The Yad Yitzhak Ben-Zvi Institute will officially open a new international school for Jerusalem studies on Thursday evening, uniting a number of initiatives for research and education about Jerusalem’s history under one roof.

The Haim Kubersky School for Jerusalem Studies will move into the recently renovated Pioneer Women’s House, located in the capital’s Rehavia neighborhood.

Yad Yitzhak Ben-Zvi is located on the grounds of the wooden cabin that belonged to Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, the state’s second president, the site where he conducted many official affairs during his term.

The new school will strengthen the institute’s research branch by creating a two-year fellowship for post-doctoral students in Jerusalem research.

Additionally, the school will serve students and Jews coming from abroad with different courses, workshops, tours and lectures.

The school will also be the new home of the Education Ministry’s Jerusalem guide course, which trains tour guides for schools visiting Jerusalem.

The building that will house the School for Jerusalem Studies is itself a part of Jerusalem’s history. Built in the early 1940s, it housed single women who made aliya alone and wanted to learn a profession in the period immediately before the founding of the state – thus earning its name of Pioneer Women’s House. During the 1948 Independence War, the building functioned as the broadcasting offices for the Kol Yerushalayim (Voice of Jerusalem) radio station.

Architect Ada Karmi-Melamede, who won the Israel Prize, oversaw the renovation and restoration of the building. Now, the 500- square-meter building will house classrooms, exhibition halls, a library including Ben-Zvi’s extensive research and a 300-seat auditorium.

Kubersky, the namesake of the school, was a former director-general of the Interior Ministry.

“We want to take the history and connect it to the present, and to provide a little bit of this knowledge to the public,” said Yad Yitzhak Ben-Zvi director Jacob Yaniv on Tuesday. “The School for Jerusalem Studies is an institution that encourages and organizes research and makes it much more accessible.

“The idea is to connect a Jerusalem kid to his roots and to everyone’s roots, because Jerusalem is the capital of our people.”

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