One Woman's Campaign to Have a National Icon Honored

Jerusalem won't erect plaque at Lea Goldberg's home

For the past year, Lee Rotbart, a university student living in Jerusalem, has been exchanging correspondences with the Jerusalem Municipality hoping to persuade the city to install a plaque honoring the acclaimed poet Lea Goldberg at the house in the city's Rehavia neighborhood where she spent the last 20 years of her life. The plaque has not yet been put up.

The first response Rotbart received from the city was that municipal policy does not permit double recognition, and since there is already a street named after the poet in the city's Neveh Yaakov neighborhood, the request for a plaque at the apartment building at 16 Alfasi Street, where Goldberg lived, would have to be turned down. Once Rotbart was able to prove that a number of people had already been recognized with both plaques and streets named after them, the city responded that it was working on a master plan for honoring individuals with signs and plaques. Since then, Rotbart hasn't heard anything from the city.

Rotbart is hoping that since the 100th anniversary of Goldberg's birth will be marked in May of next year, the plaque will be installed by then. She notes that there are other prominent former residents of Rehavia, including philosophers Gershom Scholem, Hugo Bergmann and Martin Buber, whose residences in the neighborhood have not been marked with plaques.