Yad HaShmona

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Yad Hashmona
Yad Hashmona
Yad Hashmona
Council Mateh Yehuda
Region Jerusalem corridor
Affiliation Agricultural Union
Founded 1971
Founded by Finnish pioneers

Yad Hashmona (Hebrew: יַד הַשְּׁמוֹנָה), (lit. Memorial for the Eight) is a small moshav shitufi in central Israel, located in the Judean Mountains near Jerusalem, within the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council.


Wooden cabin, Yad HaShmona guesthouse

Yad Hashmona was founded in 1971 by a small group of Finnish Christians.[1] It is named for eight Jewish refugees from Austria who escaped to Finland in 1938. The Finnish government, collaborating with the Nazis, handed the refugees over to the Gestapo in 1942. Seven of them died in Auschwitz.[2] In 1978, a group of Messianic Jews joined the moshav. Most of the members are now Israeli citizens and the main spoken languages are Hebrew and Arabic.[3] Due to intermarriage with Israeli Jews the moshav has become a center of both Messianic Jews and Jewish Christians in Israel.


The community runs a guesthouse, convention center and banquet hall. In 2000, a biblical village was inaugurated with the assistance of the Swiss Beth Shalom society and the Israel Antiquities Authority.[4] A Biblical garden planted on the hillside replicates agriculture in ancient times. Apart from tourism, the economy is based on carpentry.

Lawsuit on sexual harassment and discrimination[edit]

In 2008, a lesbian couple married in the UK, wanted to host a wedding party for their families and friends in Israel, and contracted to hold the event at the banquet hall in Yad HaSmona. After Yad HaSmona learned the couple was not a straight couple, the venue cancelled the reservation, referring to homosexuality as an "abomination". The couple filed a lawsuit on discrimination and humiliation based on sexual orientation. The lower court judge ruled in favour of the couple based on a year 2000 law forbidding discrimination in public places.[5]

In June 2014, the appeal by Yad HaShoma was denied by the Jerusalem District Court, which upheld the lower court's ruling on the case with a compensation 80 000 NIS (around 20 000 €) to be paid by Yad HaSmona to the couple on discrimination and sexual harassment based on sexual orientation. [6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ History of Yad Hashmona
  2. ^ The Name Yad Hashmona
  3. ^ History of Yad Hashmona
  4. ^ The Biblical Village Yad HaShmona
  5. ^ "Lesbian couple awarded damages in landmark sexual harassment ruling". timesofisrael.com. September 20, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Israeli lesbian couple awarded NIS 60,000 after being turned away from wedding hall". Haaretz.com. June 24, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°48′37.08″N 35°5′20.39″E / 31.8103000°N 35.0889972°E / 31.8103000; 35.0889972