It’s a sign of the changing times: A long-time meeting hall for a large group of Holocaust survivors who made their way to Israel is up for sale, as the patrons of the Nir Roschitz Hall have passed on, one by one. In operation since 1948, the site is located in one of the prime areas of Tel Aviv, and is up for auction for an opening bid of NIS 8 million.
The building where the hall is located is in a structure that was built in 1948, on Rehov Ha’arba’a in Tel Aviv, adjacent to the Cinematek – currently one of the hottest development areas of Tel Aviv, just down the block from the old Maariv building and the former wholesale fruit and vegetable market, where a major residential and commercial development project is going on. The site was purchased that same year by refugees from the city of Roschitz in Ukraine. Members over the years have included David Ben-Gurion and the parents of former Shin Bet head Avi Dichter, all of whom were born in the village.
Many of those who came to live in Israel after the war settled in the area, but over the years it has been used less and less. The last event sponsored by the refugees was in 1999. That same year those who remained donated the site to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial organization, which used it to conduct events. However Yad Vashem failed to keep it up, and since 2003 it has been largely abandoned. It was recently acquired by Shapir Shilansky, son of the former Knesset member and Holocaust survivor Dov Shilansky, z”l.
The hall is one of many that were acquired by survivor communities that immigrated to Israel, and is one of the last in Tel Aviv to have been sold and, as is likely to happen now, to be repurposed for other uses.