Menu JTA Search

Ceremony Marks Laying of Cornerstone for New Knesset Building

The laying of a cornerstone for a permanent Knesset building took place here today in the presence of President Itzhak Ben Zvi, Premier David Ben Gurion and members of the Rothschild family from England and France. The construction of the building was made possible by the bequest of 6, 000, 000 pounds made by the late Lord James de Rothschild.

The widow of Lord James laid the stone, after a metal cylinder was deposited in it containing a scroll reciting, in Biblical Hebrew, a brief history of the building and its meaning to Israel and to the world. The scroll was signed by the President, Premier, the Chief Rabbis, members of the Cabinet, Mayor Gershon Agron, members of the Rothschild family and other Israeli personalities.

The ceremony was opened by Joseph Sprinzak, Speaker of the Knesset. President Ben Zvi, addressing the audience, lauded the generosity of the donor, a scion of the late Baron Edmond de Rothschild, who is known as “the Father of the Yishuv.” Mrs. de Rothschild, in a moving speech, expressed hope that in the new Knesset building “just, good and wise laws will be passed in the spirit of the People of the Book and eternal values.”

Later in the evening, Premier Ben Gurion spoke at a gala dinner given in honor of the House of Rothschild, and paid special tribute to the Baron Edmond who, over 75 years ago, established an agricultural community in Palestine which laid the foundation for the State of Israel.

NEXT STORY