Creator of Tiny Worlds – Israel

How many times did you drive on Route 70 on the way to a trip in the north and pass Yokneam without stopping? Lots of times, obviously. You may have stopped for a short time to extract bones and eat something nimble at one of the restaurants in G Mall, but most likely not beyond that. So let us recommend that you change your travel habits and spend time in a truly charming place, a miniature museum located in the most unexpected place – the high-tech park of Yokneam, next to Road 70.

On the second floor of a building typical of a high-tech company is the “Big Little World”, a miniature museum where works by Moshe Zemter are displayed. After retiring, for 30 years Zemter built tiny worlds full of magic: Dad’s shoe store, Grandma’s kitchen, the laundry room in the parents’ house, the pharmacy in a small town in East Germany and also an amusement park, the Louvre in Paris, the Knesset and more. But before we get to the models themselves, it’s worth pausing for a moment on who created them.

Miniature Museum “Big Little World” Photo: Rotem Bar Cohen

It all started with a torn curtain

Moshe Zemter, who died in 2020 at the age of 97, was born in 1923 in the German town of Reichenbach. According to his testimony, he had a happy childhood and although he was the only Jew in the school he did not feel hostile. Everything went smoothly, until one day, when he was 13, he returned home and found that his parents had packed all their belongings and, equipped with certificates, they informed young Moshe that the family was leaving for Palestine. His father did not get permission to open a shoe store in the town and this fact lit a red light for him, so fortunately the family left Germany on time, says his daughter Anat Orland, a graphic designer and wood artist, who runs the museum. Moshe Zemter’s other children, Uri Zamir and Edna Yahav, both artists, are also involved and active in the museum’s affairs.

Moshe Zemter builds a miniature model  Photo: Anat Orland

Moshe Zemter builds a miniature model Photo: Anat Orland

Moshe Zemter served in the British Army and when he graduated he studied bookbinding, a profession he continued to pursue alongside his work as a finance manager at a large company. He began to build miniatures only after he retired, and since then, for three decades he has created tiny worlds, in which every detail was composed solely of natural materials and recycled materials.

It all started with a wicker curtain that hung for years in the house until it tore. “Dad was Yaka and Yakim don’t throw things away,” his daughter Anat laughs. Instead of throwing away the torn curtain, he dismantled it and began to build tiny chairs from the wicker pieces. From that moment on he did not stop building. All the models on display in the Museum of Miniatures are his handiwork, including embroidery, weaving, sewing, carpentry, gluing – everything he made with his own hands.

carrousel.  All models are built from natural or recycled materials  Photo: Anat Orland

carrousel. All models are built from natural or recycled materials Photo: Anat Orland

Sees the world in small

In the bright and spacious space, inside glass cabinets, are displayed the miniatures that Zemter built: some of them recreate (in personal interpretation) a famous site, such as the Louvre Museum or the Knesset of Israel, other displays are a nostalgic look at the world that was and is no more. Zemter worked slowly and precisely, creating tiny worlds from materials he collected at home, on the street, by the sea, in the field: watermelon seeds, pistachio peels, pieces of cloth, stones, shells, mallow fruit, even everyday products we casually discard , An example of disposable coffee cans. From all of these he would build between six and eight models a year, and the result: an eye-catcher and a captivator.

Moshe Zemter talks about his works

Beyond the immediate feeling of warmth that emerges at the sight of miniature models, it is fascinating to try to understand what each thing is made of (the flowers, for example, are dried and dyed hubiza fruits) and notice the smallest details, like a dog reading a book, the opposite term. “I see the world in a small way,” Zemter said in an interview with him a few years ago, part of a ten-minute video shown to visitors to the museum.

Bedroom.  All the details, including sewing, embroidery and carpentry Moshe Zemter made with his own hands

Bedroom. All the details, including sewing, embroidery and carpentry Moshe Zemter made with his own hands

I ask his daughter Anat what model her father particularly liked and she says he loves them all, because each of them told a different story. But she adds that he was particularly attached to Grandma’s kitchen model, which he loved so much as a child.

Anat Orland, daughter of Moshe Zemter, with some of the materials he worked with  Photo: Rotem Bar Cohen

Anat Orland, daughter of Moshe Zemter, with some of the materials he worked with Photo: Rotem Bar Cohen

After visiting the museum, depending on how hungry you are, you can stop at the nearby Eliyahu hummus or return to Compound G for a meat meal at the fine Merindo, whose original branch is located opposite Kibbutz Ein Gev. And if you are not in a hurry to get to a B&B in the Upper Galilee or a trip in the valleys, why not go on a nice trip in the Ramot Menashe area? The spectacular winter blooms and pleasant springs that flow here all year round provide hours of enjoyment in nature.

Grandma's kitchen, Zemter's favorite model

Grandma’s Kitchen, Zemter’s Favorite Model | Photo: Anat Orland

Useful information

The Miniature Museum “A Big Little World” is located at 1 Hatzmiha Street, in a high-tech park, Yokneam Illit. The place is open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 14: 00-11: 00, on Saturdays from 13: 30-10: 30, entrance fee NIS 30 per person. The museum holds creative workshops for children and adults, during which the participants assemble miniatures from natural materials, inspired by Zemter’s works. The price of the workshop is NIS 100. for further details click here.


Source: כתבות – מסע אחר by masa.co.il.

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