This week we’re going to profile some fun places to visit this summer.
Perhaps you had a collection of international dolls as a child; I did. The Russian dolls with long braids and wide swirling skirts, the porcelain Japanese baby in kimono, the elaborately costumed Turkish woman, the Guatemalan family constructed of cast-off hosiery and wires. When we traveled – or a family member did – I could be fairly certain of bringing home a national doll. It was a fun way to learn about the world and the many peoples in it, and my children continued the collection with their own souvenirs.
But The Eretz Yisrael Museum in Tel-Aviv, is taking a different tack with dolls, using them to trace the history of modern Israel. A Land and its Dolls utilizes over 200 dolls dressed in various national costumes, each representing the different philosophies, ideologies, and movements that have shaped modern Israel. These dolls were created by artists, artisans, and amateurs, beginning back in Mandatory Palestine right up to the late 1980s. In the collection we meet Yemenite goldsmiths, chalutzim of the kibbutz movement, a Chassidic couple, a miniature Moshe Dayan, wooden-block Golda Meir and lots more.
While you’re there, you may want to look in on their temporary photography exhibit on the Mandlebaum Gate which divided Jerusalem between 1948 to 1967. Located at the intersection of Shmuel Hanavi Street and St. Geoge Road, the gate took its name from the home Rabbi and Mrs. Simcha Mandelbaum, which pre-existed the gate.
Among the permanent collection, of note is a square filled with mosaics gathered from across Israel stretching as far back as the 6th century, and ancient machinery for milling flour and pressing oil.
A special exhibit focuses on the Bezalel style silverwork of the 1920s, showcasing the “Queen Esther Crown,” a modern Purim tradition of Tel-Aviv.
The museum is located on 2 Haim Levanon St., Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 69975.