11 Extraordinary Buildings in Israel, and the People They’re Named After

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There are many buildings around Israel that have some interesting anecdotes. Let’s take a look:

1. Edmond Safra Campus, Jerusalem

courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

The Givat Ram campus of Hebrew University, recently renamed after Edmond Safra, is the home of the Faculty of Science including the Einstein Institute of Mathematics, the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, the Center for the Study of Rationality, and the National Library of Israel.

Edmond was a Lebanese-Brazilian banker who continued the family tradition of banking in Syria, Lebanon, Brazil, and Switzerland. He died in a house fire in Monaco in what was later determined to be arson by one of his bodyguards.

2. Weizmann House, Rehovot

courtesy: אילנה שקולניק ilana shkolnik (via Wikimedia Commons)

This was the home of former President Chaim Weizmann and First Lady Vera Weizmann. They lived in it together during the 1930s, and today it is part of the Weizmann Institute of Science. 

3. Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Center, Tel Aviv

courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

The Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Center is a cultural center and the main synagogue of Tel Aviv University. It was named after its patrons, Paulette and Norbert Cymbalista, and designed by Mario Botta — who also designed the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art a few years before and then the Évry Cathedral, with a similar cylindrical shape.

4. Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv

courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

This art center, located in Habima Square, is completely free of charge to the public and stages temporary exhibitions of international and local art. 

Helena was a Polish-American businesswoman, art collector, philanthropist, and cosmetics entrepreneur. As the founder of the Helena Rubinstein Incorporated cosmetics company, she was one of the world’s richest women.

5. Wohl Centre, Ramat Gan

courtesy: צילום:ד"ר אבישי טייכר (via Wikimedia Commons)

It took around four years to build the Wohl Centre, but construction was finally completed in 2005. It was named after British philanthropist Maurice Wohl and rests in the center of Bar-Ilan University.

6. Herta & Paul Amir Building, Tel Aviv Museum of Art

courtesy: tamuseum.org.i

The most recent addition to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, its distinctive design is the brainchild of U.S. architect, Professor Preston Scott Cohen — who won an international competition to design the building.

Paul Amir was born in Czechoslovakia in 1931 and lived there during the Second World War. In 1946, he emigrated to what was is today Israel, and then moved to United States to become a real estate developer. There he met his wife, Herta, who joined his real estate company and now serves as the president.

7. Bialik House, Tel Aviv

courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

This house was the home of Hebrew national poet, Hayyim Nahman Bialik. Located in the center of the city, it is now used as a museum — located on Bialik Street! 

8. Moshe Aviv Tower, Ramat Gan

courtesy: Aviv Group

The Moshe Aviv Tower, sometimes called City Gate, is the second-tallest building in Israel, at 235 meters high. It is named after Moshe Aviv, the owner of the construction company who died before it opened in 2001. 

9. The Levine House, Tel Aviv

courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

One of Tel Aviv’s most well-known structures, this neoclassical building once housed the USSR Embassy. Today, it is used for philanthropic activities, primarily by Heseg — a scholarship fund created by Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman, for Israeli soldiers without immediate family in Israel.

10. The Ted Arison Medical Tower, Tel Aviv

courtesy: shariarison.com

The Ted Arison Family Foundation’s contribution to this advanced hospital facility has set a new benchmark for medical care in Israel. The foundation is named after Ted Arison, an Israeli businessman who co-founded Norwegian Cruise Lines in 1966 and Carnival Cruise Lines in 1972. The tower was created with the hands-on help of his daughter, Shari Arison.

11. The Peres Center for Peace & Innovation, Jaffa

courtesy: peres-center.org

The Peres Center for Peace & Innovation is an independent non-profit, non-governmental, and non-political organization founded in 1996 by Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of Israel, Shimon Peres. Its aim is to further Peres’ vision of peace in the Middle East through socio-economic cooperation and development, and interpersonal interactions.

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