The UJA-Federation of New York has contributed more than $17.5 million to the new cultural campus in Jerusalem, which opened Thursday.
The $50 million, 2.5-acre Jerusalem Arts Campus combines schools of theater, film, television and Middle Eastern classical music, creating more performing spaces.
UJA announced its support for the program in 2017 as part of its centennial celebration. Local donors include the Kirsh Foundation, the Paulson Family Foundation, Amy AB and Robert I. Bressman, Robert R. and Sherry H. Wiener, and the Iranian Jewish Federation of New York.
“We are proud to be involved in the creation of this landmark cultural center in the heart of Jerusalem,” Robert Wiener, chairman of the board of MAXX Properties, said in a statement.
The campus fulfills the vision of former Jerusalem Mayor Nir Birkat, who wanted the campus to emulate the performing arts center of Tel Aviv and attract young people to the city, sometimes considered somewhat of a firm cousin of Israel’s largest city. The campus, which connects the city of Jerusalem with the old residential neighborhood of Nahlaot, combines the four schools of Jerusalem’s practicing arts teachers: the Sam Spiegel School of Film & Television, the Center for Media Eastern Classical Music, the Nissan Native Acting Studio and the Visual Theater School.
Nir was among the dignitaries at Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony that included current Mayor Moshe Lion, Wieners, UJA CEO Eric S. Goldstein and the institute’s lead donor, Natie Kirsh, whose family controlled the Jetro Holdings grocery business in College Point; Queens
“Our shared vision for the Jerusalem Arts Campus is that it anchors the city’s cultural and economic revitalization, encouraging youth, diverse families to settle in the area, renewing the city and promoting an inclusive society,” Goldstein said in a statement. .