Beit Hadassah - Zefat Academic

Beit Hadassah


Beit Hadassah, the first Jewish hospital in Zefat, was founded by the Rothschild family and was built over the years 1909-1912.


At the end of the 19th century, the Jews of Zefat lived in poor sanitation, and most of the medical care and hospitalization in the area were provided by the English and Scottish missions. Under the pressure of the Jewish community, which opposed the missionary activities and worked to establish an independent medical system, the Baron Edmond de Rothschild purchased a plot of land designated for the construction of a hospital. At the end of 1907 constructions began, and the hospital was completed in 1910.
With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the hospital was confiscated by the authorities of the Ottoman Empire, which turned it into a military hospital. In 1918, the Hebrew activities were renewed with the help of the Hadassah group, which operated the institution for many years, and the hospital was renamed "Beit Hadassah Hospital" after it. In 1936, Hadassah Hospital became the central hospital for patients with lung diseases in the area. During the events of 1936-1939, after which the hospital continued to absorb casualties and provided shelter. With the outbreak of the War of Independence, the tuberculosis patients were evacuated, and the hospital served as a military hospital. In 1949 it was declared an Israeli government hospital, and in 1954 it was converted into a government maternity hospital. In 1957 it became the General Government Hospital in Zefat. In 1973 the hospital moved to the new building at Ziv Hospital, and Hadassah Hospital was converted into a teacher's seminar. In 1974, the Zefat College began operating there.


Over the years, the structure was shaken, large cracks were opened, and it was declared dangerous and was abandoned. The Zefat Academic College management saw it as an important asset for the history and heritage of the city of Zefat and the state of Israel, and decided to preserve it. The structure was stabilized and strengthened, modern systems and infrastructures were integrated into it, and it was adapted to modern standards. The facades of the building were restored to their original form, including reconstructing details that were destroyed over the years. An emphasis was placed on the full preservation of the entrance hall with the main staircase, doors and hallways, while the different rooms were adapted to the needs of the college. The preservation work took four years, with an investment of 13 million NIS from the budget of the Zefat Academic College and the Council for Higher Education. The renovated Beit Hadassah was inaugurated in 2004.