Originally the home of Tel Aviv’s first mayor, Meir Dizengoff, and later
used as the Tel Aviv Museum, this building’s real claim to fame is that
it houses the hall in which David Ben Gurion proclaimed Israel’s
independence on May 14, 1948.
The hall is preserved exactly as it was on that day, with the original
microphones still sitting on the long table where the dignitaries
witnessed history. Seated in front of the table, visitors hear a
recording of Ben Gurion’s speech, as well as the uproarious applause and
emotional rendition of Hatikva that followed. An exhibit adjacent to
the hall contains photographs, maps, and newspapers that tell the story
of the establishment of the State of Israel.
The museum’s entranceway displays Theodor Herzl’s famous quote: “In
Basel I laid the foundation for the Jewish State,” referring to the
First Zionist Congress in Switzerland in 1897, where the Zionist
movement was galvanized. Five years later, Congress delegates
established JNF to purchase land to make a Jewish State a reality.