Jerusalem: Crossroads of Faith and Culture

Here I stayed with Servas host, Michal Schonbrun, in Beit Hakerem – a quiet and comfortable apartment, centrally located about 10 minutes on the light rail from the city centre. Jerusalem was an informative experience, visiting the Israel Museum - captivated by the Shrine of the Book – a collection of vessels and texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls found in Qumran in 1947, with works dating back to the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC.

Continuing my attraction for ancient cobble stoned streets, I was awe-struck walking in Jesus’ footsteps along the Via Dolorosa, from the Western Wall of the Jewish Quarter, through the Moslem quarter and up to the roof top of the Austrian Hospice to watch the sun setting – illuminating the rooftops amid the iconic Jerusalem stone with the golden dome of the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. It was an auspicious day to be visiting the Old City, being Tisha b’Av – the day that Jewish people mourn the destruction of the Second Temple amongst other things. I shuffled my way through the throng of Jewish mourners, tourists and locals, and couldn’t help but notice the intensity of theheightened emotions present all around me.

The highlight was the opportunity to print at the Jerusalem Print Workshop. Here, I was blessed with the space to play with some of the ideas and artworks done to date using lino as a medium to print from, not to mention the excitement of connecting with fellow printmakers, mostly local and some visiting like myself. The Jerusalem Print Workshop is an art centre dedicated to the advancement of printmaking – established in 1974 by Arik Kilemnik, the building houses 2 galleries as well as a collection of rare old presses from middle of the 19th century. Its quite something to travel to the other end of the world and meet people who are equally as passionate about the process of printmaking. – it really makes the world a smaller place!