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.
The International Executive Council, Madrid
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.
Mexican Friends Gala and Program, Mexico City
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.
British Friends Gala, London
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
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
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.
Israeli Friends Gala
For more details, contact Leah Siegel
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
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.
Sukkot Open House at the Israel Museum
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
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
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.
Austrian Friends Gala and VIP Program
The International Council, Jerusalem, Israel
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.
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
Passover Open House at the Israel Museum
On Sunday, April 5, over 70 Friends from around the world attended the Museum’s annual Passover Open House. Guests enjoyed refreshments while director James Snyder shared his vision and plans for the Museum’s exciting 50th Anniversary year in 2015. Mira Lapidot, Yulla and Jacques Lipchitz Chief Curator of the Fine Arts Wing guided participants throughout 1965 Today, an exhibition she co-curated. During the tour, she related stories about life in Israel during the Museum’s founding years, describing the country’s burgeoning art scene, alongside presenting objects from the period, such as clothing, electronics, and furniture. At 6 Artists 6 Projects, Curator of the David Orgler Department of Israel Art Amitai Mendelsohn discussed the exhibition’s take on cutting-edge Israeli art. During his tour, Mendelsohn, who co-curated the exhibition, discussed the diversity of the exhibition’s offerings, which ranged from video art to photography to a woven carpet, while also addressing the complexities of each piece.
For more details, contact Yvette Messinas
To see prior Friends' events, please see the archive »