The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (Hebrew: מוזיאון ישראל,ירושלים, Muze'on Yisrael, Yerushalayim) was founded in 1965 as Israel's national museum. It is situated on a hill in the Givat Ram neighborhood of Jerusalem, near the Knesset, the Israeli Supreme Court, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek was the driving spirit behind the establishment of the museum, one of the leading art and archaeology museums in the world. The Museum has extensive collections of biblical archaeology, Judaica, ethnography, fine art, artifacts from Africa, North and South America, Oceania and the Far East, rare manuscripts, ancient glass and sculpture. A uniquely designed building on the grounds of the museum, the Shrine of the Book, houses the Dead Sea Scrolls and artifacts discovered at Masada. The museum's holding include 500,000 objects with some 7,000 objects and works currently online.
The director of the museum is James Snyder, former Deputy Director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, who was appointed in 1997. Mr. Snyder oversaw a 100 million dollar campaign to renovate the museum and double the gallery space. The renewed museum opened on July 26 2010.
The museum covers nearly 50,000 sq. meters. It attracts 800,000 visitors a year including 100,000 children to its Youth Wing. The Samuel Bronfman Biblical and Archaeological Museum, which is a part of the museum complex, contains various archaeological finds. It has the largest collection of artifacts from Israel in the world.