The bond between the People of Israel and Eretz Israel has remained strong for thousands of years. Previous generations left behind a myriad of sites that tell how the inhabitants of Eretz Israel lived during different periods. These sites attest to the cultural and historical heritage of the Jewish people in their homeland.
In 2010 the Israeli government initiated the Empowerment of National Heritage Infrastructure Project, whose goal is to rehabilitate and empower this infrastructure by investing in the preservation, restoration, development, study, publicity, advertising and marketing of historical assets and cultural treasures in order to strengthen Israel's identity, cultural wealth and unifying strength. The Heritage Project includes hundreds of cultural assets, five of which are featured on the stamps in this series.
City of David, Jerusalem
The City of David, the first capital of the united Jewish nation, was captured from the Jebusites by King David 3,000 years ago. Located just below Mount Moriah, the City of David was the center of Ancient Jerusalem and served as the setting in which many of the events described in the Bible occurred.
The Heritage Project will present a nighttime display for the general public that will relate the incredible story of the City of David.
The stamp bears a bulla featuring the seal of Gemaryahu ben Shaphan (who is mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah) against the background of an aerial photo of the City of David.
The stamp tab features the Shiloach Inscription which describes the architectural feat of the digging of Hezekiah's Tunnel inside of which the inscription was discovered.
Ein Keshatot, Golan
In the late 19th century, the remains of a Jewish village dating back to the time of the Mishnah and the Talmud were discovered in the southern Golan. A 5th century synagogue was uncovered in the center of the village, one of the most beautiful ever unearthed in Eretz Israel.
The site, known today as Ein Keshatot, was destroyed in the 8th century by an earthquake. As part of the Heritage Project, the synagogue is being restored and the overall site is being developed.
The stamp features the restored synagogue and the dais for the Holy Ark.
The stamp tab depicts the menorah engraved on the capital of one of the columns in the synagogue.
In the early 20th century, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi came to the Galilean village of Peki'in, where he met members of the Musta'arabi community, Jews who according to tradition never left Eretz Israel and continued to work the land. The Jews of Peki'in epitomized the preservation of the connection to the land of Eretz Israel. The synagogue located at the center of the village was renovated in the 19th century and two ancient stone tablets were incorporated into its walls. A menorah is engraved on one of the tablets, and a Holy Ark on the other. The Heritage Project is focused on documenting the history of the Peki'in community and on preserving the ancient synagogue.
The stamp features the Peki'in synagogue as well as the engraved menorah.
The stamp tab depicts a relief of the Holy Ark.
Detention Camp, Atlit
The restrictions imposed by British Mandate authorities on the entry of Jews into Eretz Israel forced Yishuv leaders and various immigration movements to act illegally and bring the Jewish immigrants in on dilapidated ships and under harsh conditions. The British did everything they could to capture the immigrant ships and transfer their passengers to detention camps which were constructed first in Atlit and later in Cyprus. The Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites, which maintains the camp, purchased and renovated a ship similar to those that served to bring the Jewish immigrants and built an exhibit inside, reflecting the immigrants' living conditions. The site is being developed within the framework of the Heritage Project, including the renovation of the main buildings and the design of exhibits inside them.
The stamp features a ship similar to those used to bring immigrants against the background of barracks at the Atlit detention camp.
The stamp tab shows passengers disembarking from the "Umot Me'uchadot" (united nations) immigrant ship onto the shore in Nahariya.
Independence Hall, Tel-Aviv
The "two-thousand-year-old hope to be a free people in our land" was realized on May 14, 1948 with the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel. The declaration ceremony was conducted in the home of Meir Dizengoff, one of the first homes built in Ahuzat Bayit, Tel-Aviv's first neighborhood. The building was later turned into an art museum. David Ben Gurion read the Declaration of Independence, which was signed at the bottom by members of the Provisional State Council. As part of the Heritage Project, the declaration hall was renovated and an Independence Museum is to be established there.
The stamp features the Declaration of Independence against the background of Independence Hall.
The stamp tab shows David Ben Gurion reading the Declaration of Independence as he announces the establishment of the State of Israel.