The Eliezer Ben-Yehuda home
May be found in a suburb of his beloved Jerusalem.
The address is 28 Ein Gedi Street, in Talpiot
This house is not a museum or even a "national historic site."
During the First World War Eliezer found refuge in the United States.
Before returning home in 1919, Ben-Yehuda was feted
on his sixtieth birthday, and presented with a gift of money
to build a home for himself and his family in Jerusalem.
He died before the completion of the building of the home,
but Hemda survived and went on to live in the Ben-Yehuda home,
"Mattan-Am," in Talpiot, for close to thirty years.
About ten years after her death, her son Ehud
transferred the title of the house to the municipality of Jerusalem
to create a museum, a memorial and study center of the Hebrew tongue
and other activities relating to Eliezer Ben-Yehuda in this historic site.
The house was allowed to sit unoccupied for years.
It was neglected, its content was wasted, pillaged and squandered away.
Eventually the building was leased to a church group from Germany
who established a youth center there for Germans youths
who came to volunteer their time to work with needy Jews,
to atone for the "sins of their fathers."
"International Youth Meeting Centre Beit Ben Yehuda"
Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste –
Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ARSP)
has been organizing exchange programs in Israel
for more than 40 years.
The new International Youth Meeting Centre and Guest House
Beit Ben Yehuda (BBY) organises seminars and meetings
between Israelis, Europeans and
people from other countries.
The establishment of the new centre could be realized
thanks to the support of the city of Jerusalem
and the many donations from Germany
Beit Ben Yehuda offers a variety of seminars,
programs where youth, teachers and young professionals
deal with topics such as Shoah, National Socialism,
minorities, human rights and inter-religious dialogue.
In an interesting mutual process participants of international exchange programs
can learn something about their own personal and collective history
and about the history of their counterparts.
Through such encounters BBY aims to strengthen relations
between the young generations of Israel and Europe.