A selection of work from the Israel 70 – Building Artistic Connections exhibition went on display at the at the Babylonian Jewry Heritage Centre in Israel. Six thousand five hundred pupils from 33 Jewish Primary and Secondary schools across submitted their contributions towards the second exhibition of the project, which first went on show at JW3 in London. The works will remain on show in Israel until 31st August.

Speaking at the opening of the exhibition at the Babylonian Jewry Heritage Centre, H.E. David Quarrey, UK Ambassador to Israel referenced his commitment to building artistic connections between Israel and the UK, made at the start of his mission, as well as his connections with Iraq, having previously directed the North East and North Africa Department at the Foreign Office.

Run in conjunction with PaJeS and with the support of the JLC and the Genesis Philanthropy Group, coupled with generous sponsorship by the World Zionist Organisation, the unique educational project saw the pupils involved examine and develop meaning journeys across history, culture, peoplehood and national pride of Israel.

The aim of the international project, conceived by Nic Abery of LooktoLearn was to provide students with the opportunity to explore, connect and reflect upon the cultural, artistic and historical narratives of Israel via a selection of objects from nine Israeli museums.

The project was made possible thanks to the invaluable relationship that PaJeS has with Jewish schools of all denominations in the UK, further demonstrating their commitment to Israel education and the teaching of Jewish history in our schools and is in no small part down to the dedicated teachers who made Israel a part of pupils’ learning across almost all parts of the school curricula for the past two years.

Students researched and selected a museum exhibit, from participating museums, cultural centres and historical sites, including the Israel Museum, sourced from either specialist catalogues, live skype lessons with museum curators, or bespoke lessons in their own schools.

Speaking of her inspiration for the exhibition, Nic Abery said: “I wanted to give Jewish Primary and Secondary School students a meaningful way of marking Israel70.

This project has given them a solid connection to living and breathing Israeli art, culture, history and heritage. I really hope many families and schools will visit the exhibitions and celebrate the remarkable artistic and creative achievements of our students and Israel.”

Rabbi David Meyer, Executive Director of PaJeS added: “The Israel70 project is a wonderful initiative that brings to life the rich history of Israel, the relevance it has to our community and the significance of Israel’s independence 70 years ago.

It is a credit to Nic and the whole PaJeS team that children from across the UK and around the world are coming together to participate in this wonderful project.”

Eran Berkovitz of the World Zionist Organisation commented: “The project and exhibition prove to us all that the way to connect the younger generation with a 70 year old state and a 2000 year old history is through a unique combination of art, history and culture.”