Exhibitions Information

The Ben-Gurion Desert Home

Paula and David Ben-Gurion’s Desert Home is without a doubt the highlight for every visitor. It has remained as it was left in 1973, according to Ben-Gurion’s instructions in his will, that his home will be open for the public to come visit.

Paula and David moved to their home in Sde Boker in December 1953. The house reflects Ben-Gurion’s personality, lifestyle and world views, demonstrating how his personal and public life intertwined. For example, through the different artifacts he chose to put on display: presents from around the world, as well as historical symbols of the state of Israel and including Israel’s declaration of independence, a map of Israel, and Chanukkiah that plays the national anthem, and artifacts of three historical freedom fighters: Moses, Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln.

The heart of the house is Ben-Gurion’s study with a library of 5,000 books covering his fields of interest: Judaism and the Bible, philosophy, history, geography, the IDF and security issues and more.

David Ben-Gurion passed away in 1973, and a year later, his home was opened for the public.

Young children can receive (free of charge), our ‘scavenger hunt’ activity sheets.

 

"Gypsum House"

The original structure of the first Kibbutz building, built in 1953. The exhibit portrays the history and story of Kibbutz Sde Boker, Ben-Gurion’s first years on the Kibbutz, and his vision for the development of the Negev Desert.

This exhibit is available in Hebrew/Arabic/English. 

"The Test of time" - An interactive activity

This interactive activity examines Ben-Gurion’s actions and views through “the test of time”, using computerized activity tables. Is his legacy relevant today? Should the desert be settled? What role should the youth play in society? What measures can or should be taken for the sake of unity? These questions and more are tackled through games, in order to enable visitors to learn about Ben-Gurion’s dilemmas, and actively participate as they consider these issues “through the test of time”. 

There are 6 separate activity tables and they can be activated in Hebrew/ Arabic/ English. 

Leadership exhibition and the film "What is a leader"?

This exhibition includes a short film, which shares insight on leadership aspects regarding crucial dilemmas and decisions Ben-Gurion faced, which remain complicated and sensitive issues in Israeli and Zionist historiography. During crucial moments, should a leader listen to protesting voices – or remain true to his personal judgment? Is a strong leader characterized by the authority he holds or that he shares? Should a leader be pragmatic and led by the current reality- or a visionary who dares to dream? The dilemmas presented in the film are intertwined with important historical events, such as Operation Nachshon in 1948, and Ben-Gurion’s ruling regarding the reparation money from Germany in 1952. 

The film is available in Hebrew/English and offers subtitles Hebrew/English/Russian/ Spanish/French.

The film "Ben-Gurion hosts"

An animated short film based on Ben-Gurion’s statements, focuses on his vision for settling the Negev and making the desert “bloom”, and how important he thought this was for the future and sustainability of the young country. 

The film is available in Hebrew/English and offers subtitles Hebrew/English/Russian/ Spanish/French.

Sandbox – a model of the Negev

Here children are invited to develop the Negev, with the following items:

A sandbox map to develop the desert, a matching game and a graphite drawing presenting Ben-Gurion’s vision.

Classrooms and changing exhibitions

Classrooms accommodating up to 65 participants are available (when booked in advance) for customized lectures/ workshops 

"The Old Man and The People" exhibition

This exhibition reveals parts from Ben-Gurion’s personal life. The artifacts presented were all transferred to the Museum by private people, telling their stories and their connection to him. Through pictures and stories from the weddings and special occasions he joined, as well as the day to day stories his fellow kibbutz member share, we can focus on the fact that David Ben-Gurion was first and foremost, an ordinary man. 

Ben-Gurion Desert Home -Negev, Israel