In and around Ein Hod
A half-hour's drive south of Haifa is a small, quiet artists colony that is often passed up by tourists preferring nearby Zichron Yaakov or the hills of Mount Carmel. But Ein Hod has plenty to offer by itself
The coastal region just south of Mount Carmel hardly needs introduction. The historic town of Zichron Yaakov, the settlement established by Zionist philanthropist Baron Edmond de Rothschild in honor of his father, numerous wineries, and the notorious Atlit detention
center are just a few of the worthwhile attractions of one of the country's most stunning regions.
Given all that, the artists’ village of Ein Hod, located on the slopes of Mount Carmel, is easy to pass by. The village itself is a work of artistic realism. Hundreds of artists have lived there since the 1950s, and today there are 150 artists of all kinds, including painters, sculptors, dancers, writers, and poets.
Marcel Janco, one of the village's founders, was a founder of Dadaism, the artistic movement that inspired the founding of the village. Janco’s original studio has recently been opened to the public.
On the bottom level of the house stands his easel, and inside an enclosed glass case are a wooden board and tubes of paint. The desk, in classic 1950s style, is covered with glass, with black-and-white photos of the house and studio underneath the glass.
Paintings by Janco hang on the walls, and visitors can also see the Israel Prize he was awarded in 1967, furniture, and other objects that have been preserved. On the entry floor works by local artists, wooden toys, olive oil soaps, and jewelry are sold.
The Janco Dada Museum
Open everyday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Stain Glassmaking Workshops
Batia and Claude Jancourt, old-timers at Ein Hod, have three daughters who still live in the village. The daughters have gathered around themselves members of the younger generation, and are seeking ways to create local entertainment. Melanie has taken an old house in the village and created a cafe-gallery called “Golden Hands & Black Coffee.” Her sisters work with her, with Karen baking cakes and Nadine working as a waitress.
Each of the young artists in the village took part in the remodeling and design. Nadine has set up a vintage fashion corner (second-hand clothes and accessories), while Melanie added fashion and art by local artists. There are several tables inside, and in summer some tables outside. The cafe serves coffee and fruit tarts, apple pie or cheesecake, breakfast, and sometimes soup or pizza. Reservations are recommended.
Golden Hands & Black Coffee
Aharon Pogoriler’s De Art studio is located in an arched Arab house. On the walls are aquarelles he created, and his studio has stained glass works with motifs from the Bible, the Church, and Greek mythology. He also makes decorative lamps and ornaments. He and Lazer Manole hold stained glassmaking workshops (by appointment).
Sunday-Thursday 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday and Saturday till 2 p.m.
Naomi and Zeev Verchovsky’s pottery studio was set up in 1982 in their yard, inside an old shed. They create housewares, dishes, jars, vases, and bowls. The workshops for children include animal- and flower-making and working with clay. Adults can work with the potters’ wheel. By appointment.
Every day from 10 a.m. till evening.
The Silver Print Gallery is Vivienne Silver-Brody’s kingdom. The gallery’s photo exhibitions change every few months. Silver-Brody holds a “photogram” workshop in which shadows are created on photographic paper through exposure to the sun. In her lectures for adults on the development of photography in the Land of Israel she analyzes works of famous photographers and examines books with 19th-century photos of the Land of Israel.
Painter Daniela Borchard works on a balcony made entirely of windows. The walls of her house have nature scenes from the Land of Israel. She paints on large surfaces and combines nature with her imagination in strong colors.
Tova and Henia Magal have lived in Ein Hod for 53 years, and live in a home with modern architectural elements, including large roof openings that look out on the landscape. Following in the footsteps of their ceramicist mother, they create decorative objects, jewelry, and Judaica from clay in strong colors. They also give pottery and painting workshops.
Accommodation in Arab Houses
In recent years, guest houses in Ein Hod have become a growth industry. You won’t find quaint wooden cabins with jacuzzis and saunas, but you will find rooms with an artistic, in both stone and typical Arab houses. The bed and breakfast run by Claude and Batia Jancourt, for example, looks like a French studio apartment with a small living room, antique furniture, a kitchenette, a TV, and a library. There’s also a gallery where art objects and antiques are exhibited, mostly from the U.S. and Canada: housewares, lamps, chairs, radios, jewelry, quilts, and nostalgic accessories.
Jancourt Guest House
450 shekels a night with breakfast
Bob Nechin’s guest apartment is adorned with his stained glass works. Nechin paints, sculpts, and makes stained glass, including glass made by fusing and melting. He gives workshops to groups of up to five people (by appointment). His studio has butterflies, owls, flowers, and birds made of colored glass, along with large stained glass works.
Bob Nechin’s Guest Apartment
350 shekels a night with light breakfast
Alain and Yael Koginsky put on circus performances for groups as well as puppet workshops. They have a small, modest guest room in their house.
Kirkas Kiss B&B
350 shekels a night
Etnahta is a new guest room run by Lisa and Gil Becher. Both are involved in total theater, which means creating shows involving all elements of theater, including the set. This is how their guest room was done as well.
Located in an Arab house with a high ceiling, arches, and thick walls, it’s become a place for lovers. When the floor of the building was uncovered, an ancient stone oven was discovered and was turned into a bath with glass walls and a mosaic floor. The mattress has been placed on a raised stone platform, and a white mosquito net hangs over the bed. The walls are painted in shades of blue and golden sand. The floor has been done in concrete to look as it did when the Arabs built it, and it’s painted blue. Guests are given white bedclothes, bathrobes, and fresh lavendar leaves, along with a bottle of wine, fresh fruit, and granola.
NIS 580 per night
Meat from Argentina
When it comes to food, Ein Hod is a small town with a lot of choices. Donia Rosa is a restaurant that’s become the place to go for both Ein Hod residents and visitors. Brothers Doron and Uri Rochfleish created their South American meat restaurant at the inspiration of their grandmother. The meat is imported from Argentina from open farms, and the side dishes like empanadas and chimichurri sauce round out the picture.
The meat is brought to the table on a small charcoal grill that keeps it hot. A 300-gram entrecote steak costs 58 shekels, a 500-gram asado costs 65 shekels, and a 1-kilogram mixed grill that can serve three hungry people costs 195 shekels.
Open Monday-Saturday from 12 noon to midnight
In the nearby Arab village of Ein Hud you will find “Habayit,” a restaurant that serves homestyle Arab food. Getting to Ein Hud involves a trip through the green fields, past the religious kibbutz Nir Etzion. Observant Jews will find Nir Etzion’s modern hotel a good place to stay, and from there you can see the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlit Beach. The kibbutz has an unusual zoo that adopts animals injured in the wild. Those that recover are set free, and the others are given a good home. The zoo has pelicans, peacocks, ibexes, porcupines, raptors, and monkeys.
Nir Etzion Zoo
10 shekels per person
Habayit itself is located in a rare spot. Large glass windows look out on green hills and the sea. Safia and Muhammed Abu-el-Hija have opened their home to guests. Safia cooks and the children help. She uses a variety of herbs such as wild arum, mallow, chicory, and cyclamen leaves. The menu changes with the seasons, and some 20 courses are served, including chicken with rice, stuffed peppers, grilled eggplant, and a wide variety of salads.
90 shekels per person, by appointment.