A view of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
To mark its centennial year and the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, the UJA-Federation of New York is partnering with the Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Foundation and the government to build a sprawling NIS 200 million arts campus in the capital.
The one-hectare stateof- the-art Jerusalem Arts Campus, to be completed by January 2020, is “part of a broad plan to transform Israel’s capital city into a global arts and cultural center,” UJA said in a statement.
It will be constructed downtown, near the Gerhard Behar Center on Bezalel Street, and include four academic institutions, including the Nisan Nativ Acting Studio, the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, the School of Visual Theater and the Center for Middle Eastern Music.
The four schools have a current combined enrollment of 650 students, while the new campus is expected to accommodate 1,100.
According to UJA, the campus is designed to become a main thoroughfare through Jerusalem’s central neighborhoods.
It will feature public spaces, including an outdoor plaza, as well as “new performance venues that will draw young people, academics, entrepreneurs, artists, and others to Israel’s capital, fostering a creative ecosystem in central Jerusalem.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and UJA CEO Eric S.
Goldstein announced that the Kirsh family, longtime UJA-Federation supporters from New York, is making a NIS 40m. gift toward the institution.
“Our family has long been committed to both Israel and UJA,” said Natie Kirsh, on behalf of her family. “It is our privilege to be involved in such a meaningful project that will be of such great benefit to Jerusalem.”
Barkat praised the timing of the announcement on the eve of the anniversary of the Six Day War.
“As we approach the 50th anniversary of the reunification of the city of Jerusalem, I am excited and honored to announce this partnership with the UJA-Federation of New York and the Kirsh family – shareholders in the city, who are committed to our most strategic projects,” he said.
“For thousands of years, Jerusalem has been a center of innovation and creativity,” Barkat said. “My vision for the city includes an essential focus on growing its creative class. The Jerusalem Arts Campus will have a significant impact on attracting young people to the city, strengthening downtown Jerusalem, and bringing the vibrant creative class to the city to stay.”
Goldstein noted the significance of UJA’s 100th anniversary, and praised the Kirsh family and joint commitment to “help strengthen Jerusalem, Israel, and the Jewish people.”
“As UJA-Federation of New York celebrates our centennial in 2017, we couldn’t be prouder to support Jerusalem’s extraordinary new arts campus, which will help ensure a vibrant future for Jerusalem, and cement its place as a leading city of the world,” Goldstein said. “We have long been focused on the well-being of the State of Israel and its people and are deeply grateful to the Kirsh family for their incredibly generous and transformational lead gift. We are also grateful for the opportunity to continue our partnership with Mayor Barkat and the Municipality of Jerusalem."