This coming week, for the 37th year in a row, the international museum community will celebrate International Museum Day (IMD). IMD is a project of  ICOM (International Council of Museums) with the goal of increasing public awareness about the role of museums in the development of society. More than 35,000 museums in over 100 countries will participate by granting free admission to the public.

In Israel, Museum Day is organized by the Association of Museums and ICOM Israel which represents the majority of museums in Israel. This coming Monday, May 19th, 70 Israeli museums will take part in IMD (click here for a full list) and open their doors.

Participating museums include the Jerusalem’s Bible Lands Museum which explores the culture of the peoples mentioned in the Bible — ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, Arameans, Hittites, Elamites, Phoenicians and Persians — with the aim of putting them into historical contex

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The Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art in Haifa, dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of Japanese art, and the only museum of its kind in the Middle East.

Museums-Tikotin museum

The National Maritime Museum, a maritime and archaeological museum, also located in Haifa.

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Design Museum Holon is the first museum in Israel dedicated to design and contemporary culture.

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The Omer Open Museum in the south, and Tefen and Tel Hai in the north, were founded by legendary industrialist Stef Wertheimer out of the belief that industrial parks should encompass cultural and educational facilities as well.

Museums-Omer museum

So many museums and so little time! While there’s no way to visit all 70 in one day,  Museum Day at least provides visitors with a small sampling of the collections Israel on offer. They’re well worth a visit on the day — or on any other.