The value-driven education given at the ANZAC Memorial Center:
The story of the enlistment of the ANZAC soldiers and the journey they had undertaken summons up numerous moral issues that are still relevant to our lives and the lives of young people today.
During the tour we will raise these issues while learning about historical developments and hearing personal stories.
Among others, we will touch on the subjects of patriotic loyalty, comradely, self-sacrifice, the importance of creativity and other moral issues.
At the end of the tour we will convene a discussion group to talk about the moral issues raised throughout the day and how they are relevant to the students’ lives today.
The historical education given at the ANZAC Memorial Center:
A visit to the ANZAC Memorial Center promotes learning about historical processes and the history of the First World War and its aftermath.
The First World War is a subject studied in junior high school history classes, however it a subject encompassing many diverse implications and issues, such as the first Aliyah, the Balfour Declaration, the geography of the region, the establishment of boundaries and more.
We will discuss these issues within the framework of the tour.
The students will leave the tour with information and insights that they can then continue to develop in many directions.
A day following in the footsteps of the ANZACs in Be’er Sheva:
We propose an interactive tour of Be’er Sheva following the footsteps of the ANZAC soldiers and the First World War.
During the tour, we will visit sites related to the preparation of the ANZAC horsemen’s charge on Be’er Sheva. We will see the Turkish Beer Sheva as it was when conquered by the ANZAC horsemen.
Beer Sheva is a city with a rich and varied history, which has been undergoing a real transformation in recent years.
During the tour, we will also address the history of Be’er Sheva and the changes it has been undergoing in the last few years. There are many other sites and points of interest In Be’er Sheva that can be integrated into the tour at advance notice.
Our tour will begin at the lookout point in Be’er Sheva River Park, the largest park in Israel.
Here we will see the Turkish railway bridge and the Be’er Sheva River. We will understand why the assault on Be’er Sheva took place during the last hour of daylight and why it almost didn’t take place at all.
We will then continue down the “20-meter street”, Kakal Street in the Old City of Be’er Sheva, where we will visit the Turkish city of Beer-Sheva. We will tell the story of how the city and its various institutions came to be established. When did the first Jews arrive in Be’er Sheva and what did they do once they got here? Which public buildings existed in Be’er Sheva during the war?
Allenby Park: In Allenby Park we will tell the story of General Allenby. How his arrival at the head of the forces changed the face of the campaign, what change in perception he brought about, what his soldiers called him and what his connection to a certain prophet was.
Tour of the ANZAC Trail:
We offer an exciting group tour of the ANZAC Trail which retraces the “Great Outflanking” maneuver undertaken by the ANZAC soldiers. Throughout the tour we will pass through the stations along the route taken by the soldiers and tell the story of the Great Outflanking, taking in the breathtaking views of the Negev desert and its fascinating history.
First stop: The ANZAC Memorial in Be’eri.
A lookout tower at the top of the monument looks over the battlefields.
The cornerstone of the monument was laid in April 1967, to commemorate 50 years since the battles took place.
The memorial was erected thanks to the donations of friends of the JNF in Australia.
It is shaped like the letter “A”, the first letter of ANZAC.
It is designed to look like the shadow of the front part of a horse, in honor of the Australian and New Zealand horsemen who’d played a critical part in the campaign.
Second stop: Tel Gamma (Tell Jemmeh)
Tel Gamma rises over the southern bank of the Besor stream, the longest river in the Negev region.
The river, spilling into the Mediterranean Sea, has the largest drainage basin in Israel.
In this section, the river is called the Wadi Gaza in Arabic, and it is by this name that it was known to the ANZAC horsemen.
The upper tributaries of the Besor stream trickle down from the Hebron Hills and the Sde Boker area.
During the battles for Gaza and the preparations for the conquest of Beersheba, the British had established their line of fortifications along the bank of the Besor stream.
The Turks, for their part, had barricaded themselves on the northern bank of the stream across from the British.
The Besor stream was also the location of the ancient road to Gaza.
Tel Gamma is identified with the Canaanite city of Yurzah, which lay on the thoroughfare of this ancient trade route.
In the eighth and seventh centuries BCE, the Tel was held under Assyrian rule.
It appears that during the Hellenic era, the settlement moved to the areas around the Tel, while the Tel served as a grain storage site for the wheat grown in the Besor valley.
In Tel Gamma we will talk about the two attempts made by the British army, the ANZAC soldiers among them, to conquer Gaza, and explain why the first attempt was doomed to failure despite the British having the upper hand in all other battles, as well as describe the technological innovation that was used during the second attempt.
Third stop: Eshkol National Park
In Eshkol park, the sources of the Besor stream spring out of the ground. The British used these spring to establish an important water base here.
They damned the stream, blocking over two million liters of water for their use.
They also laid tracks for a light railway running south to their fortifications along the river.
Remnants of this railway can still be witnessed in the area.
In addition to the springs and the remnants of the railway tracks, we will also visit the archeological site where a marvelous mosaic, currently displayed at the memorial site in the capital city of Australia, Canberra, was found and talk about how it had been transported from here to Australia in the middle of the war.
Fourth stop: Golda Meir Park (Bir Asluj)
Bir Asluj was the location of a large Turkish base, which was established here due to the large and easily accessible water source.
We will learn why the Turks had abandoned this large base, who had planted the eucalyptus grove that grows here, and talk about the accidental circumstances that led to the formation of the lake.
Fifth stop: Tel Be’er Sheva
Fierce battles were waged in Tel Be’er Sheva on the momentous date of 31/10/1917.
When we get to the lookout point at the top of the Tel, we will understand why General Chauvel, leader of the ANZAC forces, insisted on withholding the command to charge until the Tel had been conquered, and tell the story of the day which ended with the horsemen finally receiving their fateful order to charge the city of Be’er Sheva.
Sixth stop: The ANZAC Memorial Center in Be’er Sheva
We will end out tour with a visit to the interactive museum commemorating the ANZAC soldiers, established in honor of the centennial anniversary of the battle over Be’er Sheva.
Visiting the ANZAC Memorial Center:
The Center will be the high point of the tour. There we will learn to relate to the ANZAC horsemen’s way of life and the dilemmas they faced in an interactive manner, from the moment of their enlistment in Australia, and leading up to the charge on Be’er Sheva.
The British Cemetery
We will visit the historically significant and aesthetically pleasing British cemetery, which was designed to look like a European garden, tell the story of some of the war heroes buried here, see a monument to the British pilots and learn about its maker. We will visit the tomb of the only Jewish person buried here, and take a look at the highest Medal of Honor given out in the British army. We will try to find the tombs of the decorated people buried here and learn what connection the labor battalions have to this cemetery.