About the project
The Jerusalem Foundation built the Merrill Hassenfeld Amphitheater, an outdoor facility for major cultural events and popular performances, in 1981. The theater is located between the Old City and Yemin Moshe in Mitchell Garden at Sultan’s Pool, the water reservoir that covered the area perhaps going as far back as the time of Herod.The facility was designed so as to interfere as little as possible with the site’s historic setting; the Old City walls themselves serve as the theater’s backdrop. The gala concert to inaugurate the amphitheater was a performance by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro Leonard Bernstein. Over the years, the Jerusalem Foundation has undertaken numerous maintenance and improvement projects at the amphitheater. It also has supported dozens of performances by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Israeli pop groups, and internationally renowned performers such as the Newport Jazz Festival with B.B. King, Dizzy Gillespie & Friends and Dire Straits, to name just a few. The amphitheater hosts events connected to several Jerusalem Foundation-supported festivals, including the Israel Festival, the Chutsot Hayotser International Arts & Crafts Fair and the Jerusalem International Film Festival.