To many present, it seemed like yesterday when Jerusalem’s Bloomfield Science Museum was launched on a warm summer day in 1992, in the courtyard of the facility in the Givat Ram quarter opposite the Hebrew University. Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek had been present along with donor Neri Bloomfield.

More than three million visits have been made since then, and hundreds of children and adults gathered in the same place on Sunday to mark the popular institution’s 20th birthday.

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Museum head Maya Halevy was there to greet the guests, who included Science and Technology Minister Daniel Herschkowitz and former science ministers Ophir Pines-Paz and Mordechai Sandberg, along with several officials from the university and the Jerusalem Municipality. Not present was museum founder Prof. Peter Hillman, who was abroad.

Herschkowitz said that science brings people together, even people from enemy states.

He noted that the International Center for Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME Project) was launched in 1999 under the auspices of UNESCO in Jordan, as an independent laboratory whose founding members were Israel, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey. The completion of construction of a permanent facility is due in 2015, he said, adding that the synchrotron radiation center already operated by SESAME is the former facility BESSY I, which was previously decommissioned in Germany.

As the adults waxed nostalgic, the children of museum subscribers climbed all over and tried out indoor and outdoor hands-on exhibits. Many were enchanted by huge bubbles produced by chains and sticks and ran after them, trying to pop them.

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