To further advance the mission of the Academy and accommodate its expanding presence, activities, and importance, the Academy has launched a campaign, as part of the intensive efforts to fund the construction of a new and fitting home. In 2012 the Israeli government embraced the Academy’s initiative, deciding to share in the vision to establish The New Center for the Academy of The Hebrew Language that promises to be a site of national significance and a global hub for the living Hebrew language.
The Municipality of Jerusalem has earmarked a piece of land for the new Center in Jerusalem’s National Quarter, adjacent to the Knesset, the Israeli Supreme Court and the Israel Museum. The new, state-of-the-art facility will enable the Academy to be housed in a prestigious and meaningful facility commensurate with its mission, and will extend and strengthen the scope and quality of its interaction with the public, through increased educational offerings and through the world’s first museum devoted to the Hebrew language—its history, development, and revival as a native tongue. Through interactive exhibitions with visual, aural, and experiential components, the museum will engage visitors both intellectually and emotionally, punctuating the centrality of Hebrew to Israeli and Jewish life and culture.
The Hebrew language serves as a major gateway connecting Jews in Israel and the Diaspora; the new Center will broaden and enlarge this gateway. Its planned location, a short walk from so many national attractions, positions it well to become a prominent cultural destination of Israelis and tourists from abroad alike.
The Academy is excited to announce the selection of Mayslits Kassif Roytman Architects (MKR) as the winner in the national competition to design the Academy’s new global Center (Minveh) in the National Quarter in Jerusalem.
The competition was held in collaboration with the Association of Architects and City Builders in Israel, and was open to all Israeli architects. The competition generated widespread interest, and one hundred (100) bids were submitted. The panel of judges reviewed the anonymous submissions and selected 5 design proposals from the initial 100 submissions to advance to the next stage. This was the pool that ultimately yielded the winning proposal.
The Academy’s intention of embracing the natural environment and maximizing accessibility to the public, guided the competition. The winning design captured both of these elements, as it effectively embraces personal connections and interactions through its inviting and open structure. The building is aesthetically pleasing as well from the various external perspectives, and reflects the natural environment. The plan also fits in well with the development plans of the National Quarter and Museum Boulevard and with the activities that will take place in this area in the future.
The first runners up, tied for second place, were the designs by Michael Peled and Daniel Strassburger; and A. Lerman Architects in collaboration with Daniel Finkelstein and Elvira Turk. The two designs that tied for second runner up were presented by Lakstein-Margalit Architects, as well as architects Ram Kaplan and Nir Ovadia. The judges also praised the proposals submitted by architect Yoav Hashimshoni and Tito Oman Architects.
For more information about the new Center please click here.
The Academy seeks to raise $50 million to build the New Center. The Academy has already raised a considerable amount (nearly $3 million) from Israeli philanthropists, demonstrating just how deeply the Hebrew language touches the Jewish soul.
This campaign provides an opportunity to partner with eminent Israeli intellectuals, leaders, and philanthropists. Like Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and his contemporaries, whose work catalyzed the rebirth of spoken Hebrew, the Academy seeks visionary partners to join with it in spreading knowledge and appreciation of Hebrew and facilitating the language’s continued growth. As Shimon Peres said, “What is language if not the cultural identity card of a nation?” Your participation in this initiative will help Hebrew culture—and, with it, the Jewish nation—flourish long into the future.