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No. 115 / 2017
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Power Benefits

Susan Sanders, left, David Genser and Enid Shapiro
Susan Sanders, left, David Genser and Enid Shapiro
Kent Backlund of Pfizer, Addie Backlund and Anders G. Backlund of PPIC
Kent Backlund of Pfizer, Addie Backlund and Anders G. Backlund of PPIC
Yoron Cohen of Jones Lang LaSalle (left), Marnie Tihany and Adam D. Tihany
Yoron Cohen of Jones Lang LaSalle (left), Marnie Tihany and Adam D. Tihany
Raphoe Etgar, artistic director and curator of Museum on the Seam, and Tsipi Ben-Haim, artistic director of CITYArts
Raphie Etgar, artistic director and curator of Museum on the Seam, and Tsipi Ben-Haim,
artistic director of CITYArts

Sarah Bacsh, jewelry designer, and travel writer Janet K. Rodgers
Sarah Bacsh, jewelry designer, and travel writer Janet K. Rodgers

Mani De Osu of Neodandi House of Couture, and Larry Levy
Mani De Osu of
Neodandi House of Couture,
and Larry Levy
Alon Sapan, director general of Design Museum Holon
Alon Sapan, director general of Design Museum Holon
MUSEUMS IN ISRAEL
Little Known Art Centers
Make Their Voices Heard

A

DAM D. TIHANY, who has designed dining interiors at such high-end properties as the Beverly Hills Hotel, King David Hotel and Le Cirque 2000, said when he grew up in Jerusalem he didnít know Holon existed.

Today, he said, that city south of Tel Aviv is "the most beautiful, sexy upcoming place with the most spectacular museum on the planet."

The museum he hailed is the Design Museum Holon, a truly spectacular edifice by the visionary architect Ron Arad. It opened its doors in 2010 with Alon Sapan as director general.

But who has heard of it outside Israel?

Thatís the mission of a new organization called the American Friends of Museums of Israel, comprised of nine little known but wonderful museums under one umbrella to burnish their reputation and help raise funds to advance their artistic and cultural programs.

Enid Shapiro, the executive director, launched the new groupís inaugural benefit dinner in April at The Plaza in New York. The Grand Ballroom, decorated with an artistic touch, was overflowing with deep-pocket lovers of art as well as the creative types.

The nine museums working together to raise their stature on the global art scene include the Design Museum Holon, Hermann Struck Museum, Mane-Katz Museum, National Maritime Museum, Museum on the Seam Jerusalem - A Socio Political Contemporary Art Museum, Haifa City Museum, Haifa Museum of Art, Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, and the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem.

Israeli Consul General Ido Aharoni was duly impressed. "Unlike our enemies," he said, "we do not name our cities and streets after murderers, but after artists and intellectual luminaries."

Raphie Etgar, artistic director and curator at Jerusalemís Museum on the Seam, explained his vision: "What we are trying to do is to deal with the art of living together."

Ed Blank, of the executive committee of American Friends of Museums of Israel, said that Israel, with more than 200 museums, has more museums per capita than any other country in the world. 

"Even before the establishment of the Jewish state, Zionist leaders made certain to foster the growth of museums and other cultural institutions.  They understood that art is necessary for people to enrich their lives.

"It is important to illustrate that Israel is a land of art and culture.  What better way than to represent nine such outstanding museums?  Our partner museums are remarkably diverse in their area of concentration. 
All are committed to showing the
very best exhibitions and offering
the most innovative programs."

Eilat Lieber, general director and chief curator at Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem
Eilat Lieber, general director and chief curator at
Tower of David Museum of the
History of Jerusalem

Nissim Tal, director general of Haifa Museums
Nissim Tal, director general of Haifa Museums
Among the guests were filmmaker Katharina Otto-Bernstein, philanthropists Chaim Katzman, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Dr. Bernard and Jo Ann Kruger, Leon and Dafna Recanati, real estate developer Michael and Seren Shvo, and artists Donald Sultan, Miriam Cabessa and Oded Halahmy, gallerists Nathan Bernstein and Leila and Henry Heller, as well as art advisor Judith Selkowitz, architect Richard Meier, Rabbi Barton and Jane Shallat, and Marnie Tihany, director of communications and business development at Tihany Design.

 
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