ruins. This is where the stone was found that provided support to the settlers to continue living here. The synagogue faced south to Jerusalem. It was in use until the 7th century but then functioned as a sugar factory in the Muslim and Crusader periods.

  • Return to HaMeyasdin St and take the right fork at the end of this road. Then turn down the first street on the left. Almost immediately you will see a sign with the word “Toto” in Hebrew by a path. Follow this path through the park, passing a grove of old eucalyptus trees. This will bring you to a pier that once adjoined Lake Hula. The villagers went fishing from here in their boats. There are signs in Hebrew with pictures describing the former significance of the pier.

  • Return the way you came back to your car.

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A walk to the pier takes you through a grove of old eucalyptus trees.

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Houses in Ysod Hamaaleh.jpeg

Signs by the former pier describe the development of Yesud HaMa'ala. 

Yesud hamaleh.jpeg

Ancient synagogue from the 4th century CE. An inscription was found that said May his memory be for good, all who settle here” and this induced the settlers to persevere.

Links to the HOME PAGE and best family activities, hikes and historic sites in the GOLAN, EASTERN GALILEE, UPPER GALILEE, LOWER GALILEE, JORDAN VALLEY & LAKE KINNERET, the SHEFELAH, TEL AVIV-YAFFO and surroundings, NORTH of TEL AVIV, and SOUTH of TEL AVIV.

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