MEMBERS OF the Knesset Science and Technology Committee tour the Bloomfield Science Museum.
(photo credit: BLOOMFIELD SCIENCE MUSEUM)
The number of visitors to the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem’s Givat Ram quarter has declined by 70 percent since the latest wave of terrorism began in October, the Knesset Science and Technology Committee was told this week. This is despite the fact that the museum, usually very popular among children and their parents, is across from the Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus in an area that has been untouched by stabbings and other types of terrorist attacks.
Committee members – along with representatives of the Jerusalem Municipality, the Education Ministry, the Science, Technology and Space Ministry, and other museums in the capital – toured the science museum with its director, Maya Halevy.
Committee chairman MK Uri Maklev of United Torah Judaism praised the scientific level and professional expertise of the museum and promised to ask Science, Technology and Space Minister MK Ophir Akunis to bolster scientific and cultural institutions in the capital.
Halevy said that in an average year, some 250,000 people visit Bloomfield. But in October, the number dropped by 60% compared to October 2014, and during the first week of November, the total was 70% lower than during the corresponding week the year before.
The vast majority of the visitors who stayed away since the beginning of October are students from schools outside of Jerusalem and Arab pupils. Visits by many of the pupils who came since November 1 were arranged by an external organization that financed their entrance.
Dr. Yvgeny Roznitzki of Jerusalem’s Nature Museum said that the number of visitors to that institution, located in the quiet German Colony, has declined since October 1 by 90%.
Moshe Tur-Paz, head of the municipality’s education administration, said, “We are on our way to being a city of science.
It will take place only when the ultra-Orthodox [haredi] and Arab sectors participate,” citing the Bloomfield Science Museum as “the top cultural institution in the city that learned how to speak to the haredi public in its own language.”