Members of ESRA Ramat Aviv at the Weizmann Institute of Science and Technology in Rehovot

Photos: Dennis Kaliser

On a very beautiful, but very warm July 4th morning, a full bus of ESRA travelers boarded a refreshingly cool and comfortable bus for a relaxing ride to our day trip to the Weizmann Institute of Science and Technology in Rehovot.

Our visit began with a stop at the lovely campus café. After a short introduction by a member of the staff, our tour began in the Levinson Visitors’ Center. The state-of-the-art Levinson Visitors’ Center is the gateway to the Institute, giving visitors a window into the unique nature of scientific investigation and discovery taking place at the Institute. Here, we learned of the Weizmann Institute’s central role in Israeli science and technology, as well as the role it plays as a highly regarded institute of learning worldwide. The Center contains technologically advanced exhibits and a state-of-the-art multi-media presentation that takes the visitor on a journey of knowledge and discovery. We had the opportunity to learn all about the fascinating world of several scientists who uncover the secrets of nature and decipher the codes of the universe.

A bust of the great man

Following a well-presented multi-media presentation, we headed to the home of Dr. Chaim Weizmann and his wife, Dr. Vera Weizmann. The Weizmann House, built in 1936, as the modern private home of the Weizmanns, was built next to the Sieff Institute founded by Dr. Weizmann in 1934, which later became the Weizmann Institute of Science. The house was designed by a well-known Jewish architect, Erich Mendelsohn, who left Germany when the Nazis rose to power.  Weizmann House was Mendelsohn's first work in the Land of Israel. Mendelsohn wrote: “This is a completely contemporary home… However, it has features of a residence in a sub-tropical climate.  In my opinion, this style of house will become popular in the East after two thousand years.” Mendelsohn was considered a giant of modern architecture. 

Inside the Weizmann home

The Weizmann House is an architectural gem within the Israeli landscape, and stands out as an attraction for architects and the public alike. The house was designed as the private home of the Weizmanns but, as the architect said, it was also a “presentation house” since it was built for "someone who stood on the stage of history".  On Chaim Weizmann's election as President of the State of Israel, the house became the official residence of the President. 

Dr. Chaim Weizmann died on November 9, 1952 at his home in Rehovot, at the age of 78. As per his request, he was buried on his own estate. Chaim Weizmann was one of the Zionist founders and leaders who merited to see the fulfillment of his vision in his lifetime. Vera Weizmann died on September 24, 1966 and was buried next to her husband. After her death, the Weizmann home became a national preservation site, open to visitors from all over the world.

The biographies of both Weizmanns are worth reading, to learn about the life-long accomplishments of these two very brilliant individuals.

Our visit to the Weizmann Institute was beautiful and informative.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the Weizmann Campus, treat yourself, your friends and family to an exceptional experience.

Thank you to our exceptional guides who treated us to a wonderful day.

 

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Bunny Porath

Bunny Porath came to Israel in 2011m from Chevy Chase Maryland, US, after retiring from a career as an English Second language teacher in Montgomery County Maryland. She has been a volunteer tutor ...
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