About Bezalel
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Historical Timeline

  • 1903

    Professor Boris Schatz proposes establishing an arts and crafts school in the Land of Israel to Theodore Herzl.

  • 1905

    The Seventh Zionist Congress in Basel passes a resolution to establish the "Bezalel" School of Art.

  • 1906

    Professor Schatz establishes the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem.

  • 1908

    The Bezalel School moves to new buildings, adds new departments expands its scope of activities.

  • 1914

    With the advent of  World War I, Bezalel faces political, financial and management difficulties.

  • 1917

    The Turks deport Boris Schatz. Bezalel shuts down  until British General Allenby enters Jerusalem in late 1917.

  • 1918

    Schatz returns. The School resume’s instruction in painting and sculpture along with carpet making, metalworking and woodcarving crafts.

  • 1929

    With Bezalel in financial difficulty, Schatz travels abroad to raise funds and the School closes down temporarily 

  • 1932

    Schatz dies in the U.S. while on tour with a roving exhibition of works by Bezalel’s artists.

  • 1935

    The New Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts opens headed by renowned Berlin print artist Josef Budko.

  • 1940

    Josef Budko dies. The artist Mordechai Ardon, a disciple of the Bauhaus school, succeeds him.

  • 1947

    Bezalel’s enrollment booms. For the first time, the new students include are concentration camps survivors.

  • 1948

    The State of Israel is founded. Bezalel expands it curriculum and becomes Israel’s premier academy of arts.

  • 1952

    Sculptor Zeev Ben-Zvi is named to head Bezalel. Israel’s government begins to provide funding to the School.

  • 1953

    Ben-Zvi is succeeded by Yaakov Steinhardt, followed by Yerahmiel Schechter, Yitzhak Aschheim and Felix Darnell.

  • 1955

    The New Bezalel School is declared an Academy of Art, enrollment exceeds 200, the building is expanded.

  • 1958

    The Bezalel Academy of Art receives the Israel Prize on the occasion of Israel’s tenth Independence Day.

  • 1965

    New Bezalel Head Dan Hofner works intensely to change the school’s legal, financial and academic status.

  • 1969

    The Council for Higher Education recommends the school become The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design.

  • 1975

    Bezalel  awarded status of an academic institution. Graduates receive B.A. degrees appropriate to their discipline.

  • 1981

    The Photography Department’s curricular program qualified for a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree.

  • 1983

    The Environmental and Industrial Design Department split. The Environmental Design Department requests permission to award a degree in Architecture.

  • 1990

    All Bezalel’s departments and administrative offices move to a newly constructed building on Mount Scopus.

  • 1993

    In a  Bezalel first, Architecture Department graduates awarded a Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch.) degrees.

  • 1998

    On Israel’s 50th anniversary, Bezalel launches the “Continuity & Change” exhibition in Jerusalem.

  • 2002

    Bezalel’s request to launch a master’s degree programs in Fine Arts and Industrial Design is approved.

  • 2003

    A Fashion Design Program a Cinematography, Video & New Media Unit approved. Professor Arnon Zuckerman named President.

  • 2005

    The Ministerial Committee on Jerusalem Affairs allocates a plot in central Jerusalem the for Bezalel’s relocation.

  • 2006

    Bezalel's 100th Anniversary celebration opens with an exhibit on Professor Boris Schatz at the Israel Museum.

  • 2007

    Bachelor of Screen-Based Arts program approved; request for a Master of Fine Arts Theory and Policy program submitted.

  • 2009

    The Architecture Department’s Master of Urban Design program is approved.

  • 2010

    Bezalel’s Architecture Department lauded as one of Israel’s leaders for its intellectual, social and cultural approach.

  • 2011

    The Council for Higher Education approves the Bezalel Campus move to the Russian Compound in central Jerusalem.

  • 2012

    Bezalel wins the Council for Higher Education's Shosh Berlinski Schoenfeld Prize for Social Involvement in the Community.

  • 2013

    For the first time in Israel, the Council for Higher Education authorizes an academic orthodox religious Bezalel extension.

  • 2014

    The Bezalel and the Jerusalem Development Authority Center for Digital Media and Design opens with degree programs.

  • 2015

    The Japanese architectural firm SANAA’s plans for the new campus are approved. Prof. Adi Stern is named President.

  • 2019

    Construction of campus begins. The academic year opens with 2300 students, 500 faculty members and 14 Departments.

  • 2020

    The Department of Visual & Material Culture is established offering a new theoretical bachelor degree. Prof. Adi Stern’s term as President is renewed.