Posted on 07/29/2011 @ 03:19 PM
Friday began our second stint in ירושלים and our first Shabbat there. We started the day with a Hebrew lesson with Roberta in the hotel, then a session with Shahar Fisher, a representative from the Hitorerut party (http://www.in-jerusalem.org, in Hebrew).
After the program, we went to the Israel Museum (http://www.english.imjnet.org.il/htmls/home.aspx) for a brief history of Israeli art, from pre-state Canaan to the current time. We looked at works from the Bezalel School - which was founded in Jerusalem in 1906, Reuven Rubin - perhaps Israel's most famous painter, and photographer Adi Ness - one of Israel's most famous living artists.
The Museum also houses immense collections of Western art from the 17th century to the present day, including - in Aaron Bock's opinion - one of the finest collections of 20th century art in any museum. There are also extensive collections of photography, art from Asia, Africa, and the Americas. It is, again according to Aaron, a phenomenally well curated gallery.
Closer to home, the Museum has extensive exhibits on Jewish art from around the world, Israeli archaeology, and a large model of Herodian Jerusalem. The Museum's centerpiece, and most recognizable landmark, is the Shrine of the Book. A beautiful archive built to house the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Shrine of the Book is an amazing space in which to gaze upon the oldest known copies of the Tanakh.
After the Museum, we had several hours of free time to prepare for Shabbat and rest. We split up for Kabbalat Shabbat, with groups going to the Kotel and to Yakar Synagogue, an orthodox Carlebach minyan. We reconvened for dinner, and a low-key oneg with desserts and singing of both traditional Shabbat songs and some more modern camp songs of our youth.