A message from our Managing Director

Dear Friends,

As Israel: Then & Now wraps up this week I want to share my personal reflections of the experience. Putting together a world class, first of its kind exhibition, is not an easy task. But, never has such an enormous endeavor been so rewarding.

I cannot pick just one most interesting moment for me, it has all been spectacular. From working with national and local experts in order to launch the exhibition, to partnering with Siegal Lifelong Learning so that we could deliver top-notch programming, to seeing young families arrive in droves for interactive experiences we will always remember.

Through Israel: Then & Now, we offered a glimpse into Israel and its people, recognizing its complexity, depth, beauty and dynamism. We shared how a culturally diverse group of people created a unique and distinct Israeli identity as a Start-up Nation, innovating in industries from healthcare to agriculture to technology. And, we explored the rebirth of Hebrew as a common language, cultural expression in art, music, dance, film and theatre, and cultural fusion in cuisine. We saw Israel come to life here, within our walls.

There was one section of the exhibit that meant the most to me, personally. We called it Israeli Voices and it celebrated the Israeli body politic and the democratic tradition of Israel. We heard not only from one voice; but many voices. Diverse opinions were expressed on issues of pluralism, Israeli-Diaspora relations, the role of Judaism in everyday life and sentiments on Israeli -Palestinian conflict. Now, especially as we read in the news today of the cease fire in Israel and pray for calmer days ahead, we are reminded through this section of the exhibit that there is not one viewpoint and there is not one voice that speaks for everyone. Each person has a unique perspective in Israel, like we have differing opinions here in the United States. Above all, what we share as human beings, is the wanting to live in peace.

We hope you’ll join us in the final days of the exhibit, wishing for peace as Israel turns 71 years old this week.

See you at the Museum,
David Schaffer
Managing Director