The State Is Born
Friday, May 14, 1948, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. At 4 p.m. - eight hours before the termination of the British Mandate in what was then Palestine - the members of the People's Council and Executive and invited leaders gathered in the museum hall. They listened with emotion as David Ben-Gurion, head of the People's Council, the Zionist Executive and the Jewish Agency, declared the creation of the State of Israel.
After the reading of the declaration of independence, Rabbi Fishman-Maimon recited the Sheheheyanu (a Jewish blessing of thanksgiving) and members of the People's Council and Executive signed the scroll. The ceremony concluded with the singing of "Hatikva."
About the House
On the site of what eventually became Independence Hall, 66 families gathered on 20 Nissan, April 11, 1909 to participate in a lottery for plots of land for Ahuzat Bayit, a new Jewish neighborhood outside Jaffa. Meir Dizengoff and his wife Zina won lot #43 and built their home there. He served as head of the new neighborhood committee, and later became the first mayor of Tel Aviv.
In 1910, at a general meeting of the Ahuzat Bayit residents, the name of the neighborhood was changed by majority vote to Tel Aviv, inspired by Theodor (Binyamin Ze'ev) Herzl's book Altneuland, the title given by Nahum Sokolow to his Hebrew translation - Tel Aviv means "Hill of Spring." Following the death of his wife in 1930, Meir Dizengoff donated his house to his beloved city and requested that it be turned into a museum. The building was expanded and renovated and in 1936 became the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. In May 1948, the declaration of the creation of the State of Israel took place in the museum's hall. The renovated Independence Hall opened to the public in 1978.
Today you can visit the historic hall in which Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the State of Israel. Most of the exhibits are original, while some have been reconstructed in precise detail, transporting the visitor back to that incredible event. The names of those who attended the 1948 ceremony are on the dais and chairs; Herzl's portrait hangs above center stage, flanked by two long Israeli flags. Most of the pictures displayed at the time, part of the Tel Aviv Museum's collection from the day the state was declared, remain on the walls. In the corner there are various items connected with the ceremony: documents, invitations, recording and broadcasting equipment, memos and more. Visitors can listen to the original recording of the ceremony and view a 16-minute film describing the events of the period and the history of the building.
Sunday-Thursday 9 a.m - 5 p.m
Friday 9 a.m - 2 p.m.
Adult 20 NIS
Child/Student 16 NIS
Senior Citizen 10 NIS
New Immigrants 15 NIS
16 Rothschild Blvd., Tel Aviv
Tel: (03) 510-6426, (03) 517-3942
For additional information and to book guided tours in various languages, please email: