Russian Oligarch Leonid Nevzlin has given $6 million to Tel Aviv’s Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People.
Beit Hatfutsot has long been Nevzlin’s pet project. He is spearheading a $24 million project to build the museum, which is set to open to local and international visitors in 2012. The 16,000 square meter museum will house a new permanent exhibition covering an area of 4,200 square meters, spread out over three floors, in Beit Hatfutsot’s Nahum Goldmann building on the University of Tel Aviv campus, according to a press release from Nevzlin’s Nadav Fund.
(I’m wondering if in the near future we will see a major gift announcement from Nadav to the Jewish Agency. I have no inside source on this, just some observations. For one, Nevzlin spoke out this summer about the importance of building a stronger Jewish Agency, just before the Agency’s summmer board meetings. And the photo that accompanied this press release from Nadav featured Nevzlin and the Jewish Agency’s new chairman, Natan Sharansky. Philanthropic smoke perhaps?)
Here’s the release:
LEONID NEVZLIN DONATES $6 MILLION TO ‘MUSEUM OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE’ IN TEL AVIV’S BEIT HATFUTSOT
The donation was announced by Nevzlin yesterday at an event celebrating his 50th birthday which took place at Beit Hatfutsot
(Tel Aviv, September 24, 2009) Leonid Nevzlin, Chairman of the International Board of Governors of Beit Hatfutsot, has decided to donate $6 million, through the NADAV Fund which he founded, towards establishing the ‘Museum of the Jewish People’ in Beit Hatfutsot – the first museum in the world to tell the story of the Jewish People. Nevzlin announced the donation last night, Wednesday, September 23, during a speech he delivered before 350 people attending an event celebrating his 50th birthday in Beit Hatfutsot at the University of Tel Aviv campus.
The gift follows several previous donations Nevzlin awarded Beit Hatfutsot, which helped saved the institution during a severe budgetary crisis it faced a few years ago, allowing it to endure and continue to develop.
Nevzlin was the initiator and leading force behind the establishment of the ‘Museum of the Jewish People’ in Beit Hatfutsot, which is estimated to cost $24 million and is planned to open to local and international visitors in 2012. The new museum project comes at the culmination of a comprehensive renewal process undertaken by Beit Hatfutsot in recent years with the support of the NADAV Fund. The 16,000 square meter museum will house a new permanent exhibition covering an area of 4,200 square meters, spread out over three floors, in Beit Hatfutsot’s Nahum Goldmann building on the University of Tel Aviv campus.
The announcement of Nevzlin’s leadership gift yesterday effectively launched an international fundraising campaign which will begin in the next few days, whose goal is to fund the establishment of the museum, which is unprecedented in both its size and wealth of content.
Chairman of the International Board of Governors of Beit Hatfutsot, Leonid Nevzlin, noted in his speech yesterday, that he decided to give the donation due to the uniqueness of the museum and its importance in ensuring the future of the Jewish People. “The new museum will be one of the principal tools available to us for ensuring the future of the Jewish People and its prosperity. I believe that visitors at the museum will not only be moved emotionally, but it will also teach them about their Jewish roots, and succeed in connecting them with the collective story of the Jewish People”, Nevzlin explained.