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Museums in Israel: Beit Ben-Gurion

"Should I be asked to sum up all the Jewish history in a few words, I would say it in three words - quality versus quantity.” — David Ben-Gurion

An unassuming house in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Tel-Aviv is the place that served as the residence of David Ben-Gurion; Israel's first Prime Minister and his family. The house is located in what was the first workers' neighborhood, established on Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemet Le'Israel), land.

The Ben-Gurion family lived in this house built in 1930-1931, until they settled in Sde-Boker, in 1953. Later, the family alternated between the two-story house in Tel Aviv and the 'tsrif' (shack) in Sde-Boker in the Negev. Ben-Gurion bequeathed his house to the state and in 1976 the Knesset passed the Ben-Gurion Law which proclaimed that house would serve the public as an institute for perusal and research.

It is the home's second floor, which was used solely by Ben-Gurion that really affords visitors a glimpse into the private world of the man known throughout the world as the father of the State of Israel. The second floor houses four library rooms and a bedroom. The library includes a collection of books and periodicals, totaling 20,000 volumes in languages as varied as ancient Greek, Latin, English, Hebrew, French, Turkish, German and Russian.

On the first floor visitors can see the kitchen, `Paula's room' where Ben-Gurion spent his last days, prior to being hospitalized. This floor also includes his daughter's bedroom, which served, as his own bedroom and shelter during two wars, the Sinai Campaign and the Six-Day War.

The museum is located at 17 Ben-Gurion Boulevard, Tel-Aviv 63454

Entrance is Free

Sources: Copyright © 2000 Gems in Israel. All rights reserved. Reprinted with Permission. Photos Copyright © 2000 Marty Block.