Independence Hall, Tel Aviv
Birthing place of a nation
This is where modern Israel was proclaimed a nation. Almost a half-century before, 66 families had gathered on April 11, 1909 to draw lots for land in a new Jewish neighborhood. Meir and Zina Dizengoff chose plot number 43, where they built their home. In 1910, they and their neighbors, inspired by the writings of Theodor Herzl, unanimously decided to call their neighborhood Tel Aviv.
In 1930, after the death of his wife, Dizengoff – who had become the city’s first mayor – donated the house to be turned into an art museum. It was here that the first Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, made Israel’s proclamation of independence at 4 p.m. on May 14, 1948, in the museum’s main hall, eight hours before British authority over the region was to end by order of the United Nations. Ben-Gurion read the declaration, Rabbi Maimon Fischman, recited a blessing and those in attendance signed the document, then together sang Hatikvah, which became Israel's national anthem.