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Greenwich student helps unearth lost biblical city

Zack Glasman with head archeologist Dr. Itzik Shai.

Zack Glasman with head archeologist Dr. Itzik Shai.

Zach Glasman, 19, from Greenwich, has joined a team of biblical archaeologists from Israel’s Bar Ilan University excavating what they believe to be the ancient biblical city of Libnah. Glasman, a graduate of Westchester Hebrew High School in Mamaroneck, N.Y., is winding up his “gap” year in Israel, which he spent as a participant in the Israel Experience (Israel XP) program at Bar Ilan.  As part of a team of volunteers, he worked to level a small square of the site.

Libnah served as an important Judean city, looking out to the Philistine capital city of Gath, home to the giant Goliath famously slain by David. The city is also mentioned in the book of Kings. The team of biblical archaeologists began digging at the site near Kiryat Gat in 2009 and have already unearthed huge fortifications.

“We think the site should be identified as biblical Libnah,” said Project Director Dr. Itzick Shai. “The site was important and well-fortified during the biblical period and we have also found remains from 700 BCE which correlate with the time of King Josiah. The fieldwork of such projects is based on volunteers like Zach. Without them we wouldn’t have any excavation season.”

As part of the program, Glasman has spent his mornings at Jewish learning seminars, with afternoons in academic classes earning undergraduate credits that may be transferred to a college of his choice.
He returns home to Connecticut at the end of June.
“I absolutely loved my year here with Israel XP; it is an excellent program. I will miss the people I was associated with and being able to travel the country and experience different lifestyles and places.”

Rabbi Tully Bryks, outgoing director of the Israel Experience at Bar Ilan, added, “Zach is a caring and sensitive role model whose magnetic personality has enabled him to be loved by teachers and peers alike.”

Glasman hopes to attend college where he expects to study communications, with an eye on pursuing a career in public relations.

For more information on Israel Experience at Bar Ilan University visit

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