Jewish National Fund-USA Launches Design Competition for $350 Million World Zionist Village in Be’er Sheva

NEW YORK, Feb. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA) is excited to announce the start of a project that will change the narrative about Zionism, education, innovation, technology, and Jewish destiny, all from the city of Be’er Sheva: The World Zionist Village.

JNF-USA is launching Envision Tomorrow’s Israel, a design competition, from February 4April 15, which seeks concepts and ideas for elements of the campus, including classrooms, dormitories, conference centers, houses of worship, and cafés. Concepts for an iconic structure incorporating Be’er Sheva’s landscape and status as capital of the Negev are encouraged.  

“This is a competition for an idea, but not just any idea,” said Jeffrey E. Levin, chairperson of JNF-USA’s Board and co-chair of the Be’er Sheva Construction and Building and Subcommittee. “Our goal is to create interest in and brand what we are creating in Be’er Sheva. London has Big Ben and Hollywood its famed sign. Will a monument make Be’er Sheva and the Village internationally recognizable icons? Will the design take advantage of the sun and be all solar? Will rooftop gardens adorn every structure? This international competition will draw ideas for a campus of the future and bestow Be’er Sheva the attention it deserves.”

Architects, students, designers, ‘big thinkers,’ and landscape architects are urged to participate. Submissions are encouraged to support JNF-USA’s mission to strengthen dialogue, education, and interaction, and draw inspiration from Zionism, Judaism, the desert and environment, and sustainability and ideas to mitigate climate impact.

Entrants can win up to $8,600. Finalists will be announced on May 13, and the final winner will be announced on June 18. For a breakdown of prizes, visit

“The World Zionist Village will further transform the character of Be’er Sheva,” said JNF-USA President Dr. Sol Lizerbram. “There were no hi-tech companies or green spaces in Be’er Sheva, but JNF-USA changed the equation and today hi-tech companies are flocking to the city. The Village will be a conduit between the tech elements developed in Israel and Be’er Sheva and students studying at the Village. This is the intersection of education, Zionism, and technology.”

The competition will be judged by a panel of architects and public figures: Michael Arad (9/11 Memorial), David Kaufman (Architectural Digest), Eran Chen (ODA), Taal Safdie (Safdie Rabines Architects), Stephen B. Jacobs (Stephen B. Jacobs Group), Lionel Ohayon (ICRAVE), Guy Elitzur (Vertical Fields), Kenneth Stein (Inst. for the Study of Modern Israel), Alon Ben-Gurion (Hospitality consultant). 

“The Village is coming at a critical juncture in the story and destiny of the Jewish people and Israel,” said Joseph Wolfson, first vice president of JNF-USA’s National Board and chair of the Be’er Sheva Executive Committee. “People will engage in conversations of great importance about the future of Judaism, Israel, and Zionism. In 10 to 15 years, thousands will have passed through the Village’s gates, returning home as ambassadors and advocates for Israel, and community leaders.”

The World Zionist Village is a 20-acre, $350 million investment that will serve as the second home for the Alexander Muss High School in Israel; provide an Innovation Center for post-graduates interning in Be’er Sheva-based hi-tech companies; and include a Zionist Adult Education Center.

This World Zionist Village is part of JNF-USA’s vision to ensure a strong, secure, and prosperous future for Israel by connecting the next generation to the land and people of Israel.

For information on the Envision Tomorrow’s Israel: A Competition to Design the Jewish National Fund World Zionist Village, visit Media: Daniel Peri at
or 212.879.9305 x227.

SOURCE Jewish National Fund-USA