The Academy of the Hebrew Language has announced that they will build its next global center in the National Quarter in Jerusalem. The Academy, which was established by the Israeli government in 1953, held a design competition in collaboration with the Association of Architects and Urban Builders in Israel to choose which architect will design the new center according to the Jerusalem Post. Over 100 architects put in bids to design the next structure. The panel of judges reviewed the anonymous submissions and selected 5 design proposals from the initial 100 submissions to advance to the next stage. This was the pool that ultimately yielded the winning proposal.
President of the Academy, Professor Bar-Asher, told the Jewish News Syndicate that choosing the architect and design is a milestone in the establishment of the new center for all the key stakeholders, including the Government of Israel, the Municipality of Jerusalem, and the Jerusalem Development Authority.
According to the academy’s website, “The Hebrew language serves as a major gateway connecting Jews in Israel and the Diaspora; the new Center will broaden and enlarge this gateway. Its planned location, a short walk from so many national attractions, positions it well to become a prominent cultural destination of Israelis and tourists from abroad alike.”
In a post-pandemic world, the Academy hopes to welcome more than 200,000 visitors a year at the global center. The Academy seeks to raise $50 million to build the New Center. The Academy has already raised a considerable amount (nearly $3 million) from Israeli philanthropists, demonstrating just how deeply the Hebrew language touches the Jewish soul.