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Beit Ben Gurion
|Location 32.085329°N 34.771718°E|
|Phone number 03- 5221010|
|City Tel Aviv-Yafo|
|Address Ben Gurion 17, Tel Aviv|
|Open to visitors yes|
|Need appointment no|
|Handicap accessibility yes|
|Geographical Coordinates 32.08519,34.77167|
The Ben-Gurion House is an historic house museum in Tel Aviv. Between 1931 and 1968 it served as an additional residence for Israel's first Defense and Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, and his family, along with another additional residence, Tzrif Ben-Gurion at Sde Boker Kibbutz in the Negev (known as his desert home), in addition to his official residence as Prime Minister of Israel, at Beit Julius Jacobs in Jerusalem.
History and time period
The house was built between 1930–1931. David Ben-Gurion and his family lived there until they settled in Sde-Boker in 1953, after which they lived there only part of each year. It was built on one of the Jewish National Fund's (JNF) property lands. It was the first a laborer neighborhood was established. The house was designed by the Israeli architect David Tuvia, and as customary in laborer neighborhoods in Israel at the time, the house included only one room, and was worth 350 British Mandate Pound (lira eretz-yisra'elit). The house was expanded in 1946, and renovated in 1960.
The first floor included Renana's , Ben-Gurion's daughter's room. It also served Ben-Gurion during the Suez Crisis (Mivtza' Kadesh, "Operation Kadesh") as a shelter and a bedroom. From this room Ben-Gurion conducted his communication with Moshe Dayan, then his Chief of Staff, and from there he received updates on the events in the battlefield.
The second floor houses a four-room library. The libraries held his personal collection of periodicals and 20,000 books, in ancient Greek, Latin, English, Hebrew, French, Turkish, German, Russian and other languages. One of them served as Ben-Gurion's study room, where he had his own study corner, in which he wrote in his diary. It also contained a special phone that was a connected-only-line to the Defense Ministry's office.
On 13 May 1948, Ben-Gurion hosted Minhelet ha'am (People's Administration) body which included: Aharon Zisling, Yehuda Leib Maimon, and Moshe Sharett. They formulated and drafted the final version of the Israeli Declaration of Independence (Megilat HaAtzma'ut). The next day, they went from this house to Dizengoff House, now known as Independence Hall, and Ben-Gurion announced the establishment of the State of Israel.
The libraries on the second floor are known for their unusual size. Ben-Gurion had more than 20,000 different books, that dealt mainly with the subjects of Zionism, history, various cultures and religions, a diverse collections of Hebrew Bible books and more. By maintaining many books on IDF's fallen soldiers, Ben-Gurion stressed the importance of the subject.
The second floor also included a toilet and a bedroom, and served only Ben-Gurion himself at the time.
The house nowadays
In his will, Ben-Gurion requested to bequest the house to the State of Israel. Three years after Ben-Gurion passed away, the Ben-Gurion law 1977 was legislated, which stipulates that the house will be open to the public, and will serve as a museum in memory of Ben-Gurion and as a commemoration of his legacy, as well "as a Reading, Reviewing and Research center", as Ben-Gurion himself requested. The house opened to the public on 29 November 1974. Until this day guided tours and symposiums are conducted in the house, with the purpose of depicting Ben-Gurion's character and life work as a leader. In addition, souvenirs, historical-documentary, and Ben-Gurion's titles awarded to him when he was prime minister, are exhibited in the house. The Boulevard on which the house is situated, was called at the time Ben-Gurion lived there, Keren Kayemet Boulevard ("Jewish National Fund Boulevard"), and was renamed Ben-Gurion Boulevard after Ben-Gurion died. The name Keren Kayemet Boulevard was then moved to a central street within a northern Tel Aviv neighborhood, Ever Ha-Yarkon suburb, and is still named after the JNF today.
Open: Sun, Tue, Wed, Thu, 8:00- 15:00 Mon 8:00-17:00 Fri 8:00-13:00
Free of charge