> Day in Jewish History

Kislev 16

December 16, 2009 | by

In 1946, the 22nd World Zionist Congress met in Basle, Switzerland. In the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust, Zionist leaders had lost all patience with British stonewalling about the creation of a Jewish state. Thus the Zionists decided to forcibly resist British policy, and Jewish underground movements redoubled their campaign to damage British installations such as rail lines, police stations and army bases. In one night in 1946, Ben Gurion's Hagana blew up 12 critical bridges. The efforts were largely successful, and by 1947 Britain declared its intention to withdraw, thus leading to the UN Partition Plan of November 1947.

On this date in 2009, Aish HaTorah dedicated its new educational center directly across from the Western Wall. The building features an aqueduct used to bring water to the Holy Temple, and reconstructed archways from the Crusader period. The atrium is punctuated by a two-story-tall glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly, entitled “Fire and Water.” On the rooftop terrace directly overlooking the Temple Mount is a 1.2-ton model of the Holy Temple. The building is also slated to house the Explorium of Jewish History.

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