The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
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Focus on our Friends
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The amazing success story of the Israel Museum can be attributed to our ever-growing network of International Friends who support our activities in a number of ways. Here are some highlights of Friends events around the world.

South African Friends Gala Dinner and Auction
August 2016

 For more details, contact Sarin Goott

Austrian Friends Gala Dinner and Program

Co-chaired by Thaddaeus Ropac and Sylvie Liska, the Austrian Friends hosted their annual gathering during the Salzburg Festival on July 28-30, welcoming 80 international friends from more than ten countries. Highlights included the world premiere of Thomas Adès' opera The Exterminating Angel; talks and meeting with artists; exhibition visits; and receptions in private residences. For more details, contact the Austrian Friends of the Israel Museum

British Friends Summer Cocktail Party and Silent Auction
June 2016

On Wednesday, June 29, 2016, our British Friends (BFAMI) held their Summer Cocktail Party and Silent Auction at Hauser & Wirth Gallery, London. Co-Chairs, Poju Zabludowicz and Wendy Fisher welcomed IMJ Director James Snyder and honored him for his contribution to the arts in Israel. Over the course of the evening, guests took part in a silent auction which presented contemporary photography and mixed media artworks, curated by BFAMI Director Danna Heller. The auction was exhibited at the Gallery and included artworks by John Stezaker, David Adika, Rami Maymon, and Nick Waplington. 
For more details, contact Gili Yuval 

Celebrate Summer: An Art Acquisitions Fundraiser
June 2016
On Thursday, June 23rd, the American Friends of the Israel Museum presented Celebrate Summer: An Art Acquisitions Fundraiser at the Jane Hotel in NYC, re-launching the Associates Art Acquisition Committee that allows young friends to make significant contributions to the Israel Museum's permanent collection. Celebrate Summer was co-chaired by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Nick Van Woert, in addition to AFIM Associates Jamie Bernstein, Lily Snyder, and Simon Swig. Some 300 people attended the event, raising more than $50,000 for the Israel Museum through a raffle featuring artwork by Nick Van Woerte, Scott Rudin, and Leikun Nahusenay.

For more details, contact Alix Greenberg

Young British Friends Summer Art Party
June 2016

The Young Friends of our British Friends (BFAMI) hosted its annual Summer Art Party at Blain|Southern Gallery in Mayfair, London on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, with more than 250 guests in attendance. In collaboration with Bosse & Baum Gallery, they hosted screensaver: a performance by Janine Harrington in conjunction with four dancers. The performance created a stimulating space to experience live art, as both a contrast and compliment to the digital and virtual world. It was a lively evening of art, music, and friends, which continued with an exclusive after party at Loulou’s nightclub.
Gili Yuval 

The International Council, Jerusalem, Israel
June 2015

The 2016 International Council welcomed over 200 participants from seventeen countries to the Museum on June 5-8, 2016. The year's theme was Crosscurrents, exploring the interconnections between cultures, as exemplified by this year's central exhibition Pharaoh in Canaan: The Untold Story, which tells the revelatory story of the rich cross-cultural ties between Egypt and Canaan during the second millennium BCE. Council participants enjoyed a private tour of the Israel Antiquities Authority storage facilities; curator-led tours of new exhibitions; hands-on workshops in our galleries; special presentations by Professor Moshe Halbertal and ambassadors from Germany, Great Britain, the United States, and Austria; and an exclusive art evening in Tel Aviv, with a visit to a major private collection of Israeli art and artists-in-residence studios at Artport. We were also delighted to welcome President of Israel Reuven Rivlin, who addressed the crowd at the Council's cabaret-themed Gala.
For more details, contact Judith Amselem

Passover Open House
April 2016

Nearly 75 Friends from around the world gathered at the Museum for our annual Passover Open House on April 26, which began with breakfast and greetings from our Director, James Snyder. Museum curators then led tours of four exhibitions related to the Crosscurrents theme. The tours exposed guests to our treatment of this subject in all three of our curatorial wings: Archaeology, Jewish Art and Life, and the Fine Arts.
For more details or to learn more about our annual Sukkot and Passover Open Houses, contact Yvette Messinas

Italian Friends Gala
April 2016

Organized by AIMIG, our Italian Friends of the Israel Museum, under the leadership of President Davide Blei, a spring gala was held in Milan on April 3 at the historical Palazzo Clerici.  More than 200 attendees enjoyed a preview of Christie's upcoming auction, entertainment, and dinner by celebrity chef Davide Oldani. The event was sponsored by Christie’s and Buccellati.
For more details, contact Davide Blei

The International Executive Council, Madrid
February 2016

At the 2016 International Executive Council in Madrid, Museum leadership from around the world came together to enjoy time together and share plans for the upcoming year. This Executive Council – our first international event in 2016 – celebrated 30 years of diplomatic relations between Spain and Israel against the backdrop of Spain's capital city. Participants took in Madrid's cultural scene, enjoying visits to the top private collections, artists' studios, and galleries in Madrid, as well as an exclusive after-hours viewing of Picasso's iconic Guernica at the Reina Sofia and Shabbat dinner in the Prado's Hall of the Muses.
For more details, contact Judith Amselem

Mexican Friends Gala and Program, Mexico City
December 2015

Photo: Kelly Calanni, American Friends of the Israel Museum

Organized in a joint effort with the American Friends of the Israel Museum, the Mexican Friends Program on December 8-12, 2015 welcomed 22 friends from around the world. In addition to the Mexican Friends Gala on December 9, which was attended by some 185 guests, program participants explored local landmarks such as murals by Diego Rivera; Frida Kahlo's home and studio; and the Moon Pyramid at Teotihuacan, as well as enjoying exclusive viewings of the city's museums and private collections.

For more details, contact The Mexican Friends

British Friends Gala, London
November 2015

Some 300 guests from the United Kingdom and overseas attended the annual Gala Dinner of the British Friends of the Art Museums of Israel (BFAMI) on November 22 at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London. Guest of Honor was renowned artist Michael Craig-Martin in conversation with Professor Andrew Renton. The evening was sponsored by Sotheby's and featured a silent and live auction of contemporary art, curated by Cathy Wills, Freda Uziyel, and Fiona McGovern, and conducted by Oliver Barker, Sotheby’s Deputy Chairman, Europe, and Senior International Specialist. BFAMI Co-Chairs Poju Zabludowicz and Wendy Fisher welcomed guests, while Israel Museum Director James Snyder brought warm greetings from Israel. Prior to the Gala, 400 BFAMI Young Friends attended their annual Artists Party, which was held at Sotheby’s on November 16.

Canadian Friends Annual Partners Dinner, Montreal
November 2015

       Photo: Christina Esteban Photography
On Tuesday, November 3, CFIM Montreal’s Annual Partners celebrated the Israel Museum's 50th Anniversary with a cocktail dinner. Guests were invited to an exclusive viewing of the private collection of Stephen and Claudine Bronfman, whose family's relationship with the Israel Museum dates back to the Museum's founding in 1965, making their home the perfect backdrop to recognize the Museum’s remarkable achievements over the past 50 years. The evening’s success is shared between CFIM Montreal’s Co-Chairs Rhoda Pinsky, Karys Marcus, and Marissa Nuss.

For more details, contact Pearl Berman 

American Friends of the Israel Museum Annual Gala
October 2015

The American Friends’ Annual Gala was held at Cipriani 42nd Street on October 26. In celebration of the Israel Museum's 50th Anniversary, the Gala’s theme was "Golden." Some 500 guests attended, who were entertained by a gospel performance and a moving video featuring footage of the opening of the Museum as well as the 50th Anniversary Celebrations in May and the International Council in June. Guests participated in a live auction with works by Takashi Murakami and William Wegman. The gala raised a record donation for the Museum and was chaired by Christine and Richard Mack and Allison and Neil Rubler. The Journal was chaired by 2015 Honorary Fellows Cheryl and Michael Minikes.

For more details, contact Leah Siegel

Israeli Friends Gala
October 2015

       Photo: © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Peter Lanyi

Over 450 guests attended the Israeli Friends "Arti-Shuk" Gala on October 21, which was inspired by Jerusalem's open air market, Machaneh Yehuda. Alongside a special musical performance, guests participated in encounters throughout the Museum, including an analysis of Nicolas Poussin's The Destruction and Sack of the Temple of Jerusalem by Museum Director James Snyder and Italian Ambassador Francesco Maria Talo; a discussion about the Roman emperor and military commander Hadrian with Museum curator Dudi Mevorach and former Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces Benny Gantz (pictured above); and a dialogue about the connection between food, revolution, and culture between Ronit Vered, Haaretz's food writer, and Tania Coen-Uzzielli, curator of A Brief History of Humankind.

For more details, contact Lea Rotstein

German Friends Visit the Israel Museum
October 2015

In October 2015, a large group of German Friends of the Israel Museum, and of the Nationalgalerie, Berlin, led by the head of our German Friends Sonja Lahnstein-Kandel, visited the Museum as part of a one-week trip to Israel. Their time in Jerusalem coincided with the opening of our major exhibition Twilight over Berlin: Masterworks from the Nationalgalerie, 1905–1945, and celebrated the Museum’s 50th Anniversary and fifty years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany. Many of the participants had never previously visited Israel and were visibly moved by their experience.
For more details, contact Magdalena Backhaus 

Sukkot Open House at the Israel Museum 
October 2015

The Israel Museum’s annual Sukkot Open House on October 1, 2015 saw 60 guests begin their day under the shade of the Museum’s sukkah. Director James Snyder opened the event with a recap of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary year, now entering its final chapter, and emphasizing the many gifts and loans received to mark this special occasion.  Mira Lapidot, Chief Curator of Fine Arts, curators Miki Joelson of Jewish Art and Life, and Rachel Caine Kreinin of Archaeology, led participants on tours of new gifts in their respective wings, and  exhibition curator Tania Coen-Uzzielli completed the morning with a tour of her exhibition, A Brief History of Humankind, which explores the major milestones in the development of humankind through the use of objects from across the Museum’s collections.

For more details on the Sukkot Open House or to be invited to future IMJ holiday Open Houses, contact Yvette Messinas 

South African Friends Gala Launch, Johannesburg 
August 2015

The new Johannesburg chapter of the South African Friends of the Israel Museum (SAFIM) was launched at a festive dinner held on August 27 in the Johannesburg suburb of Rivonia. The event was attended by 250 guests, among them SAFIM Co-Chairs Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, Nina Kovensky, and Marco van Embden who flew in from Cape Town. Guest speaker was Mark Coetzee, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCCA), while the Israel Museum was represented by Barak Cohen, Deputy Director for International Relations. A highly successful auction was run by Ariella Kuper. The evening’s success was thanks to the dedicated Johannesburg host team headed by Della Berkowitz and including Louise Bloch, Liora Meltzer, Julie Treger, Dori Weil, and Gigi Wolf. The evening was generously sponsored by the Eric and Sheila Samson Foundation, Jonathan Beare, The Beare Foundation, Stonehage, Investec, Cape Gate, The Saxon, and Norman Goodfellows. 

For more details, contact Sarin Goott
Canadian Friends 50th Anniversary Celebration Garden Party, Toronto
August 2015

On August 12, the Canadian Friends of the Israel Museum in Toronto celebrated the Israel Museum’s 50th Anniversary with a garden party at the home of Wayne and Maureen Squibb. The Canadian Friends launched their 2015 Annual Partner campaign at this event and unveiled a limited-edition print by Olafur Eliasson, created especially for the Canadian Friends to mark the Museum’s landmark anniversary.

For more details, contact the Canadian Friends of the Israel Museum

Austrian Friends Gala and VIP Program
July 2015

Co-chaired by Thaddaeus Ropac and Sylvie Liska, the 5th annual Austrian Friends Gala and Auction was held on July 27, 2015 at the performance venue Kulisse, preceded by a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Alongside the gala evening, the extended program included a guided visit to the Stefan Zweig Centre with director Dr. Klemens Renoldner; a viewing of the opera, Le Nozze di Figaro, on its opening night; and the now traditional lunch in the boathouse of the 10th century Anif Castle.

For more details, contact the Austrian Friends of the Israel Museum

The International Council, Jerusalem, Israel
June 2015

Our 50th Anniversary International Council on June 7-10 welcomed 450 guests from 20 countries to the Israel Museum. Participants enjoyed curator-led tours of new exhibitions, as well as of special gifts and loans in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary; a gala on a custom-built platform overlooking an illuminated Shrine of the Book; and a 1960s themed dinner at the Rockefeller Archaeology Museum. Special presentations included film director Joseph Cedar and author Etgar Keret in conversation, and Amos Oz’s reflections on his book, A Tale of Love and Darkness, which has recently been adapted into a film by Natalie Portman. Additional programming for our IMJ Internationals' young leadership group included a behind-the-scenes look at the Museum’s conservation labs.

For more details, contact Judith Amselem

To see prior Friends' events, please see the archive »