Rishonim Street Rejuvenation – Menachemiya (a 2-yr project)
Established in 1901 by the Jewish Colonization Association, Menachemiya is a “Moshava” (village) in the N. Eastern part of the Valley of Springs . It joined the Council in 2005. It was built to resemble a French “one-street-village” (a main street, bordered by houses, each with a garden & an agricultural court). The street is beautifully intact, but suffers from long-term neglect. Menachemiya boasts a substantial potential for tourism which would encourage community and economic growth via business development and employment opportunities. It offers a quality residential environment and could become a tourism and cultural centre, yet, it requires assistance with community empowerment. It is proposed to do this by initiating an innovative model based on local heritage and ‘Slow Tourism’ principles. According to a tourism master plan (by Ilan Ben Josef, an expert in the field), the long-term program would create up to 105 new positions in tourism, alternative health services, retail, commerce, catering, entertainment, fitness and sports, arts & crafts and more, and would generate an annual turnover of up to $6 million.
Stage 1, the renovation & refurbishing of “Beit Harofeh” Museum as a central community meeting-place/bakery and the refitting of the historical school to accommodate Jewish and other youth-groups from Israel and abroad (operated by Ayalim and the community) would begin in 2010, pending on funding availability.
The Academic College
The Moshava would greatly benefit from additional economic activity because of its relatively high level of unemployment and low socio-economic status as it could become a ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of the Valley of Springs and an anchor for the ‘slow tourism’ approach in Israel as a replicable model.
The main objective of the project is to strengthen the Menachemiya community by creating a lively town centre offering multi-faceted economic growth, contemporary pioneering and demographic development. With this in mind it is proposed to:
- Create a partnership with Ayalim, the citizen committee, foundations, government ministries, KKL & others.
- Restore, conserve and re-orientate the historic buildings, to be opened all week, including Saturdays, as a part of a tourism rejuvenation process, creating employment & community welfare.
- Train local residents and business owners to enable this development.
- Provide assistance for graduating students willing to settle in Menachemiya.
- Provide information to similar ventures in Israel and world-wide based on the Menachemiya model.