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However, even in the years that followed, to the present day, the building is a center for deliberations and decisions concerning the state – primarily its ties with the diaspora Jewry.
It turns out that a building can also have a life filled with content, both joyous and sad. The National Institutions Building saw all of these: Important discussions, fate altering decisions, huge rallies and demonstrations that expressed both joy and sadness, and constitutive events. This was the home of the “nascent government” that became an actual government in 5708-1948. The leaders of the nation sat within it for years, even after the establishment of the state.
The book’s chapters, each in their own way, tell part of the story. Obviously, the key affairs and events have been emphasized, however the spotlight is also directed at the daily life, the heroes of the continuing story within its walls, a story which enters its tenth decade as of the writing of this book.
Quite a few of the chapters include documentation that has not been elaborated upon to date. These are the chapters that tell of the great architectural competition to plan the building, and the competition’s participants – from the best architects in the Land of Israel as well as those who were just starting out, one of them being Oygen (later Yohanan) Ratner, who was awarded the first place. The two chapters that take us back to 1948-5708 likewise include details and documentation that have been hidden for decades, including discoveries regarding listening and surveillance centers of the “Haganah” that operated in the building’s basement.
Among its pages, we always see the solidarity and cooperation that marked the leaders of the Yishuv in those distant days: The heads of the National Institutions, the Chief Rabbis, the representatives of the Jerusalem community and the public’s representatives. It is only appropriate that the current generation learn from them.
Personages that were known for their long years of activity in the country’s leadership, including David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Sharett, Golda Meir and Chaim Herzog, accrued hours, days and years of early experience in the National Institutions Building. And there were those who came to the building – during the state’s existence – after their public activities in the civil service or the IDF.
Not everything in the building’s story and those that reside therein are in the past. It also has a present and a future. A large share of its activity is directed at the relationship of the state and its residents with the diaspora Jewry. So it has been in the Jewish Agency, the World Zionist Organization, KKL-JNF, Keren Hayesod and other entities and institutions that are based in this building – which was and remains the “National Institutions Building.”

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