A multi-millionaire Japanese philanthropist has funded the US$3m (€3.8m, £4.3m) development of a new meditation zone and planetarium in Netanya, Israel.
The building has been designed for both relaxation and star gazing, with a Japanese tranquility garden and a meditation hall included in addition to the 40-seat, 8m (26ft) planetarium dome. Operating in 2.5k, Evans & Sutherland have supplied the digital planetarium system, while Digistar 5 developed the software and Bowen Technovation delivered sound.
Rikoho Madarame, who has been described by city officials as an “Israel lover”, financed the development, which covers 1,000sq m (11,000sq ft) and was inaugurated by NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. Planetarium | Netanya
from Breeze Creative
“During the 1970s I met American-Jewish business people and learned for the first time of the Holocaust and the suffering of the Jewish people,” said Madarame speaking to Jewish News Service
. “Since then there has been a special place in my heart for the Jews and their state."
Madarame added that the planetarium would offer visitors the ability to learn more about the universe, something he said was a desire shared by all humans.
“Anywhere you go, you’ll find people looking at the sky at night,” he added. “And regardless of their location, they see the same thing. My philosophy is very simple: all humans should be equal, because at the end of the day, we are all very similar.”