See where it all began – at 16 Rothschild Boulevard, where Israel’s first premier, David Ben-Gurion declared Israel’s independence on May 14, 1948. Visiting Independence Hall at Dizengoff House during your tour of Israel is an opportunity to experience the excitement of that moment in history.
Dizengoff House - Tel Aviv’s First Family
Dizengoff House was built as part of an initiative to establish a new Jewish neighborhood outside of Jaffa. Meir Dizengoff and his wife Zina purchased the plot of land in 1909, moving in a year later after constructing their new home. The Dizengoff’s new neighborhood became part of what would be known as Tel Aviv, Israel’s first metropolitan city, which grew rapidly in those early pre-state years. Meir Dizengoff served as Tel Aviv’s mayor throughout much of his life. Beit Dizengoff was converted into a museum in Zina’s memory after she died in 1930, the precursor to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
Israel Declares Independence
When David Ben-Gurion decided to proclaim the Independence of the State of Israel, he chose Dizengoff House as a gathering place for the Jewish National Council of Palestine. The location was both central and considered reasonably safe in the event of possible bombing raids by Arab air forces. The hall was hastily prepared using chairs from nearby cafes to provide the seating for the more than 300 invitees. As locals got wind of what was about to happen, they gathered in front and heard Ben-Gurion’s historic declaration over a loudspeaker mounted outside.
Dizengoff House Today
Dizengoff House is also the home of the Museum of the Bible, a small but worthy stop on your visit. Located on the first and third floors, the museum includes exhibits that tell the story of the Bible and the Jewish people throughout the ages. View bibles in all languages, including the oldest copy of the complete Bible dating back to the tenth century. Finish up the history lesson with a small exhibit of artifacts from the Dizengoff’s home collection.
Independence Hall is located at 16 Rothschild Boulevard. It is open Sunday – Thursday, 9:00 am -- 2:00 pm. For information, call 03-517-3942.
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