A new Jerusalem library opens in the center of the capital’s old city
A new library is set to open in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City, opening to the public in an historic move for the city’s cultural heartland.
The library, which is the latest addition to a historic Jewish enclave, will be located in the old city’s main synagogue, a popular tourist attraction and a popular spot for Jews and non-Jews alike.
The new library will feature three branches that will include a full complement of Jewish books and services, including lectures, readings and seminars.
The main synagogue was built by the British in 1881, during the period of British rule.
Today it houses the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where the Hebrew language is spoken, and is also home to the Hebrew Union College of Jerusalem and the Hebrew Civil Service College.
In the late 19th century, Jerusalemites were not allowed to pray in the Old City as a condition of entrance into the city, but many have remained in their traditional prayer place in the city center, as it was home to hundreds of synagogues during the British mandate.
Since its founding in 1924, the synagogue has been the site of countless religious gatherings, including the Knesset’s weekly sessions, and has become a central site for worship and communal activities.
The synagogue was opened in 1921 by a wealthy Jewish man named Yitzhak Ziegler, and was designed by the Israeli architect Shlomo Ben-Naim.
He envisioned a place where people would gather to pray, with the synagogue itself a symbol of the Jewish people, and the prayer rooms being divided into a synagogue and a canteen.
The building was not completed until 1929, when the construction of the modern Jerusalem Central Library was completed.
It is a building that is not only part of the city but has been one of its most cherished symbols since the beginning of the Zionist movement in 1948.