Half a million of objects create the collection of Israel Museum, between Judaica artistic items, archeological discoveries, paintings and statues. These objects represents different cultures, religions and societies in the world since the birth of mankind till present days. The museum was opened in 1965. The living spirit behind it was Teddy Kolek, the mayor of Jerusalem in those days. One of the main attractions of the museum is the Shrine of the Book that hosts the Dead Sea Scrolls, but there is much more to see. Except the permanent exhibition, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions in a worldwide scale, lectures, concerts and special events like wine fairs or children activities in the open space of the Billy Rose sculpture garden.
The Shrine of the Book is the home of several exceptional
archaeological finds: the Dead Sea Scrolls and other rare
ancient manuscripts. The dome covers a structure which is
two-thirds below the ground, and is reflected in a pool of
water that surrounds it.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are ancient manuscripts that were
discovered between 1947 and 1956 in eleven caves near
Khirbet Qumran, on the northwestern shores of the Dead Sea.
They are approximately two thousand years old, dating from
the third century BCE to the first century CE.
The manuscripts fall into three major categories:
biblical, apocryphal, and sectarian.
The biblical manuscripts comprise some two hundred copies
of books of the Hebrew Bible,
representing the earliest evidence for the biblical text in the world.
This 50:1 scale model, covering nearly one acre, evokes
ancient Jerusalem at its peak, meticulously recreating
its topography and architectural character in 66 CE,
the year in which the Great Revolt against the Romans broke out,
leading to the destruction of the Temple and the city in the
year 70 CE.
The model was created by Hans Kroch in memory of his son.
Prof. Avi Yonah, from the Hebrew University, provided the
topographic, archeological and historical basis to physically
build the model. It was on display in the Holyland hotel till
2006 and was moved to the Israel Museum.
Today, before you enter the Shrine of the Book, you can take a glimpse at the city of Jerusalem during
the period that they were written. Among the recognizable monuments are the Second Temple, the palace
of king Herod with its three towers, the Antonia Fortress and other buildings described in the books of
A walk in the archaeology wing will take you back in time,
from the dawn of the civilizations to the middle ages and
Modern period. The exhibition is built in a chronological
order and describes the agriculture and industrial developments
along the centuries side by side with the different civilizations
and cults. Some of the highlights in the exhibition are:
Venus of Berkhat Ram- the oldest artwork in the world,
ritual objects from the early Bronze age- called also the
treasure of Ein Gedi, statue of the Emperor Hadrian,
the oldest priest blessing incurved on a pendant and
The Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life presents religious and secular items
from the Jewish culture. The wing hosts different spaces that each one of them is dedicated to a
certain theme: the tapes in the Jewish life from birth, through marriage and mourning ceremonies,
a display of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and the cycle of the Jewish holidays.
Different unique synagogues from all over the world were donated to the museum.
Each of them represent traditions from the locale Jewish community that it served, much like the
traditional clothe collection.
The art wing of the museum contains different galleries.
Most of the different collections arrived to the museum by
privet donators. From modern 17th-18th neo classical paintings
trough Impressionism and Post-Impressionism,
International contemporary art and off course Israeli art.
The Israeli art collection explore the development of the Jewish
artists since the foundation of Bezalel, art school,
through the special artistic language that followed the wars,
till today’s young artists.
The easiest way to get there from The Post Hostel in Jerusalem is to take bus 66 from Shivtai Israel street,
on the other side of Safra Square-City Hall Square, all the way to Israel Museum.
Don’t forget our discount voucher.
All photos courtesy of the Israel Museum.