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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.

Swiss Friends Concert-Gala, Lucerne
February 2015

On February 4, the Swiss Friends held a Concert-Gala at Lucerne's Culture and Congress Centre, which was designed by architect Jean Nouvel. Featuring works by Robert Schumann and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed by the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra; the night combined music and food, and saw over 170 participants join in the festivities.

For more details, contact Didier Bollag 

American Friends West Coast Gala, Los Angeles
January 2015

Over 250 guests attended the West Coast Gala on January 27, 2015. Chaired by Allison Berg and Nancy Lainer, the Gala was held at The Lot, a historical studio for television, film, and commercial production in Los Angeles. The West Coast Friends welcomed guest speaker Catherine Opie, an award-winning photographer and professor at UCLA, who has had her works exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and other museums around the world, including the Israel Museum.

For more details, contact Janna Fisher

American Friends Palm Beach Gala, Palm Beach
January 2015

On January 22, 2015, 200 guests attended the American Friends Palm Beach Gala: "An Evening of Sand and Stars," which was held at the Beach Club at the elegant Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. Chaired by Phyllis Mack and Bonnie Stern, the event celebrated the Israel Museum's 50th Anniversary.

For more details, contact Kelly Calanni

International Executive Council, Berlin
January 2015 

Marking the first event of the Museum's 50th Anniversary, the 2015 International Executive Council (IEC) on January 15-18 acted a platform which allowed us to share our plans for this landmark year with 95 participants from 12 countries. Set against the backdrop of Berlin, the IEC program was developed in collaboration with Hendrik Berinson, Sonja Lahnstein, and Burkhard Riemschneider, and featured a full roster of special events, among them exclusive visits to private collections, artists' studios, galleries, and museums; a celebratory opening evening honoring fifty years of German-Israeli diplomatic relations and twenty-five years of our German Friends of the Israel Museum; a studio visit and lunch hosted by artist Olafur Eliasson; Shabbat dinner at the residence of the Hon. John Emerson, Ambassador of the US in Germany, and his wife, Mrs. Kimberly Emerson; a tour of Museum Island accompanied by architect David Chipperfield and Michael Eissenhauer, Director of the Berlin State Museums; and evenings in some of Berlin's most celebrated restaurants.

For more details, contact Judith Amselem

Mexican Friends Gala
December 2014

The Amigos Mexicanos del Museo de Israel (AMMI)’s annual gala took place on December 4 at Mexico City’s renowned Restaurante Hacienda de los Morales. Generously co-sponsored by Planigrupo LatAm, Cinemex, Bank Leumi, FINSA and Walton Street Capital, the Gala’s theme was “Celebrating the Israel Museum in Mexico,” which recalled 2014’s achievements, while looking ahead to the Museum’s 50th Anniversary in 2015. The evening was the first event with the Mexican Friend’s new Chair, Benjamin Bross. Over 150 people were treated to a night full of arts, including a selection of operatic arias and a keynote address delivered by renowned Mexican poet, Homero Aridjis.

For more details, contact Benjamin Bross

French Friends Gala, Paris 
November 2014

The French Friends of the Israel Museum hosted their Gala 2014 at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. The evening included a cocktail reception and an auction of an artwork by Loris Gréaud. Additionally, the Gala offered a private tour of Décors à vivre, an exhibition curated in collaboration with Architectural Digest, which showcases interiors designed around pieces from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs’ collection. 

For more details, contact Caroline Davidovici 


CFIM Young Associates Dinner and Discussion, Toronto
November 2014

On Wednesday, November 19, more than 100 Canadian Friends of the Israel Museum (CFIM) Toronto Young Associates’ attended the launch of the 2015 membership campaign at the home of Canadian business icons and philanthropists Heather Reisman and Gerald Schwartz. Organized by Sam Reitman, Chair of the CFIM Toronto Young Associates, this year’s theme was “Starting a Collection,” and the magnificent home of Heather Reisman and Gerald Schwartz’s offered the perfect backdrop for this conversation. Guests enjoyed dinner, a private viewing of the art collection, and a conversation between Heather Reisman and David Moos, former Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario. 

For more details, contact Pearl Berman


Israeli Friends Gala
November 2014
The fifth annual gala of the Israeli Friends, held on November 5 with the participation of over 500 guests, brought back the ever popular "Arti-Shuk." The evening included encounters in the galleries between public figures and Museum curators, including Nobel Prize winner Yisrael Aumann, fashion designer Yuval Caspi, journalist Rina Matzliach, physician-poet Sagit Arbel-Alon, and celebrity chef Yisrael Aharoni, among many others. Dinner was served throughout the evening in the Museum’s Cardo in the style of Jerusalem's open air markets, complemented by surprise performances throughout the evening from internationally-renowned drumming ensemble Miyumana; the Hebrews of Dimona; and a roving marching band. Proceeds from the event were designated for free guided tours for soldiers and national service participants, as well as educational activities within the Museum.

For more details, contact Lea Rotstein

Cocktail Reception and Canadian Friends of the Israel Museum Annual Partners Dinner, Montreal
October 2014

On October 30, the Canadian Friends of the Israel Museum (CFIM) hosted a cocktail reception and private viewing of the Phi Centre Galleries in special celebration of founding Canadian supporters of the IMJ, Professor Blema and Mr. Arnold Steinberg. An elegant dinner for CFIM Annual Partners followed, hosted by Rita and Charles Bronfman, and Morris Goodman & family. The evening was dedicated in loving memory of Rosalind Goodman, Founding Chair of CFIM Montreal. The evening’s success is shared between CFIM Montreal Co-Chairs Karys Marcus, Marissa Nuss and Rhoda Pinsky, and Montreal Annual Partner Chair, Rita Mayo Bronfman. 

For more details, contact Pearl Berman 

American Friends of the Israel Museum Annual Gala
October 2014 

On October 27, 500 guests attended the American Friends of the Israel Museum’s Annual Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street. The Gala’s theme was ROCK IN THE GARDEN, in celebration of the Israel Museum's Billy Rose Art Garden. The gala was chaired by Stacey Bronfman, Chris Mack, and Allison Rubler, with the Gala Journal chaired by Susan and Morris Mark.
For more details, contact Leah Siegel 

Sukkot Open House at the Israel Museum 
October 2014

45 Museum friends from around the world joined us for our annual Sukkot Open House on the morning of Monday, October 13. During an informal welcome session in the shade of Big Bambú: 5,000 Arms to Hold You, Director James Snyder discussed the events of the summer of 2014; our current exhibition program, including the meaning behind Big Bambú; and the Museum’s upcoming 50th anniversary year. Miriam Malachi, Associate Curator of the Department of Asian Art, and Rita Kersting, Landeau Family Curator of Contemporary Art, led tours of the Museum’s exhibitions. Friends are invited to our next Open House, scheduled to take place in the spring during Passover’s intermediary days.
For more details, contact Yvette Messinas 

Brazilian Friends and São Paulo Biennale Program
September 2014

Photo by: Oren Lukatz, 2014

Fourteen Friends from six countries joined the Brazilian Friends and São Paolo Biennale Program, coming together to enjoy local art, food, and culture. The trip began with a VIP tour of the Biennale prior to its opening to the public, led by the Biennale’s chief designer and co-curator, Oren Sagiv, who is also the Israel Museum's Chief of Exhibition Design. In addition to the Biennale, the trip featured a visit to Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim, one of the world's largest open air museums; the atelier of the Campana Brothers; and a graffiti street art tour of Vila Madalena, São Paolo's answer to the West Village.

For more details, contact Nicia Secher

Austrian Friends Gala and International Program, Salzburg
July 2014

The Austrian Friends' third Gala was held in Salzburg on July 28, 2014, and included the world premiere of the opera, Charlotte Salomon, followed by a gala dinner and art auction at Haus für Mozart. In addition to the sold-out gala evening, the Austrian Friends offered a 3-day program to Museum friends from around the world. The program included collection visits to picturesque Bavarian castles, museum tours, and culminated in a festive evening and attendance of Mozart’s iconic opera, Don Giovanni

For more details, contact the Austrian Friends 

The International Council, Jerusalem, Israel
 June 2014

On June 8-11, the Israel Museum hosted our annual International Council, which included 240 guests from 18 countries, with 25% of the group attending their first International Council. This year’s theme was CELEBRATING LIGHT, and indeed the occasion was celebratory. Participants enjoyed exclusive tours of the museum’s most popular exhibitions, a lecture by guest artists Doug and Mike Starn, the creators of Big Bambú, and a speech by award-winning Israeli writer, Ari Shavit.

For more details, contact

South African Friends Inaugural Evening 
May 2014

On May 15, the South African Friends hosted their inaugural event in Cape Town. Organized by co-chairs Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, Nina Kovensky, and Marco Van Embden, and sponsored by M&C Saatchi Abel, the event drew 100 attendees, including co-Chair of IMJ’s International Council, Marion Naggar, who made the trip from London for the occasion. The guest speaker was Mark Coetzee, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA). Following a short video from Israel Museum director, James Snyder, there was a lively art and wine auction. The South African friends look forward to launching in Johannesburg in the fall.

For more details, contact
For an archive of our past events, please click here >>