fsockopen(): unable to connect to ssl://query.yahooapis.com:443 (php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known)


The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem is open for the public again, with special exhibitions, guided tours, lectures by leading scholars

and exciting activities for families!


Museum visits and participation in special activities must be arranged in advance, in accordance with the Purple Tag guidelines.

Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, Shmuel Stephan Wise Str. 21, Jerusalem

Free parking at the museum’s parking lot

For tickets and information, visit our website: www.blmj.org or call 02-5611066

Opening hours: Sun.-Tue. 9:30-17:00 | Wed. 9:30-19:00 (Hanukkah: until 17:00) | Thu.-Sat. closed


Starting on Monday, December 14, 2020, and until further announcement, the regular guided tours will be held daily at the museum, with no extra fee beside the entry ticket price. 



Yonit Kolb, the new director of the Bible Lands Museum: “We are happy to open to the public again, after a long time when the museum lights went off. People crave for culture and free thinking, and experiencing culture via a computer screen is not the real thing. We invite you to visit our galleries and exhibitions and to see ancient art come alive. Of course, we will all wear masks and adhere to the regulations of the Health Ministry, but we will make our best to meet together whenever possible given the current situation.”


For our visitors, this is a unique opportunity to see the special exhibition “Yemen: From Sheba to Jerusalem” which opened a few weeks before the coronavirus pandemic, and to experience a unique journey through one of the most remote Bible lands. The exhibition displays the unique culture of ancient South Arabia (now Yemen) – the starting point of the famous frankincense route, through which the precious incense of the frankincense and myrrh trees reached the other countries of the Near East, Greece and Rome. Ancient South Arabia was home to a rich and unique culture which gave rise to the biblical story of the Queen of Sheba.


The daily guided tour of the museum’s permanent display and special exhibitions starts daily (Sun.-Wed.) at 11:00, and is conducted in Hebrew.

For group visits, in accordance with the Health Ministry regulations, guided tours in other languages are available, but advance arrangement is required; please call 02-5955305

Individual visits are allowed during the museum’s opening hours, within the following time slots: 

Sun.-Wed.: 9:30-11-00, 11:00-12:30, 12:30-14:00, 14:00-15:30, 15:30-17:00 (Wed. also 17:00-18:30)


Hanukkah at the Bible Lands Museum

Family activities are held partly online and partly at the museum, for those willing to enjoy a warm space on a cold winter day!

Online activities:

  • “The secrets of fire” – online challenges for the entire family
  • “The gifts of fire” – a theater of shadows and artifacts

Sun.-Tue., December 13-15, at 10:00 and 11:00. No payment required

Activities at the museum:

  • A tour of the museum galleries with a special activity booklet based on the Hanukkah song “Maoz Tzur” – no payment required
  • “Don’t look at the jug”: play at the exhibition “Gods, Heroes and Mortals in Ancient Greece,” based on a quiz of 21 questions – no payment required
  • Making a small souvenir of your own with “The coin and the jug” set, inspired by the ancient vessels and coins in the museum’s collection – 5 NIS

Sun.-Wed., December 14-16, 9:30-11:00, 11:00-12:30, 12:30-14:00, 14:00-15:30

  • “The secrets of fire” corner: a theater of shadows and artifacts, and various creative activities for the entire family – Wednesday only! Watch a video “The secrets of fire,” and make a Hanukkah lamp of your own, which gives light without burning! Other creative activities are also available: make a decorated oil lamp, or a beautiful magic box for Hanukkah coins.

Wed., December 16, 9:30-11:00, 11:00-12:30, 12:30-14:00, 14:00-15:30

Cost: 15 NIS (10 NIS for registered museum patrons or groups of 3 or more participants), in addition to the museum entry ticket

For details and registration: https://bit.ly/3ls2k0i


The Wednesday evening lecture series is running again, with many interesting talks on archaeology, history, biblical studies and ethnography by the museum’s senior staff and leading academic scholars in the relevant fields. Each lecture will last about an hour and will be held on Zoom.

Wed., 18:00, no payment required

For details and registration: https://bit.ly/2EUiSza


All programs subject to change, please keep updated via our website and Facebook page.

Museum visits are subject to the Purple Tag guidelines: each visitor must wear a mask, have his body temperature measured at the entrance, and keep social distance.


Corona time tour according to the purple tag guidelines. Photo: Dana Levy.






Among the issues discussed at the summit were the influence of social networks on the hatred of Jews in the world in the shadow of the coronavirus and the right of Jews from around the world to intervene in what is going in in Israel.

 The coronavirus crisis has placed the Jewish identity of hundreds of Jewish communities around the world in genuine danger. The Government of Israel must assist them in connecting to their Jewishness and preserving their identity.

This important message was raised yesterday evening (Tuesday, 8 December 2020) at the international Jewish Media Summit organized by the Government Press Office (GPO) in cooperation with the Ministry for Diaspora Affairs and with the participation of President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and media representatives and influencers from 30 countries. This year's summit was held online in light of the coronavirus pandemic and linked senior figures in the global Jewish media with the State of Israel.

President Rivlin: "The role of the Jewish media is so important, not only for helping us all stay connected to our communities, but for being the voice of the communities, especially when it comes to fighting anti-Israel hatred and BDS."

Prime Minister Netanyahu: "2020 was a year of not only a dreadful plague. It was a year of good news of peace with 3 Arab countries. I expect the circle of peace to grow."


GPO Director Nitzan Chen: "The international Jewish Media Summit has become a main platform in which Jewish media leaders from Israel and the world deal with critical issues for the Jewish Diaspora. I have no doubt that this summit, especially during the coronavirus crisis, strengthens the bond between the State of Israel and its government and public opinion leaders among dozens of Jewish communities around the world, which desire close ties with decision-makers in Israel."

Ruderman Family Foundation Executive Director Shira Ruderman: "Currently, Israel is willing to listen to American Jewry only when it comes to donations or lobbying for Israel in Washington, DC. Most Jews in Israel do not understand American Jewry well enough, and we have lost our shared mission. If Israel really wants to function as the nation state of the entire Jewish people, this must change."

Among the issues discussed at the summit were the influence of social networks on the hatred of Jews in the world in the shadow of the coronavirus and the right of Jews from around the world to intervene in what is going in in Israel.



Among the participants in the summit were Jewish influencer and comedian Avi Liberman, Israel Hayom editor Boaz Bismuth, Israel TV News Ch. #13 Shabbat edition presenter Hila Korach and other senior global Jewish media figures.

During the conference, many participants expressed their deep desire to receive assistance from the Israeli government in formal and informal education including work with students and young people on college campuses.

 Photo Silvia Golan





A Fortified Building from the Time of King David is Discovered for the First Time in the Golan

The complex was exposed in archaeological excavations carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority, prior to the construction of a new neighborhood in Hispin by the Ministry of Housing and Construction and the Golan Regional Council.*** In the excavation, carried out predominantly by local residents and youth, a rare stone carved with two horned figures with outspread arms, was discovered.***  According to the archaeologists, “It is probable that the fort was manned by the Geshurites, who ruled in the Southern and Central Golan, and carried out diplomatic relations with King David and the Davidic Dynasty.”


A fortified complex from the time of King David (Iron Age, eleventh to tenth centuries BCE) was exposed for the first time in archaeological excavations carried out by IAA in Hispin in the Golan. The archaeologists consider that the fort was built by the kingdom of Geshur, the ally of King David, in order to control the region. The excavation was undertaken prior to the construction of a new neighborhood in Hispin, and funded by the Ministry of Housing and Construction and the Golan Regional Council, with the participation of many residents of Hispin and Nov, and youth from the pre-military academies at Natur, Kfar Hanasi, Elrom, Metzar and Qaztrin.



According to Barak Tzin and Enno BronExcavation directors on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority,“The complex we exposed was built at a strategic location on the small hilltop, above the El-Al canyon, overlooking the region, at a spot where it was possible to cross the river. The c. 1.5 m wide fort walls, built of large basalt boulders, encompassed the hill. In the excavation, we were astonished to discover a rare and exciting find: a large basalt stone with a schematic engraving of two horned figures with outspread arms. There may also be another object next to them.”

It is noteworthy that in 2019, a figure carved on a cultic stone stele was found in the Bethsaida Expedition Project, directed by Dr.Rami Arav of Nebraska University, at Bethsaida just north of the Sea of Galilee. The stele, depicting a horned figure with outspread arms, was erected next to a raised platform (bama) adjacent to the city gate. This scene was identified by Arav as representing the Moon-God Cult. The Hispin stone was located on a shelf next to the entrance, and not one, but two figures were depicted on it. According to the archaeologists, “it is possible that a person who saw the impressive Bethsaida stele, decided to create a local copy of the royal stele.”

The fortified city of Bethsaida is considered by scholars, to be the capital of the Aramean Kingdom of Geshur, that ruled the central and southern Golan 3000 years ago. According to the Bible, the kingdom upheld diplomatic and family relations with the House of David; one of David’s wives was Maacah, the daughter of Talmi, King of Geshur.



Cities of the Kingdom of Geshur are known along the Sea of Galilee shore, including Tel En Gev, Tel Hadar and Tel Sorag, but sites are hardly known in the Golan. This unique fortified complex raises new research issues on the settlement of the Golan in the Iron Age.

Following this discovery, changes in the development plans will be carried out together with the Ministry of Housing and Construction, in order that the unique fortified complex will not be damaged. The complex will be developed as an open area along the El-Al river bank, where educational-archaeological activities will be carried out, as part of the cultural heritage and a link with the past. This aligns with the Israel Antiquities Authority's policy that learning the past through experiencing work in the field, strengthens the young generation’s bonds with their roots. 


Photos :   Israel Antiquities Authority

 Fertility figurine of a woman with a drum. Photograph:Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority.

The cultic stele from Bethsaida discovered in the Bethsaida Excavation Project. Photograph: Ivgeni Ostrovski, Israel Antiquities Authority



Happy birthday, Romania! - edited online edition of the Extraordinary Opera Gala in Jerusalem

To celebrate the National Day of Romania, one of the most important dates in the calendar of public and cultural diplomacy, and also taking into account the restrictions imposed globally, the Romanian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv (RCI Tel Aviv) will broadcast online, on November 30th, from 17:00: 00, the edited edition of the Extraordinary Opera Gala that took place on Romania's National Day, in 2019, in the “Henry Crown Symphony Hall” of the Jerusalem Theater.

The video will be broadcast for the first time on the official Facebook page of ICR Tel Aviv: https://www.facebook.com/icr.telaviv/and on the YouTube channel: 



The opera gala, which took place on Romania's National Day, a year ago, brought together, in the "Henry Crown Symphony Hall" of the Jerusalem Theater, well-known names of Romanian music, such as: Ionuț Pascu, Andrei Manea , Ștefan Ignat, Madeleine Pascu, Alina Dragnea, Aida Pascu, Dalila Cernătescu, Bogdan Mihăilescu. The Romanian artists were accompanied by one of the most representative orchestras in Israel - Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. The show organized by RCI Tel Aviv was a selective presentation of the Romanian school of composition (cult and popular), in order to promote the Romanian cultural heritage on international level.

The musical program of the event contains compositions signed by: Ciprian Porumbescu, Gherase Dendrino, Filaret Barbu, Paul Constantinescu, Pascal Bentoiu, Aurel Eliade, Mircea Chiriac, Tiberiu Brediceanu, Zsolt Kerestély, Florin Comișel, George Grigoriu, Aurel Giroveanu, Stemond D , Harry Brauner, Grigoraș Dinicu, Mansi Barberis.



Institutul Cultural Român de la Tel Aviv
B-dul Shaul Hamelech nr. 8, 64733
Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel.: +972-3-696 17 46,
+972-3-691 12 05
Fax: +972-3-691 12 04
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Photo Romania Embassy in Israel







 Minister of Aliyah and Integration Pnina Tameno Shete will deliver the keynote address at B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem Award for Journalism Recognizing Excellence in Diaspora Reportage in Memory of Wolf and Hilda Matsdorf for 2020.

The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 10 a.m. (Israel Time) at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem. Due to Covid-19 regulations the ceremony will be held with a limited participation and streamed live on Facebook and YouTube in Hebrew (a version with English subtitles will be uploaded shortly after).

Winners for 2020 are: Branu Tegene and Danny Kushmaro of Channel 12 News and former Haaretz correspondent Dina Kraft. Tegene, a correspondent, and  news anchor Kushmaro will receive the award in the broadcast media category for a 5-part series entitled "Mefotzalim" (Split Up: The Story of the Ethiopian Jewish Community) that follows the lives of Jewish Ethiopians left behind after the community's mass immigration to Israel, members of their family in Israel and their reunion in Ethiopia (link here). Kraft will receive the award for print media in memory of Luis and Trudi Schydlowsky for articles on Jewish communities in the United States and Great Britain (The Pittsburgh Playbook; How a Community Began to HealThe Status of Anti-Semitism in Contemporary America and Britain.) 



A special citation for Fostering Israel-Diaspora Relations through the Arts will be presented to Shalva Band, which rose to fame after entering the finals on the Israeli TV show, "Rising Star." The program determines the act that will represent Israel in the Eurovision song competition, held in Israel in 2019. The band’s inspiring guest performance at the Eurovision semi-finals brought the band international acclaim and invitations to perform around the world and in Jewish communities. The citation was established in 2014. Former winners are singers and songwriters Nurit Hirsh, David D’Or, Idan Raichel, David Broza and Yehoram Gaon.

Since its establishment in 1992, the B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism has recognized excellence in reporting on contemporary Diaspora Jewish communities and on the state of Israel-Diaspora relations in the Israeli print, broadcast and online media. The award is widely recognized as the most prestigious prize in the Israeli media industry for Diaspora reportage and was established to help strengthen the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora. The award highlights the important contributions the media can make toward strengthening the relationship between Israel and world Jewry by encouraging quality reporting on Diaspora communities and Israel-Diaspora relations.

The distinguished members of the award jury are: Ya'akov Ahimeir, past editor and anchor, Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation and Lifetime Achievement Award winner for 2016; Professor Yehudith Auerbach, School of Communication, Bar Ilan University; Professor Sergio DellaPergola, The Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University; Sallai Meridor, former Israeli ambassador to the United States and former chairman of the Zionist Executive and Jewish Agency for Israel; Professor Gabriela Shalev, Higher Academic Council, Ono Academic College and former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations; journalist Yair Sheleg; Asher Weill, publisher and editor of “Ariel” The Israel Review of Arts and Letters (1981-2003).

The awards are presented in memory of the late Wolf Matsdorf, editor of the World Center-Jerusalem’s journal “Leadership Briefing” and a journalist in Israel and Australia, and his wife, Hilda, a pioneer in social work in both Australia and Israel, and in memory of Luis and Trudi Schydlowsky. The award is made possible through donations from the Matsdorf family and B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem board member Daniel Schydlowsky.

Courtesy: Channel 12 news (Branu Tegene and Danny Kushmaro) and Dina Kraft (Dina Kraft), Minister of Aliyah and Integration Pnina Tameno - Shete (Haim Zach – GPO), Shalva Band (Seli Ben Arie).