Mount Herzl National Memorial Hall

More than 23,000 men and women have perished defending Israel since 1860. While there are many sites dedicated to the fallen, there is no single memorial in Israel that commemorates them all. The National Memorial Hall on Mount Herzl – Israel’s national cemetery – will soon change that.

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The plan by Kimmel Eshkolot Architects features an 18-meter torch-like structure that opens to an unencumbered sky. The flowing, multi-storied design emerges from the ground and softly sweeps back into the earth.

The bricks that make up the structure are being created through the same process that is used to produce Merkava tank armor. Each brick will feature the name of the deceased as well as a date of death.

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When the structure is completed, a daily memorial service and a candle lighting ceremony will be held for all of the deceased who fell that day. Photos of the fallen will be projected onto the wall and a biography of each individual will be read aloud. The building will also house an eternal flame.

The 40 million shekel structure is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015.

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Mount Herzl National Memorial Hall

Jerusalem Municipality Issues Safety Instructions

While one of the intents of this site is to veer away from political discussion, I feel compelled to share the instructions issued by the Jerusalem municipality detailing how to stay safe and what to do in case of a terror attack. Because the instructions were only posted in Hebrew, I have translated them for the convenience of non-Hebrew speakers. Stay safe!

Actions to take in public areas:
-Be alert and aware of your surroundings.
-Call 100 to report any suspicious activity.
-It’s suggested to go out in groups, rather than alone.
-Walk in well-lit areas during the evening.
-If you feel unsettled while alone, call close family.

Actions to take if aid is needed in case of terror:
-Call MADA at 101.
-Stop bleeding by applying pressure to a wound.
-Ask people in the area for assistance.
-Do not attempt to remove knives or other objects from a body.
-Find and compress other stab wounds and sources of bleeding.
-Make sure the injured doesn’t move.
-Make sure to consider your own safety.

Terrorism Instructions

Jerusalem Municipality Issues Safety Instructions

The Prime Minister’s Residence

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Hot on the heels of the State Comptroller Building comes Ada Karmi-Melamede’s new plan for the office and residence of the prime minister. With a reported budget of an astounding 650 million shekels, the structure will occupy 8.25 acres and include 90,000 sqm. of office, living and service space. The project was approved by the Israeli government this week without public discourse.

The building will be situated in the governmental quarter, across from the Cinema City theater complex and next door to the Crown Plaza hotel.

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Similar to the current Prime Minister’s Residence, Beit Aghion, the bunker-like design lacks any sense of presence, command, openness or interesting architecture. Even the gaudy Palestinian Presidential Palace is more visually appealing.

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The original plan, Project Almog, was designed by Ram Karmi, brother of Ada and noted brutalist and designer of the Supreme Court building in the same neighborhood. Project Almog was deemed too grandiose and garish and was scrapped. The original sky-high budget was retained, however.

The original design.
The original design by Karmi.

No date of completion was given at the time of publishing.

The Prime Minister’s Residence