The U.S. arm of the Jewish National Fund has opened a design competition for the campus of its World Zionist Village project, to be built in Beersheva.

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, offer an Innovation Center for post-graduates interning at Beersheva-based high-tech companies and include an adult-education center dedicated to Zionism.

According to the JNF, the project seeks to “change the narrative about Zionism, education, innovation, technology and Jewish destiny.”

The competition, titled “Envision Tomorrow’s Israel,” opened on Feb. 4 and is slated to run until April 15, seeking design concepts for elements of the campus, including classrooms, dormitories, conference centers, houses of worship and cafes. Architects, students, designers and landscapers who enter the competition are encouraged to integrate the landscape of Beersheva and draw inspiration from Zionism, Judaism, the desert and the environment, as well as sustainability and ideas to mitigate climate impact.

“This is a competition for an idea, but not just any idea,” said Jeffrey E. Levin, chairman of JNF-USA’s board and co-chair of the Beersheba Construction and Building and Subcommittee.

“Our goal is to create interest in and brand what we are creating in Beersheva. London has Big Ben, and Hollywood its famed sign. Will a monument make Beersheva 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 upon Beersheva the attention it deserves,” he said.

Entrants can win up to $8,600. Finalists are scheduled to be announced on May 13 with the final winner announced on June 18.

More information on the project and the design competition is available here.


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