Jewish Culture and Folklore Pavilion - Eretz Israel Museum

Jewish Culture and Folklore Pavilion

Currently Closed for Renovations

Opens 31 May 2024

On display in this pavilion are sacred and secular Jewish items from the Museum’s Judaica collection, alongside contemporary artworks that illuminate these items’ cultural, religious and social significance and connect them to the present day.

The first exhibit is on the topic of local Judaica and tells the story of the Judaica items created in the country from the late nineteenth century to the 1960s. The formation of Israeli nationalism and culture and the transformations undergone by them during that period are expressed in the design and symbolic significance of these objects, which played a central role in the shaping of the new Israeli Jewish identity.

On display in the exhibit of Jewish festivals and life cycle events are Judaica objects used by Jewish communities around the world. These items are designed and decorated in the styles typical of their geographical origin, and teach us about the lifestyles and customs connected to Jewish festivals, ceremonies and life cycle events. The exhibit opens with a lobby focusing on typical motifs and symbols on Jewish ritual objects, such as the seven-branched candlestick and the Magen David. There is a special display case on the topic of the meeting point of Jewish, Christian and Muslim creativity. Also on display are objects used in family rituals and events that are part of the Jewish life cycle, such as tefillin cases, tallitot for Bar Mitzva, wedding costumes from Jewish communities, jewelry, amulets used for protection and healing and more. A further section is dedicated to a collection of decorated ketubot with a wide range of symbolic motifs in styles typical of their countries of origin. Displayed opposite is a contemporary work by the textile artist Adva Kremer, “Ketubah 2020”, aimed at triggering a discussion on the institution of marriage in Israel today.

Displayed in a special space is an eighteenth-century synagogue specially transported to the Museum from the town of Trino Vercellese in Piedmont, north-west Italy. The “Echal” (the term used by Italian Jews for the Torah Ark) is the only one of its kind in Israel, designed in the Baroque and Rococo styles typical of the area in that period. The upper section of the Echal is decorated with the symbol of the Two Tablets of the Covenant, and on its doors is a carving depicting the Jerusalem Temple.