March 7, 2012

Jerusalem, Israel: Israel Museum; things to do

 11 Derekh Ruppin St., S of the Knesset, 972/2-670-8811. M-Sat. $8.

scale model of Jerusalem at Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Israel
scale model of Jerusalem at Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Israel

Reopened in 2010 after a multi-million dollar restoration, the Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in Israel. It is the Israeli answer to the Metropolitan in NYC and is home to one of the world's most extraordinary collections of Old Masters, Israeli art, Judaica, and archaeology. Most of the rich collection is willed to the museum by Jewish art collectors. Exhibits include an outdoor scale model of Jerusalem as it was in the time of Jesus, just before its destruction by the Romans. Looking like a smashed ice cream cone from the outside, The Shrine of the Book holds one of the most important discoveries of modern times--the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls, which were found by a shepard who lost his goat. The scrolls are mostly in Hebrew and so can be understood today. An original segment of the scrolls is on exhibit, but the rest are photocopies. A tunnel leads into the round room holding the display, which resembles the inside of a clay vessel. Reconstructed synagogues brought from Germany, Italy, and India are displayed in the Jewish Art and Life wing, and and a beautiful outdoor sculpture garden is also part of the complex.

More things to do in Jerusalem.

More ideas for exploring the Middle East.

image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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