Architect: Yohanan Ratner, the 1920’s and 1930’s
A tour of the buildings out of which the leaders of the Zionist movement worked when fulfilling their vision to establish the State of Israel, and where some of the formative events of the young country also took place. Tour participants will have rare access to sections of the buildings that are normally closed to the public. The buildings were designed by the architect and academic Yohanan (Eugene) Ratner, who was also one of the heads of the Haganah paramilitary organization and a high-ranking officer of the Israel Defense Forces following the establishment of the State. At the time of their construction, they were considered state-of-the-art public buildings.
While serving in the Haganah organization, Ratner was one of the chief architects of the Tower and Stockade Operation, which was a joint initiative of the national institutions and the Haganah. His proposed design for the National Institutions Buildings was chosen over more than twenty other entries, including one submitted by Richard Kaufmann, the architect of the Rehavia neighborhood.
The tours will pass through the historic halls, including the one where Chaim Weizmann was sworn in as the first president of the State of Israel and the hall where the executive boards of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization have convened since the 1920’s and where the first meetings of Israel’s government were held. The tours will also point out where the office of David Ben-Gurion was located (until 1962) and where a weapons cache was found.
Entry to the buildings is contingent on presenting on a Green Pass.