state of israel declarationWith the United Nations resolution of 29 November 1947, the Arabs began their armed fight against the establishment of the Jewish State. At the same time the Jewish Agency and the “Vaad Leumi” began to organize the government institutions of the future state. The “Zionist General Council”, in session in April 1948, announced the setting up of a “National Council” of 37 members, and the “establishment and appointment of a National Administration of 13 members, which would be responsible in its actions to the National Council”, and on the division of functions between the Zionist Organization – the Jewish Agency and the State.

On Friday afternoon, 14 May 1948, a few hours before the termination of the British Mandate, in a session of the National Council, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the “State of Israel”. On this same day, the National Council became the “Provisional State Council”, and the “National Administration” became the “Provisional Government” of the sovereign Jewish state.

(The invitation is from the archives of Yitzhak Gruenbaum, who served as Minister of the Interior in the Provisional Government)

Source- 30 Zionist Landmarks- Thirty Documents from the Central Zionist Archives. Hassifriya Haziyonit, Jerusalem, 1978.

With this brief letter, the 37 members of the Council of the People were invited to attend the reading of the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel. 11 members of the council were unable to attend, due to the siege on Jerusalem. The others arrived to the “secret” meeting, only to discover half of the population of Tel-Aviv standing outside the museum. The members of the Council were unable to agree to a formulation of the Declaration, but as the Sabbath was approaching, David Ben-Gurion read from a draft and the signing was done on empty parchment. When Ben-Gurion finished reading, the audience stood. Rabbi Yehudah Leib Fishman blessed the Shehechiyanu, and HaTikva was sung.

Translation of the invitation-

National Council

Tel-Aviv, the 4th of Iyar, Tav Shin Chet

May 13, 1948

Dear Sir,

We are honored to invite you to the ceremony of the Declaration of Independence, which will take place on Friday, the 5th of Iyar, Tav Shin Chet (May 14, 1948)

at 4 PM in the assembly hall of the museum (Rothschild Blvd. 16). We request that you keep the contents of this invitation secret, as well as the time of meeting.

Invitees are requested to arrive at the assembly hall at 3-30.


The Secretaries

This is a personal invitation.

Dress code- dark holiday clothing.