The Founders’ Home

Location: Center of the city.


The Founders' Home is an exceptional project that was initiated by the previous government under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture and Sport, and implemented by the Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel. Sderot was chosen as one of eight periphery cities in the south and the north in which founders' homes were to be established and where documents, photos, and video clips will be presented, and activities will be offered to make considerable information available to present the history of the city from the time of its founding and to the present.


Interactive archives at the home will include aerial photos, newspaper clippings, original albums from the 1950s and the 1960s, unique documents, interviews with founders who have passed away, and a database maintained by archival software accessible to all. Likewise, personal interviews will take place there with the community elders who are still living, and collections of documentation about to be discarded will be saved digitally for posterity. In this way, historic sources will be organized, updated, and saved for generations to come, and information will be available to anyone in a precise and rapid manner.


The place will present the stories of the pioneers who perpetuated Zionist activity and the Zionist ethos in the collective memory which to date has yet to actually be publicly acknowledged. The exhibition at the Founders' Home will provide an introduction to daily life in Sderot in different periods, and will emphasize initiatives taken in the city that have contributed and added to the city's character, particularly enabling the residents of Sderot throughout the generations to meet the challenges and recognize them as opportunities and sources for productivity and creativity.


The position of Director of the Documentation Center of Sderot Throughout the Generations will be filled by an historian, Dr. Are’le Cohen, who was born in the city and most of his research deals with its early years. Dr. Cohen explains that “The story of the development towns in general and of Sderot in particular is not included in Israeli historiography.” He further elaborates,


They and their residents were not perceived as contributing to the establishment and founding of the state, and therefore it was important to me to bring their story to center stage and by means of Sderot Throughout the Generations to emphasize the contribution of the early settlers of Sderot, pioneers – making the desert bloom, forming the state’s borders, taking advantage of resources, absorbing Aliyah, etc., and especially in ensuring that Sderot would meet the security challenges facing it.


Across from the Founders’ Home, there is a small building. It is a rare testimony, almost the only testimony, to the first apartments built in the city in the summer of 1955 – each one between 35 m2 and 42 m2 crowded into 5000 m2. The Sderot Municipality is planning to open a café there where visitors can get a glance at the small apartment like the ones where the city’s founders lived, most of them with many children.


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