P. 87

   Construction of the building in progress. The wings were built in the following order: First the KKL-JNF Wing, then the Keren Hayesod Wing, and finally the Central Wing of the Jewish Agency
(the stone which the builders rejected) in a voice that could be heard from one end of Jerusalem to the other. Afterwards, the cornerstone was set, the audience was invited to the tables of refreshments and upon returning to their seats, they were read some twenty telegrams that arrived from various locations within and outside of the Land of Israel. At the end, the audience sang "HaTikva," and the "Doar Hayom" Newspaper reported that the singing "left a beautiful impression upon those gathered."
The construction of KKL-JNF wing, which at the time was the only building in the complex, took a year and they ensured that it was done by Hebrew Workers. The workers were mostly members of the Jerusalem branch of Gdud HaAvoda and they pitched their tents near the building under construction. The building was ready after Passover of 5690 (1930). It was inaugurated in a festive ceremony on May 16 and the key figure in that ceremony was Menachem Ussishkin as before. He noted at the beginning of his speech that 12 representatives of the first Zionist Congress were present at the event, the same Congress at which Prof. Zvi Hermann Schapira proposed the establishment of KKL-JNF. These people were quite elderly, as 33 years had passed since that Congress. Four additional members of that Congress had resided in the Land of Israel at the time, but were unable to attend due to health reasons.
Izhak Ben-zvi, Chairman of the Jewish National Council, said in his greetings that while the past year was difficult, the Yishuv noted several prominent achievements: The inauguration of the Central Hospital in Jezreel Valley, the erection of the Jewish National and University Library on

   85   86   87   88   89