From the gas station we make our way westwards. To our left runs the deep gully of the Nahal Kisalon stream. On the other side is the ridge that includes Pilots’ Mountain (Har HaTayyasim), Ramat Raziel and Moshav Kisalon. KKL-JNF forests in this area are dedicated to the memory of Jewish communities that perished in the Holocaust, and at about 1.2 kilometers from the interchange, we arrive at a plot of forest that contains a memorial to Jewish communities in Romania.
Though the broken line down the middle of the road indicates that turning left into the small unsurfaced open space is permitted, we consider the turn to be too dangerous. Instead we recommend approaching this site on foot from our next stopping point (the Mishlat 15 Recreation Area) just 300 meters further on. If you really want to park beside the memorial, it’s best to do so when traveling towards the Masrek Nature Reserve, when you can turn off the road to the right.
The monument, which is the work of sculptor Nathan Sass, perpetuates the memory of Jewish communities in the Transnistria region: Dorohoi, Darabani, Hertsa, Mihlani, Sawani and Radaotz. The sculpture comprises six stone columns placed around a tree stump that symbolizes the felling of these communities in the Holocaust. The pogrom carried out by Romanian soldiers in Dorohoi on June 30th in 1940 signaled the start of the Holocaust for Romanian Jewry. Prior to the Second World War this region was under Russian control.
Close to the memorial, KKL-JNF has provided visitors with a small recreation area.
Approximately 300 meters west of the memorial, adjacent to the site of Mishlat 15, is a large recreation area established by KKL-JNF with funds donated by Medinol Ltd. The site includes a disabled-accessible trail that leads to two picnic tables and a space where campfires may be lit. Beyond the large parking lot is an overnight campsite suitable for large groups.
Mishlat 15 (“Command Post 15”) was originally an Arab position. On April 16th, 1948, during the Harel Operation of Israel’s War of Independence, Palmach fighters occupied the village of Saris (today’s Shoresh), whose occupants were disrupting Jewish transportation on the main route to Jerusalem. After the occupation of Saris, the hill became an Arab forward post for the defense of Beit Mahsir. The post was captured during Operation Maccabi on the night of May 9th-10th, and the Arab forces who counter-attacked the following day were forced back. A day later, Palmach Harel Brigade fighters set out from the hilltop to capture Beit Mahsir and the Masrek Arab positions.