Jerusalem (May. 17)
The new building of the Jewish National Fund was opened yesterday with an inaugural address by M. M. Ussishkin, head of the Fund, who welcomed the guests, including Herbert Bentwich, father of the attorney general of Palestine, who helped register the Jewish National Fund statutes in England; Kurt Blumenfeld, president of the German Zionist Federation; Berthold Feiwel and Meyer Jaffe, South African Zionist.
Mr. Ussishkin pointed out that the building was opened on Lag B’Omer, “a day connected with the name of Rabbi Akiba and like the latter we wish to join political aspirations with cultural and spiritual aims. The architecture of our building makes it look like a stronghold and it really is by its activities for the redemption of the land. If we have land beneath our feet here no calamities will destroy us, if not, no friends will be able to save us. From this building calls will come to Jewry to hasten to redeem the land without people for a people without land.”
The ceremonies were greeted by Ben Zvi in the name of Vaad Leumi, Jaffe in the name of the Keren Hayesod, Rabbi Berlin in the name of the Jewish Agency, and Henrietta Szold in the name of the Hadassah. Twelve of the guests who had been delegates to the first Zionist Congress planted twelve trees in memory of one deceased delegate of the first Congress. Mr. Ussishkin planted one for Theodor Herzl. Yehuda Goldberg one for Max Nordau, and Dr. Klausner one for Achad Ha’Am.
Rabbi Berlin then placed a mezuzah on the building and Chief Rabbi Kook blessed the gathering and entered the building, opening the door with a golden key. The gathering then inspected the modern building which cost $60,000.