Jerusalem - Culture

Culture

Although Jerusalem is known primarily for its religious significance, the city is also home to many artistic and cultural venues. The Israel Museum attracts nearly one million visitors a year, approximately one-third of them tourists. The 20-acre (81,000 m2) museum complex comprises several buildings featuring special exhibits and extensive collections of Judaica, archaeological findings, and Israeli and European art. The Dead Sea scrolls, discovered in the mid-20th century in the Qumran Caves near the Dead Sea, are housed in the Museum's Shrine of the Book.

Beside Israel Museum is the Bible Lands Museum near the The National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel, which includes the Israel Antiquities Authority offices. A World Bible Center is planned to be built next to Mount Zion on a place called: the Bible Hill. The planned World Kabbalah Center is to sit on the nearby promenade overlooking old city.

The Youth Wing, which mounts changing exhibits and runs an extensive art education program, is visited by 100,000 children a year. The museum has a large outdoor sculpture garden and a scale-model of the Second Temple. The Rockefeller Museum, located in East Jerusalem, was the first archaeological museum in the Middle East. It was built in 1938 during the British Mandate.

The national cemetery of Israel is located at the city's western edge, near the Jerusalem Forest on Mount Herzl. The western extension of Mount Herzl is the Mount of Remembrance, where the main Holocaust museum of Israel is located. Yad Vashem, Israel's national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, houses the world's largest library of Holocaust-related information. It houses an estimated 100,000 books and articles. The complex contains a state-of-the-art museum that explores the genocide of the Jews through exhibits that focus on the personal stories of individuals and families killed in the Holocaust. An art gallery featuring the work of artists who perished is also present. Further, Yad Vashem commemorates the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis, and honors the Righteous among the Nations.

The Museum on the Seam, which explores issues of coexistence through art, is situated on the road dividing eastern and western Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, established in the 1940s, has appeared around the world. The International Convention Center (Binyanei HaUma) near the entrance to city houses the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The Jerusalem Cinemateque, the Gerard Behar Center (formerly Beit Ha'am) in downtown Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Music Center in Yemin Moshe, and the Targ Music Center in Ein Kerem also present the arts. The Israel Festival, featuring indoor and outdoor performances by local and international singers, concerts, plays, and street theater has been held annually since 1961, and Jerusalem has been the major organizer of this event. The Jerusalem Theater in the Talbiya neighborhood hosts over 150 concerts a year, as well as theater and dance companies and performing artists from overseas. The Khan Theater, located in a caravanserai opposite the old Jerusalem train station, is the city's only repertoire theater. The station itself has become a venue for cultural events in recent years as the site of Shav'ua Hasefer (an annual week-long book fair) and outdoor music performances. The Jerusalem Film Festival is held annually, screening Israeli and international films.

The Ticho House in downtown Jerusalem houses the paintings of Anna Ticho and the Judaica collections of her husband, an ophthalmologist who opened Jerusalem's first eye clinic in this building in 1912. Al-Hoash, established in 2004, is a gallery for the preservation of Palestinian art.

In 1974 the Jerusalem Cinematheque was founded. In 1981 it was moved to a new building on Hebron Road near the Valley of Hinnom and the Old City.

Jerusalem was declared the Capital of Arab Culture in 2009. Jerusalem is home to the Palestinian National Theatre, which engages in cultural preservation as well as innovation, working to rekindle Palestinian interest in the arts. The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music sponsors the Palestine Youth Orchestra which toured the Gulf states and other Middle East countries in 2009. The Islamic Museum on the Temple Mount, established in 1923, houses many Islamic artifacts, from tiny kohl flasks and rare manuscripts to giant marble columns. While Israel approves and financially supports Arab cultural activities, Arab Capital of Culture events were banned because they were sponsored by the Palestine National Authority. In 2009, a four-day culture festival was held in the Beit 'Anan suburb of Jerusalem, attended by more than 15,000 people

The Abraham Fund and the Jerusalem Intercultural Center] (JICC) promote joint Jewish-Palestinian cultural projects. The Jerusalem Center for Middle Eastern Music and Dance is open to Arabs and Jews and offers workshops on Jewish-Arab dialogue through the arts. The Jewish-Arab Youth Orchestra performs both European classical and Middle Eastern music.

In 2006, a 38 km (24 mi) Jerusalem Trail was opened, a hiking trail that goes to many cultural sites and national parks in and around Jerusalem.

In 2008, the Tolerance Monument, an outdoor sculpture by Czesław Dźwigaj, was erected on a hill between Jewish Armon HaNetziv and Arab Jebl Mukaber as a symbol of Jerusalem's quest for peace.

Read more about this topic:  Jerusalem

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