Keeping the Past Alive With Joy

Dedication of the water tower

Although Rabin Medical Center has become a unique and modern facility, it has never been far from its Zionist roots. The stately water tower, a relic from the last century, symbolized Israel's pioneering spirit. Since its use faded, it would have to be transformed if it were to be preserved.

Enter our board member Shimon Topor and his wife, Chava, long time friends and ongoing supporters of the hospital, who commissioned the noted artist Dani Caravan to make the tower the centerpiece of a new peaceful and serene environmental sculpture. Without changing the original structure, Dani placed three colorful balls that go up and down, visible to all who are seated in the new amphitheater that surrounds the water tower and from which ongoing concerts would be held.

In a special ceremony attended by the Israeli Minster of Health Dani Naveh and many other distinguished guests, the preserved water tower was unveiled. Under the stars, three jazz musicians sat atop the tower and inaugurated this beautiful "modern antique." The concerts and the setting were magical. Patients could be seen standing by their windows enjoying the moment together with the invited guests. 

Water Towers in Israeli History

Water towers have long been a prominent feature of the Zionist landscape in Israel. They grew rapidly in the early 1900's in order to facilitate a steady supply of water to the newly founded Jewish settlements that were rapidly growing across the country. Later on, as they became obsolete, many were destroyed. But there were those that acquired symbolic functions as part of the cultural landscape of Israel today. Some, for example, are commemorative, having been transformed into memorials for Israel's War off Independence.

The water tower on the Rabin Medical Center campus was constructed in 1925 after the immigration of a large group in the area from Tel Neta. The water tower was established as a source of water for agriculture and for the residents of the area. Yet, due to its high location, it was also cleverly used by the "Haganah" organization as a lookout over settlements, some a great distance away. The tower has not been in use since the 1970's and is surely one of few water towers in Israel to be refurbished in a combination of artistry and functionality.

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