Info For Guides And Agents

Info For Guides And Agents

Dear guides,
We are happy to see you guiding at Ben-Gurion’s Desert Home, but we ask you to keep to certain rules and to listen to the instructions given to you by the people at the cashier.

We have a guide’s handbook especialy for you, you will find everything you need to be the best guide in Ben-Gurion’s Desert Home.
The guide’s notebook is available in PDF format by pressing the green ‘Button’ further down.
And also a PDF presntation of some of the Ben-Gurion’s Desert Home artifacts and information about these artifacts.

We also gathered FAQ’s about Ben-Gurion’s Desert Home, they will be very helpful in answering your guest’s question inside the home.

Ben-Gurion’s Desert Home is a national heritage site which belongs to the Ben-Gurion Heritage institute. The site provides a variety of activities suitable for children, adults, senior citizens, tourists, students and more.
The entire site is in English and Hebrew (eccept “The Old Man And The People”) and certain exhibitions are translated to Spanish, Russian and French.

a few rules when visiting Ben-Gurion’s Desert Home:

  1. Ask the students to leave their bags on the bus.
  2. Remind the visitors about behavior rules in the site: enter without chewing gums, do not touch, keep quiet, do not step on the plants, etc.
  3. Eating– you may request permission from Café Paula to eat at the café area. Eating on the paths, explanation areas and all around the museum site – is not allowed
  4. You will find at the entrance to the site big and clean restrooms. Use them before entering the site.
  5. Avoid long explanations inside the buildings.
  6. Guide at the designated places – explanation areas and around  the contoured map which is located far from the paths. In most of the cases you will be interrupted by other groups if you guide on the paths.
  7. We are trying to take care of the grass. Please do not step on it.
  8. Please update us regarding to any change in time of arrival or number of participants. Advise at the cashier about your arrival and number of participants.
  9.  In Ben-Gurion’s home you are allowed to take photos without flash (due to restoration reasons).

Agents are requested to book group visits in advance in our visiting form, and wait for out staff’s approval.

Save the telephone number of our office for requesting assistance – 08-6560469
If you need guiding material or any question you have – you are invited to e-mail
Have a successful visit

Yoni Gallitziano-Educational Director
Ben-Gurion’s Desert Home

Almost everything. Among the things that are not original: The central air conditioning, the spotlights, the barrier ropes barring entrance to some areas in the rooms, the photographs which show the house as it was during ben Gurion’s lifetime (taken in 1966).

Is the ceiling original? No. It was replaced after collapsing. The ceiling looks exactly as the original did.

Are the clothes original? Yes, they have been preserved. On that subject, ben Gurion had quite a lot of clothes.

Are the curtains original? The curtains in the guest room were replicated because the originals were worn out.

Is the pain original? This is the original color (Paula chose it), but we do repaint the building every few years.

What else has been “tampered with?” The upholstery on the couch in the living room was replaced with fabric prepared according to the original color. The fabric of the armchairs in Paula’s bedroom was replaced to a color close to the original. An opening was created from the side to ben Gurion’s bedroom. All other objects underwent preservation processes and are sprayed each year to prevent damage from worms and other insects.

Ben Gurion slept 3-4 hours each night. He read and wrote for most of the night. The separate bedrooms granted Paula privacy when the house was full of people. Further, in those days sleeping in separate rooms was common and not unusual.

Ben Gurion hosted many guests, and as such needed a larger house, an extra bathroom, and a more private passageway for Paula between her bedroom and bathroom.

Desert conditions such as those at Sde Boker demand a closed porch due to sandstorms. When ben Gurion was alive there was only a screen; the windows were added later for better preservation.

Ben Gurion’s storage shed. Today it is an office for the site’s guides.

When ben Gurion was alive it was a bathroom; today it is an electric cabinet and as such is locked.

There are 5,000 books in ben Gurion’s desert home. His library in his Tel Aviv home contained about 22,000 books.

He read a lot; some of the books he only paged through. He knew them well- people say that he could say on which shelf each book was located and where to find specific quotes he needed.

According to this excerpt, ben Gurion knew nine languages:

Russian, of course; after all it is the spoken language in the country where I was born. Hebrew which I began to learn from my grandfather when I was still a small child and which I never stopped learning. German which I learned in school. Latin, which I also learned in school. Greek, which I learned as I told you during the London bombings. Turkish which I learned at the University of Thessaloniki and Constantinople, and also French, which I was forced to learn as a student in Constantinople, because there were no law textbooks in Turkish, only French. Spanish I only learned in my fifties, as I mentioned, because I wanted to read Don Quixote in the original language. Those languages I know because I studied them. Yet strangely, apart from Hebrew, English is the language in which I feel I can most freely express myself even though it is the only language which I never studied formally.”

Source: David ben Gurion, Moshe Perlman, pg. 204

In summary, nine languages: Russian, Hebrew, German, Latin, Turkish, French, Spanish, and English.  (He knew but did not like Yiddish.)

He does not mention Polish; he said he did not want to waste time learning it, and preferred to study Hebrew. He also does not mention Arabic, though he knew some.

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