The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, also known as the Biblical Zoo, opened in Jerusalem’s Malha neighborhood in 1993, having been located in various locations in Jerusalem since 1941. The establishment of the zoo in its present form was made possible thanks to the generosity of Tisch family of New York, under the auspices of the Jerusalem Foundation. The dedication ceremony took place in the presence of the President of the State of Israel at the time, the late Chaim Herzog.
The Zoo was designed by Miller-Blum & Associates Landscape Architects, and was constructed by the Moriah-Jerusalem Development Corporation. Stretching across almost 100 acres, the Zoo is ranked year after year as one of the top tourist sites in Israel, attracting over 750,000 visitors annually. The Zoo’s scenic location in the Judean hills with its varied animal exhibits, draws people from all threads of Jerusalem’s vibrant social fabric – Jewish, Christian and Muslim; secular and religious: young and old; and tourists and locals. Thus the Zoo has become a bridge between communities. It is one of the few sites in Israel where everyone comes together and feels welcome.
The Zoo is a non-profit organization created by a partnership consisting of the Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Development Authority and the Jerusalem Foundation. The Zoo’s Board of Directors has distinguished individuals from local government, business and academia; and our Professional International Advisory Committee is comprised of leading nature conservationists from Israel and abroad. The Biblical Zoo receives no governmental or municipal operations subsidies. It is dependent on visitors for operational expenses and on friends in Israel and abroad for special capital projects, wildlife conservation and education programs.