Beit Hatefutzot in Ramat Aviv is no longer the only museum in Israel dedicated to the Jewish Diaspora. Since 1988, it has been joined by the attractive, well organized and highly informative Babylonian Jewry Museum. This fascinating institution should become a regular stop on visits to Israel.
In the early 1970's, former MK Mordechai Ben-Porat, who had played a major role in bringing the Iraqi Jewish community to Israel after the establishment of the State, proposed the idea of a Babylonian Jewish Heritage Center to the Or Yehuda Council (a town located ten minutes north of Ben-Gurion Airport). The Iraqi-born Ben-Porat was serving at the time as the head of the Council, and his proposal was confirmed. The idea was to establish a museum and a research center devoted to the study and dissemination of information about the first and for many years most influential Disaporan Jewish community. The cornerstone was laid in 1973, the academic council began its research in 1977 and the museum was opened to the public in 1988.
The Babylonian Jewry Museum provides a fascinating overview of the 2,500 years of Jewish history and culture in Babylon (modern-day Iraq).
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