The National Library of Israel (NLI) has announced that a generous gift from legendary entertainment figure and philanthropist David Geffen will establish the David Geffen Auditorium on the new National Library campus, on schedule to open its doors next year adjacent to the Knesset in Jerusalem.
The new NLI campus, designed by Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, will provide access to the Library’s world-class collections as never before, and offer a range of venues for its groundbreaking cultural and educational programming in a secure, sustainable and state-of-the-art environment.
The David Geffen Auditorium will be a centerpiece of the new campus, playing host to concerts, conferences, lectures, film screenings, performances and other special events produced by NLI, as well as other institutions and organizations.
The 480-seat, 5,000 sq. ft. (470 sq. m.) space will present a best-in-class performance venue, filling a much-needed niche for a multi-purpose hall of this size and caliber in Israel’s capital. The rear of the stage will feature a distinctive 24 ft. (7.5 m.) high glass curtain wall, which will provide a visual connection to the campus’s Idan and Batia Ofer Park featuring a public outdoor amphitheater, plaza and pedestrian area.
In order to ensure exceptional versatility for the range of events to be held there, the design incorporates optimized sightlines, lighting and audio-visual equipment, as well as a customized ceiling that will integrate mineral fiber, gypsum and wood elements to achieve ideal multifaceted acoustics for different types of events, including musical performances, lectures, panel discussions and more.
This is the most prominent philanthropic support for an Israeli cultural institution from Geffen, who for more than half a century has been a leading force in the entertainment industry, founding music label Geffen Records and co-founding movie studio DreamWorks SKG with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg. He has provided major support to countless causes, particularly in the fields of health and the arts.
“I’m proud to partner with the National Library of Israel, one of Israel’s leading cultural institutions, and to support its incredible collections and thoughtful, innovative programming,” Geffen said.
National Library of Israel director Oren Weinberg said, “We are very grateful to David Geffen for his exceptional support and look forward to the David Geffen Auditorium in the new National Library of Israel hosting local and international audiences, and providing a stage for the wonderfully diverse expressions of cultural creativity embodied in our collections, which celebrate and reflect a broad range of cultures, traditions and languages.”
Jacob “Jack” Lew, Co-President, NLI USA, said: “NLI USA, which promotes the work of the National Library of Israel throughout the United States, is delighted that David Geffen, who has so left a mark on the global cultural landscape, has joined our efforts as we continue cultivating the National Library as a leading cultural institution for Israel, the Jewish people and the international community.”
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on July 22, 2021
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