Foto Friday – Peaceful Vistas

Tumultuous doesn’t begin to describe the week’s events. The Boston Marathon Bombing, the explosion of the chemical plant in Texas, and now the (still ongoing) manhunt after the bombers have pushed North Korea and Iranian nuclear threats off the headlines… for the moment. These are crazy days.

Time to take a break with some beautiful panoramic images of places we love.

1980_ Panorama Tel aviv_norm.jpgTel Aviv Coast. Photo by Dana Friedlander.

Panorama1 The wailing wall and Temple Mount_normWailing Wall and Temple Mount. Photo by Noam Chen.

IMG_2795_Itamar Grinberg the Sea of Galilee_normSea of Galilee. Photo by Itamar Grinberg.

Negev - Ramon Crater 4. Dafna Tal.jpg_normRamon Crater at Sunrise. Photo by ​Dafna Tal.

Acre - Akko 11-  St. John church_normAcre (Akko); St. John church. Uncredited.

NormalHaifa 001Night view from Mt. Carmel, Haifa. Uncredited.

All photographs courtesy of the Israel Ministry of Tourism.

An Israel’s “greatest hits” tour

April 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Art, education 
From the Herod exhibit at the Israel Museum

From the Herod exhibit at the Israel Museum

What do Shai Agnon, Lea Gottlieb and Herod all have in common? They could all be considered “greats” in their respective fields. Shai Agnon is arguably the greatest Hebrew writer (well, he certainly was at one point), Lea Gottlieb, the co-founder of Gottex, was queen of Israeli bathing suit design, and Herod…well, who built bigger and badder than the Second Temple’s main dude?

Now you can catch a “greatest hits” retrospective of all three in Israel. Maybe not in a single day, but for themed tourism, it doesn’t get more creative than this.

Start your travels modestly, in the snug home of Shai Agnon, hidden away on a hilly side street in Jerusalem’s Talpiot neighborhood. Agnon’s house has been turned into a museum. In truth, it’s really only his dining room and his library upstairs that have been preserved, but the audio tour included in the low NIS 20 price is comprehensive, telling the Nobel Prize winning author’s history in loving detail. There is a gallery of historical photographs of Agnon with various dignitaries, and you can still see the Dead Sea from the one corner in the garden that isn’t blocked by new building construction. Plan on spending about an hour.

An hour is also what you’ll need at the Holon Design Museum, where the featured exhibit until May 4 is on Lea Gottlieb whose firm Gottex created stunning, ethnically influenced swimware that, with its Middle Eastern motifs and wrap around shirts and skirts, would be just at home at a dinner party as on the beach. Indeed, some of Gottlieb’s creations were so elaborate they never made it off the runway.

The exhibit, which takes over the entire museum except for one small room dedicated to industrial design, the museum’s usual fare, presents Gottlieb’s bathing suits on models in a single, darkened space. Signage in English and Hebrew explains Gottlieb’s influences, which ranged from Arabia to Monet. An interesting note I hadn’t known previously: Gottlieb and her husband originally set out to make raincoats when the immigrated to Israel from Hungary after World War II.  Gottlieb died last year, while the exhibition was in the making. It’s NIS 35 to get in.

As famous as Agnon and Gottlieb were in their day, Herod the Great was even more so 2,000 years ago when he ruled over Israel on behalf of the Romans. The colossal new exhibition at the Israel Museum – its largest ever undertaken – transports much of Herod’s recently excavated tomb and burial site from Herodian, south of Jerusalem, to Israel’s capital.

The story of the tomb’s discovery is as compelling as Herod’s well-known building projects. Archaeologist Professor Ehud Netzer spent much of his career searching for Herod’s tomb – mostly in the wrong place – until he finally unearthed it in 2007. Netzer was deep in the process of preparing the exhibit when he tragically fell from a construction wall at Herodian and died in 2010.

The exhibit includes what is presumed to be Herod’s tomb (it was painstakingly pieced together after being smashed to bits by Jewish zealots during the Great Revolt, less than 70 years after Herod’s death) and digital recreations of what his palace and eventual burial complex would have looked like when they were complete. It is breathtaking.

The Herod exhibit (included in the regular admission price to the Israel Museum) continues until October and makes a fitting cap to a tour of Israel’s greatest hits.

Foto Friday – Wonderful Country!

Eretz-Nehederet-logoIn a speech on his recent visit of March 21, 2013, US President Barack Obama gave Israel’s favorite satirical TV show a big boost.

Obama said, “Now, I know that in Israel’s vibrant democracy, every word, every gesture is carefully scrutinized. (Laughter.) But I want to clear something up just so you know — any drama between me and my friend, Bibi, over the years was just a plot to create material for Eretz Nehederet. (Applause.) That’s the only thing that was going on. We just wanted to make sure the writers had good material. (Laughter.)”

Whether because of Obama or just because, Eretz Nehederet has decided to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Israeli independence — and its own 10 years of existence — with an unusual photo exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Unusual because the images by photographer Eldad Raphael provide a behind the scenes look at the art, artistry and hard work that goes into making comedy look easy.

So, here is resident wild man, Yaron Berlad, in a pensive moment…


Alma Zack ready to risk her life for an underwater gag…


Mariano Edelman getting in touch with his inner Bibi…


And the cast lining up onstage.


To get an idea of Eretz Nehederet’s brand of comedic satire, here’s a clip that went viral around the world. In it, a UN mediator tries to neogiate a peace treaty between Angry Birds, pigs and well… you’ll see…

The photo exhibition, We Have A Wonderful Country runs from April 10 through April 24 at the Tel Aviv Museum. Visit the official Eretz Nehederet page or join their Facebook fan page.

Foto Friday – Robin Terry at the Red House

invito300312CardFine art photographer Robin “Rani” Terry lives and works in Mata near Bet Shemesh. Mata (also Matta) itself is a small village of about 700 residents but its location — set among fields adjacent to the Mata Forest, the Israel National Trail, a Roman road and the Hanut, a ruined Mamluk structure that houses a Byzantine-era mosaic floor — provides Terry with endless inspiration.

British-born Terry will be presenting the latest in his ongoing photographic depiction of Mata in a new exhibition, “Rani Terry”, that opens today in south Tel Aviv’s Red House gallery. Terry — who studied photography at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem — uses a technique called orotone.

Gold pigment gives his photographs incredible detail and a red-brown hue that perhaps best represents our local climate, where the punishing summer heat causes everything, living or dead, to twist, wilt and wither in the bright sunlight…


Rocks and stones…

Thorns and brush…

Man-made iron objects rusting in the sun…

The exhibition “Rani Terry” opens tomorrow and runs through May 11 at the Red House gallery in Tel Aviv. Click here or on the small image above to download an invitation to today’s opening and for more gallery information.

Foto Friday – Haifa outdoor photo exhibition

Art took to the streets of lower Haifa this week, with the opening of an outdoor photography exhibition of graduates of The Neri Bloomfield School of Design and Education — a.k.a. WIZO Haifa.

WIZO Haifa is an institution of higher learning in design that integrates cutting-edge in professional skills with a teacher-training program. WIZO Haifa awards academic degrees in five main disciplines: Graphic Design – Visual Communications, Architecture, Photography, Fashion Design, Non-Fiction Film, and Cultural and Educational Management.

The school also hosts cultural events, fairs and exhibitions throughout the year, and its Art Gallery is open to the public every day of the week.

This week, in time for the Passover holiday break, the school launched the outdoor exhibition of photographs by outstanding graduates from 1990 onward, including photographers specializing in art, editorial, fashion, architecture, travel and more.


Haifa-outdoor-photo-exhibition_Romy-LenelPhoto by Romy Lenel (Class of 2009). Model: Vanilla Queen.


Haifa-outdoor-photo-exhibition_Orly-Perel-NirPhoto by Orly Perel Nir (Class of 2010)


Haifa-outdoor-photo-exhibition_Gilad-SasportaPhoto by Gilad Sasporta (Class of 2004)


Haifa-outdoor-photo-exhibition_Fiona-Yaron-FieldPhoto by Fiona Yaron Field (Class of 1991)

Haifa-outdoor-photo-exhibition_Yael-IlanYael Ilan (Class of 1998)


Haifa-outdoor-photo-exhibition_Stas-KorlovPhoto by Stas Korolov (Class of 2009).

The WIZO Haifa Outdoor Photography Exhibition will run through May 30, 2013. Click here for a map of the outdoor gallery. More photos can be viewed on the school’s Facebook page.

For more information about The Neri Bloomfield School of Design and Education, visit their website.

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