Beit Kadima

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Beit Kadima today
Beit Kadima, 1945

Beit Kadima (lit. Kadima House) is a residential building complex in Jerusalem, Israel located on the west side of Kiryat Shmuel.[1] The British Mandatory authorities built it in 1945 to house the families of British officers. In the end, it was used by UNSCOP Commission, whose members lived there while drafting the UN Partition Plan prior to the establishment of the state.[2]

The building was designed by architect Otto Hoffmann and constructed by an Egyptian housing company. Hoffmann's design included 21 apartments along with parking garages and storage space. It was built in the International Style along with traditional Jerusalem motifs such as half arcs over the entrances and outside staircases. The building stood empty for several years until the British authorities chose the secluded compound to house the members of the UNSCOP Commission, who were sent by the UN to determine the future status of the land of Israel. For several weeks the Commission members lived in Beit Kadima and drafted the recommendation which led to the decision on partition of Palestine and the establishment of the State of Israel.

Shortly after the UN decision on November 29, 1947, violence erupted in region and the compound became a refuge for Jewish families living in the predominantly Arab neighborhood of Katamon. The building served as a Haganah military post during Israel's War of Independence.

Today some of the original families still live in the compound, which retains its elegant character.


Additional Information[edit]

Beit Kadima's Official Website - more information and gallery

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 31°46′5.98″N 35°12′33.22″E / 31.7683278°N 35.2092278°E / 31.7683278; 35.2092278