Barclays Bank – New Jerusalem Municipality Adjacent to the Russian Compound
Jerusalem’s City Hall is situated directly on the seam that once divided Jerusalem. The entire complex is equally accessible to residents of both the eastern and western parts of the city. The bullet pock-marked Barclays Bank from the British Mandate Period is now the Jerusalem Municipality on Zahal Square (Kikar Tsahal).
Kikar Safra – Safra Square – Jerusalem Municipality
All incoming tourists visit Jaffa Gate on their way from their hotel to the Old City of Jerusalem. The attractions in Safra Square are only one touchdown away from the walls of the Old City. Keep reading and take a virtual visit to what is hiding behind “Barclays Bank”. The square is used for various exhibits, presentations, holiday decorations and modern statues for photo-op’s or for just goofing around. Isn’t it wonderful that the heart of Jerusalem’s municipal government has a sense of humor!
Adjacent to the Jerusalem Municipality, which was a Mandate Period Barclays Bank, the Safra Square is home to Jerusalem decision-makers in a vintage 1990’s New Municipality building, as well as the city’s courthouse and multiple historical buildings from the British Mandatory period now used mostly as office space. In fact, 10 of the eleven early 20th century buildings constructed around the present site were restored for municipal use. One housed the University’s Zoology Department for three decades. The Municipality makes full use of the square, offering various activities throughout the year including concerts and an annual 3×3 basketball tournament. The square was built with the help of Jewish Brazilian philanthropist Edmond Safra and named in honor of his parents, Jacob and Esther.
A platform at the far end of the square affords a nice view of Mount Scopus and northern Jerusalem.
- Guided tours: Mondays and Thursdays at 10:00 am
- Directions: By bus : No 6, 13, 18, 20, 27 and all buses heading towards downtown Jerusalem
- Address: Yafo St. 3
- Phone +972 2 629 6000
- Paid parking.
Streetball takes over Jerusalem’s Safra Square
Ice Skating in Safra Square
Jerusalem Municipal Sukkah at Safra Square
60 Seconds of Jerusalem’s City Hall
Daniel Park (Gan Ha’ir) is located right next to the plaza. It is named for Daniel Auster, who was Jerusalem’s first Jewish mayor after the establishment of the State of Israel it is more commonly known as Gan Ha’ir (City Park).
Edmond J. Safra was a Lebanese, Brazilian, Jewish banker who continued the family tradition of banking in Syria, Lebanon, Brazil and Switzerland. He died in a fire that was judicially determined to be due to arson. Safra supported educational, religious, medical, cultural, and humanitarian causes and organizations around the world, and the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation carries on this work today in his memory.
This video presents Edmond Safra and his family visiting the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the head of the Chabad Hasidic movement. Rabbi Scheerson blesses each member of the family and gives each one a dollar bill for good luck. I have been blessed by Rabbi Schneerson and have my lucky dollar over my desk.