Hadassah Medical Center Breaks Ground
Hadassah Medical Campus on Mt Scopus, Jerusalem. Photo: Israeli National Photo Collection

June 5, 1952

Having been forced to evacuate its campus on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus after the massacre of 78 medical people April 13, 1948, Hadassah breaks ground on the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center at Ein Kerem in the Israeli-controlled western side of the city. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion is among the thousands at the ceremony.

Hadassah Medical Organization Director-General Kalman Mann leads the move to consolidate the organization’s activities at Ein Kerem with the help of a Hadassah fundraising drive. The site is chosen in part because of the difficulty of finding sufficient space in the center of the city and in part because Hadassah already owns land at Ein Kerem. Joseph Neufeld, a pioneer of the international style of architecture in Israel, designs the complex, which opens in 1961. The opening ends a period in which the hospital operates from five rented locations across Jerusalem. Ein Kerem grows to more than 20 buildings over the years, even though the June 1967 war restores Mount Scopus to Israel and enables the medical center to reopen its facilities there in 1975 after extensive renovations. Ein Kerem remains the bigger location, offering 700 in-patient beds until a 500-bed expansion in 2012. The hospital synagogue at Ein Kerem is the home of Marc Chagall’s stained-glass windows representing the 12 tribes of Israel; they are installed in February 1962.