Jerusalem will soon be home to an environmental studies institution from the
Council for a Beautiful Israel, donated by a former deputy mayor of New York
Robert Price, an attorney who served as deputy mayor under John
Lindsay in the late 1960s, gave a NIS 30 million naming grant to create the
Council for a Beautiful Israel’s Robert Price Center for Environmental
The center will be located in the National Quarter, near the
Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus – which concentrates in the sciences – as
well as the city’s major museums. The purpose of the center is to serve as an
academic home for research into environmental protection, though in the future a
visitor’s center will be open to the public.
facility will have two floors as well as classrooms, conference rooms, an
auditorium and a rooftop observation deck with a view of Sacher
Price, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Council for Beautiful Israel
director Eshel Segal will hold a cornerstone laying ceremony on Tuesday
Price, now 80, worked on John Lindsay’s election campaign for
New York City mayor in 1966. Price also founded Price Telecom in 1981 and owned
a number of different television and radio stations as well as the New York Law
Part of the council’s effort to create the learning center in
the National Quarter is to encourage green building in the area home to
government ministries and improve pedestrian access in a notoriously
cement-filled, barren corner of the city.
Segal stressed that the
planners carried out extensive environmental surveys to design a building that
maximizes the use of natural light in order to cut down on electricity
Further greening the neighborhood, the Jerusalem Nature Museum,
currently located in the German Colony, could also be a new neighbor, as the
municipality is pushing a plan to relocate the museum to the National Quarter.
The Nature Museum, which does community outreach and education, is opposed to
the move and wants to stay in its current location in a more residential part of
Nature Museum director Sydney Corcus said he was unfamiliar
with the Price center but he supported all environmental organizations in the
“If it’s another group that can help the issue of environment,
it’s positive,” he said.