In a formal state ceremony yesterday evening, Israel remembered its founding father, Theodor Herzl, on the anniversary of his death in the presence of the President, Prime Minister and Speaker of the Knesset. The real story, however, is in the concurrent dedication of a new educational center a few hundred meters from Herzl’s grave, alongside the Herzl Museum. That building celebrates Herzl’s life rather than remembering his death.
The Stella and Alexander Margulies Education Center complements the Herzl Museum, established by the World Zionist Organization six years ago with the support of the Jerusalem Foundation and the Government of Israel. It has drawn over half a million visitors since its opening.
“The purpose of the complex is to promote Herzl’s legacy and to inspire visitors to work for the realization of Herzl’s Zionist dream – the creation of a Jewish state that would not only be a safe harbor for the Jewish people but also an exemplary society and a light unto the nations,” said Dr. David Breakstone, Vice Chairman of the World Zionist Organization who conceived of the project and has overseen its development.
The Center includes an interactive educational exhibit, classrooms, lecture halls, an exhibition area, a library and cafeteria.
Part of the funding was provided by England’s Marcus Margulies, a long-time donor to the Jerusalem Foundation and a previous recipient of the Teddy Kollek Award for his significant contribution to Jerusalem. Mr. Margulies, from a well-known Zionist family in England, has named the Center after his parents.
More work is intended to take place on the campus. “Within the next 3 years, the World Zionist Organization and the Jerusalem Foundation intend to complete the campus by adding another building that will include an auditorium and an exhibition hall,” said Danny Mimran, the General Manager of the Jerusalem Foundation.