About the project
The Jacob & Hilda Blaustein Civic Center is a major cultural and educational complex created by extensively renovating Beit Ha’am (the People’s House) in 1987. Beit Ha’am was built in 1951 and was the venue for the Adolf Eichmann trial in 1961. It later housed the Carl J. & Daniel P. Mayer Central City Library, the Popular University (an adult education institution) and the Ulpan (a Hebrew language immersion program). The civic center incorporates each of these facilities as well as the adjacent Leo Model Hall and Gerard Behar Center into one centrally located public complex. The center is one of the city’s most versatile cultural centers, providing on any given day, space for senior citizens to exercise, new immigrants to learn Hebrew, and children to attend an opera. It also provides studios for the Kombina and Vertigo Dance Companies. Since the center’s dedication in 1987, the Jerusalem Foundation has supported annual maintenance and improvements including the purchase of library books, underwriting of cultural activities for new immigrants and building repairs. In 1992, a major renovation program included remodeling classrooms, reading rooms, offices, teachers’ rooms and storage spaces at the Popular University, renovations to the stockroom, the office of a reading enrichment program and a bindery at the Central City Library, and construction of a language laboratory at the Ulpan.