Jerusalem Biennale 2019 – For Heaven’s Sake!

Jerusalem Biennale 2019 – For Heaven’s Sake!

What a week in Jerusalem the weather was warm and wonderful.

Many things happened over the Sukkot holiday and even more after the holidays.

But the Jerusalem Biennale 2019,  לשם שמים – For Heaven’s Sake! with 500 pieces of art, by 200 artists in 13 locations began before Sukkot and is still going for another two weeks. The Jerusalem Biennale began in 2013,

grew in 2015,

and was bigger and better in 2017.

After posting a few Biennale photos, I received the following message from Hillel Smith, curator of the Jewish Street Art Festival at First Station:

Jerusalem First Station graffiti for Biennale

“As part of the Jewish Street Art Festival (more info at jewishstreetart.com) street artists from around the world painted 17 murals in three locations around Jerusalem. Besides First Station, we also painted at the Artists’ Colony and the Schechter Institute. All of our artists already work with Jewish themes in their art, and I wanted to highlight this effort by bringing them all together to paint at the Biennale. Unlike the other exhibitions, the art in ours was created on-site and will be permanently displayed, leaving a lasting mark on the city.”

Graffiti in Jerusalem First Station for Biennale

These murals are by artists Yitzchok Moully (reflective sukkah) and Solomon Sousa, of Machane Yehuda Market mural fame.

An 18th mural was being painted this week at First Station, by artist Bareket Kezwer. I didn’t get there to see her paint, but something to check out soon.

YMCA Jerusalem Israel

The Jerusalem YMCA is a new and prominent Biennale location.

Rafi Ozeri at YMCA for Jerusalem Biennale

The initial press tour began at the Y with founder and director Ram Ozeri explaining his vision.

Jerusalem YMCA art Biennale

Inside on one side of the old YMCA pool is an installation Waterfall’ by Marina Abramovic.

Jerusalem Israel 2019 Biennale art fish going against stream

Across from it are hundreds of hand-painted fish by Andi Lavine Arnovitz.

Art at YMCA Jerusalem Biennale

One fish flows in the opposite direction, in her installation titled ‘I’m Not’.

YMCA for Ziara Moroccan art Biennale

The main room in the YMCA hosts Ziara: Moroccan Common Wisdom.

Curator of Ziara at YMCA Jerusalem Biennale

Curator Amit Hai Cohen along with seventeen other artists of Moroccan descent display a wide range of contemporary pieces.

YMCA for Jerusalem Biennale

The Moroccan heritage of ziara, feeling of home, contrasts greatly with other Arab countries where Jews were persecuted and expelled.

Ziara Moroccan exhibition preparations

The day before the opening night, artists were busy at work.

YMCA Jerusalem Biennale exhibit

For the gala opening, it was colorful and ready.

Jerusalem YMCA Ziara Moroccan exhibit

Those glasses on the table filled with arak are not for drinking, but a piece by Marcelle Biton.

The smaller line of frames to the left are fascinating portraits. Check out the feature photo at top of this page for closer look.

There is still much more to share besides Ziara at the YMCA.

Heichal Shlomo for Jerusalem Biennale

The main lobby of Heichal Shlomo, by curator Dr. Shimon Lev, Evolve,

Heichal Shlomo Jerusalem Biennale

is a display of 100 works created over the past 3 years by Jean-Pierre Weill.

Jerusalem Biennale Israel artist Dahan

Upstairs in Heichal Shlomo is an exhibition on the life of Israel Dahan. His fifty years of work in creating Judaica and teaching Bezalel students are recognized.

Israelis are not the only ones featured in the Jerusalem Biennale.

Jerusalem Biennale Argentinian artists

Mirta Kupferminc curated Confrontation-Conversation with fellow Argentinian artists. Here she shows off the work of Jewish and not Jewish artists from Argentina with Dr. Ido Noy, deputy director of Biennale and editor of the impressive catalog for “For Heaven’s Sake.”

Heichal Shlomo Jerusalem Biennale artist used old encyclopedias

Also in Heichal Shlomo, everything from old Hebraica encyclopedias to

Rubber bands in "The Fall" art in Jerusalem Biennale

thousands of rubber bands are used to create unique pieces.

Art in Heichal Shlomo for Jerusalem Biennale

Female Waters curated by Rachel Verliebter is another exhibit in more traditional style.

Much more to see, in the other exhibitions in Heichal Shlomo, but we have to move along.

Jerusalem 2019 Biennale at Val Leer in Polonsky

As in the past, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute – Polonsky Hall is an impressive site of Jerusalem Biennale, with Not in Heaven and Transcendence.

Jerusalem Biennale in Van Leer

Rachel Rotenberg has sculptures outside, plus this one inside Van Leer, as seen at the opening event.

Van Leer garden night of Jerusalem Biennale opening

Two boys caught my attention in the gardens filled with people, dancers, and art installations. I was wondering if an electronic game had captured their attention.

Oh my, all that and more we did in one afternoon!

Jerusalem Begin Center art for Biennale

The Menachem Begin Heritage Center has Hebrew Suffragists:100 Years.

Menachem Begin Heritage Center art for Jerusalem Biennale

Experiments with Truth curated by Gargi Seth is downstairs featuring Indian artists.

Jerusalem 2019 Biennale

Not far away at Mishkenot Sha’ananim are the pieces In the East, where Ram Ozeri curated with Vera Pilpoul.

Jerusalem North African Heritage Center

One of the new and most dramatic locations for Biennale 2019 is the Worldwide North Africa Jewish Heritage Center.

Of Wonder exhibition at North African Jewish Heritage Center in Jerusalem for Biennale

Attending the opening of Of Wonder, was special as the curator artist Mindy Weisel is a friend.

Jerusalem Biennale art

One of the more difficult venues to access, the works here are by Israeli and American artists.

Curator and artists in Jerusalem Biennale

For American Jewish artists to have their works recognized and displayed in Jerusalem, Israel, is a dream come true.

American artist in Jerusalem for Biennale

The Jerusalem 2019 Biennale For Heaven’s Sake! from the colorful pieces,

Artist with paintings in Jerusalem Biennale

to the darker Holocaust shadowed pieces of art at North Africa Heritage Center,

Moully reflective sukka at Heichal Shlomo for Jerusalem Biennale

to the reflective sukkah outside Heichal Shlomo –

only a fraction of the art and artists on display until November 28, check out the website for more information: www.jerusalembiennale.org

Browse art all day. There is an entry fee of NIS 45 to the Biennale, with the one ticket allowing access to each of the exhibitions.

Then too tired to cook?

Not to worry.

OPENRESTAURANTS™ JERUSALEM – THE URBAN CULINARY FESTIVAL  runs from November 19 – 23, 2019. Many of Jerusalem’s finest restaurants have special offers.

What could be next in art and culture?

Zero One, a digital art festival will cover the Tower of David in lights from November 27-28, from 7:00 pm to midnight.

As always so much happening on the Jerusalem streets!

Jerusalem Sukkot Highlights

Jerusalem Sukkot Highlights

The fall holiday season in Jerusalem, Israel, has come to a close.

Monday night,  the Jerusalem streets from First Station to the Kotel, Western Wall, to the Gur Hassidic Center, and dozens of other locations were filled with live music and tens of thousands dancing with Torahs for Hakafot Shniot.

Fall flowers in Jerusalem

Tourists prepared to go back to their homes, as Jerusalem fall flowers were in full bloom.

In the first year of Reuven Rivlin’s presidency, there was no line on the street outside of Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, for the annual Sukkah Open House.

This year 8,000 people came. For many, it was their first time inside the usually closed gates.

The theme in the President’s public sukkah was Israeli grapes.

Sukkah at Israeli President Residence for open house 5780

Barrels of wine were in the sukkah this year, but no samples were offered. Artificial grapes hung from the top of the sukkah.  A large wheelbarrow outside the sukkah was filled with a variety of grapes that were consumed before I thought to take a photo.

Zeev and Maria Elkin at Beit Hanasi for Sukkot

MK Zeev and Maria Elkin were at Beit Hanasi early for the intermediary days of Sukkot event.

Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem at Beit Hanasi for Sukkot

Activities for children included making a Bar Kochba coin sponsored by the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem.

President Rivlin at Sukkot at Beit Hanasi

When President Rivlin made an appearance, he was surrounded by media.

Reuven Rivlin in main hall Beit Hanasi on Sukkot

Crowds were both outside and inside the main hall,

President Rivlin on Sukkot with public and man takes selfie

in the big sukkah, 

Sukkot at Beit Hanasi in Jerusalem with President Rivlin

and outside on the back lawn.

Street closings in Jerusalem for holiday os Sukkot

Crowds. Crowd control. Closed streets. All have becomes constants of Jerusalem holiday seasons.

Crowds walking near Old City walls Jerusalem Israel on Sukkot

Even late at night, tens of thousands of visitors walking to and from the Old City is a common Sukkot sight.

Jerusalem on Sukkot holiday people dressed in holiday clothing.

Families dressed in their best holiday clothing, day or night, head toward Jaffa Gate.

The Western Wall Heritage Foundation announced that 2.5 million people visited the Kotel, Western Wall during the month.

Man holding esrog as big as his head in Jerusalem at night on Sukkot

Perhaps not the best, but surely the biggest etrog I saw, was the size of the man’s head.

Sukka in Kikar Safra Jerusalem Israel

The huge sukkah in Kikar Safra, Municipal Plaza, welcomed the public.

Jerusalem Sukkot concert at Kikar Safra

Free, live musical concerts attracted crowds to Kikar Safra on several nights.

The list of free and fundraising concerts and events in Jerusalem was long and diverse.

Restaurant sukkot on Jaffa Street near light rail tracks Jerusalem Israel

Day and night the sukkot lining the light rail tracks on Jaffa Road welcomed the tired and hungry .

Mafidal sign for Jerusalem arts festival

One Jerusalem festival was set for holiday visitors.

Jerusalem cultural festival signs Manofim

The 11th Manofim Jerusalem Contemporary Art Festival opens soon,

Oud Festival signs in Jerusalem

followed in November by the Oud Festival for the 20th year.

The 4th Jerusalem Biennale which opened October 10 goes through November.

There are 14 locations, 200 artists and 500 works in this Jerusalem contemporary art event.

Jerusalem Biennale sukka at Heichel Shlomo

So I will end with another view of Rabbi Yitzchok Moully’s sukkah constructed of reflective plexiglass exterior panels at Heichal Shlomo.

So many photos from Jerusalem Biennale, it needs a post of its own. Coming soon.

So much happened over Sukkot holidays, so much more happening on Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem Sukkot Ready or Not

Jerusalem Sukkot Ready or Not

Sukkot.

Ten years ago, the first RJS blog was published on Sukkot – Holiday Crowds in Jerusalem.

The holiday season crowds in Jerusalem, Israel, have arrived again.

The first day of the holiday was a beautiful day, but the next day there was a sound and and light show the likes of  I have never seen in Jerusalem.

Thunder and lightning went on and on, long enough to finally get a good video on the 7th attempt.

Open sukkah with President Shimon Peres

The late President Shimon Peres hosted the Beit Hanasi open houses back in the early days of RJS.

Beit Hanasi sukka decorating with Ruvi Rivlin and children

This year President Reuven Rivlin invited children into his sukkah to help him decorate.

Israeli Presidential cat in garden at Beit Hanasi

The Presidential Cat was in the garden to supervise.

Sukkah at Beit Hanasi for the Israel President

Children were busy making decorations and paper chains.

As Sukkot holiday approaches in Jerusalem,

Lookup!

Jerusalem building with a sukkah

Sukkot are popping out on porches,

Jerusalem sukkah on a porch made of wood

on a low balcony,

Jerusalem sukkah on a porch

or on stilts to support the sukkah as it extends off the porch.

Jerusalem large sukkah for a restaurant

Restaurants need a large sukkah to accommodate holiday crowds.

The sukkot in the above photos have bamboo mats used on top as s’chach. 

Jerusalem boy cutting palm branch for top of sukkah

This is the time of year in Jerusalem to trim the palm trees, so that the large branches can be put on top of the sukkah.

sukkos

Searching for the perfect species in the main market near Machane Yehuda is an annual sight.

Sukkos in Jerusalem people selling lulav and estrog

In Jerusalem, also, popup shops for lulav and etrog were easy to find.

Sukkot birchat kohanim 5780 at Kotel

Tens of thousands gathered at the Kotel, the Western Wall, for Birchat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing which was broadcast live.

These were the usual sights throughout Jerusalem, Israel this week.

But I will end with ‘not your average sukkah’  –

Sukka photo, Image unusual sukkah

While nothing has been quite like this sukkah on a camel from years ago,

here is another unique sukkah, outside of Heichal Shlomo on King George Street.

Sukkah for Jerusalem Biennale reflective on King George Street

As part of the Jerusalem Biennale, is this ‘reflective sukkah’. The outside walls work as distorted mirrors. Look closely, see if you can find me in the photo?

The plaza in front of the Great Synagogue is in the background.

I hope this last photograph does not make you dizzy.

This week of Sukkot holiday meals and the overwhelming number of events did make me dizzy.

So much happening on the Jerusalem streets on Sukkot!

And you never know what will happen next.

Thunder and lightning on Monday night and again on Tuesday afternoon!

Jerusalem Sukkot thunder and lightning storm on Sukkot

When they say something moves as fast as lightning, yes, it moves fast and is hard to capture.

Many sukkot were blown down in the stormy weather.

Jerusalem home sukkah

I am now more satisfied to share this year’s modest decorations.

Happy that our sukkah is still standing!

Moadim L’simcha!