Heichal Shlomo

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Heichal Shlomo
Mordechai Ish Shalom and Yitzhak Ben-Zvi standing in front of the recently constructed Heichal Shlomo. 1959

Heichal Shlomo (Hekhal of Solomon: Hebrew: היכל שְׁלֹמֹה‎, Heikhal Shlomo; meaning 'Palace of Solomon') is the former seat of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and currently a museum. It is located adjacent to the Great Synagogue on King George Street, Jerusalem, opposite the Leonardo Plaza Hotel. The building was erected between 1953 and 1958, following plans by German-born architect Dr. Alexander Friedman (see selective list of works: [1]).

Since 1992 the building has been mainly serving as a museum, the Jewish Heritage Center and Jewish Art Museum. It contains:

  • The Renanim Synagogue, transferred from Padua together with its 18th-century Torah ark and bimah, and decorated with modern stained glass windows
  • The Entrance Gallery displays temporary exhibitions of Israeli artists
  • The actual museum, displaying traditional and modern Jewish art in permanent and temporary exhibitions; it is named for British Jewish philanthropist, Sir Isaac Wolfson
  • A rooftop terrace offering a panoramic view of Jerusalem and the surrounding hills
  • A 500-seat auditorium used as a venue for lectures, seminars and performances
  • Offices used by, among others, the Jewish National Fund (JNF), StandWithUs, and HonestReporting

Heichal Shlomo hosts concerts, theatre performances, lectures, seminars, guided tours, workshops on Jewish art, Bible study groups, and major ceremonies. The synagogue is a working synagogue, available for private ceremonies.

In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI paid a courtesy visit to Heichal Shlomo, where he met with the two Chief Rabbis of Jerusalem.[1]

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Coordinates: 31°46′32.84″N 35°13′0.88″E / 31.7757889°N 35.2169111°E / 31.7757889; 35.2169111