Today we visited the new planetarium in Netanya, cleverly named Planetanya. Officially the Madarame Center for Science, Space and Technology, it is situated on Ben Gurion Boulevard near the large new development of high rises along the coast. It was paid for by Japanese businessman Nikko Madarame, who became friends with Jewish American businessmen and decided to donate to Israel. It was opened this year in honor of Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese Consul in Riga, Latvia, before WWII, who saved thousands of Jewish lives by giving out transit visas to Japan, contrary to his orders. He has only latterly been honored in Japan.
It is a beautiful building, with a garden containing scientific-based machines for educational purposes and lots of fun. Also an outdoor Japanese garden with all the usual features of running water, high bridge, gravel patch with large stones and bonsai trees. Inside above the entrance hall are models of the planets in relative size and in sequence from the sun. Of course, its main feature is the planetarium itself, where seated in comfortable reclining chairs one can view the feature films, in English as well as Hebrew, projected on the inside of the domed roof. We saw ” Wonders of the Universe” containing actual videos taken from the spacecraft “Galileo” that has penetrated the deepest into our galaxy The Milky Way. It was wonderful.
This planetarium is only one of many developments in Israel that cater to tourism and not only international tourism, but internal tourism. Israelis love to travel around The Land and see its wonders. While we were there there was a busload of old folk from Petach Tikva visiting. So come to Israel and see all the wonders of the universe.