Alexander House בית אלכסנדר


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The building south of the church is dedicated to Dr. Michael Solomon Alexander, the first Protestant bishop in Jerusalem who was appointed in 1841 as part of the joint Anglican and Prussian bishopric.
Bishop Alexander was an Anglican and his term was relatively short and ended after he fell ill and died. Samuel Gobat was appointed as his replacement in December 1846.
The "Alexander House" houses a "heritage center"- a small museum with historical artifacts and antiques that were found during construction work on the site. The museum also exhibits wooden models built by the architect Conrad Schick and an archive of the history of the Protestants in the Holy City with an observation window of the underground shaft that was hewn at the site. The place is open to the public every day between 10:00-16:00. Entrance is free.

Dr. Michael Solomon Alexander (1745-1899) was born in Poznan, Germany, to a Jewish family (who originated in England). His father was a rabbi. In 1820 he emigrated to England and taught Judaism. Three years later he was appointed Cantor and Shochet of Norwich, where he was exposed to Christianity and connected with a missionary organization. He converted to Christianity in 1825. After his conversion he moved to Dublin, Ireland to teach Hebrew. Between 1831-1841 he was a professor at King's College in London and helped retranslate the New Testament to Hebrew. In December of 1841, he was ordained as a bishop and set out to bring the Protestant faith to Israel. In Jerusalem he worked to spread Christianity among the Jews and to establish Anglican institutions. He also purchased the site of the Christ Church, built a school for crafts, established medical services for the Jews of Jerusalem and more. Alexander's missionary activity was criticized by some elements in the British Foreign Office. In 1845 Bishop Alexander died during a journey to Egypt on his way to England. He was buried in the Protestant-Anglican cemetery on Mount Zion. After his death, Samuel Gobat was appointed Protestant bishop of Jerusalem.