Tuesday 2 February 2010

Independence Hall, Tel Aviv. Go where Israel was born

On April 11th,1909, sixty six families gathered on the sand dunes by the sea just north of Jaffa, to take part in a lottery for plots of land for Ahuzat Bayit, a new Jewish neighbourhood. Meir Dizengoff and his wife Zina won lot 43 and built their home on it. He served as head of the new neighbourhood committee, eventually becoming the first mayor of Tel Aviv.
In 1910, at a general meeting of the Ahuzat Bayit residents, the name of the neighbourhood was changed by majority vote to Tel Aviv, inspired by Herzl’s book “Altneuland,” .The title given by Nahum Sokolow to his Hebrew translation was Tel Aviv, which means “Hill of Spring.” Following the death of his wife in 1930, Meir Dizengoff donated his house to the city and asked that it be turned into a museum. Expanded and renovated, in 1936 it became the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

Friday, May 14th, 1948, at 4 p.m. – eight hours before the end of the British Mandate in Palestine and shortly before shabbat – the members of the People’s Council and Executive together with invited leaders gathered there and listened as David Ben-Gurion, head of the People’s Council, the Zionist Executive and the Jewish Agency, declared the creation of the State of Israel.
After the reading of the declaration of independence, Rabbi Fishman-Maimon recited a Sheheheyanu and members of the People’s Council and Executive signed the scroll. The ceremony concluded with the singing of “Hatikva”.
Today you can visit the historic hall where most of the exhibits are original, while others have been reconstructed in precise detail. transporting the visitor back to that incredible event. Most of the pictures displayed at the time, part of the Tel Aviv Museum’s collection from the day the state was declared, remain on the walls. You can listen to the original recording of the ceremony and view a 16-minute film describing the events of the period and the history of the building.
Check out the different chairs and find out why they didn’t match.

Independence Hall is at 16 Rothschild Boulevard, in the heart of the city.

To view a Google map of this site, please click here.

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