These Are Your Citizens – Tell Them Thank You for Coming to My Birthday Party

Barbecuing in a nature reserve is generally considered Israel’s national pastime, and from the look of it, the secret ingredient is placing the grill near thousands of your fellow Israelis. The more crowded the place, the tenderer the meat gets. Sacher Park in Jerusalem is just a big patch of grass within the capital city, but nevertheless thousands of Israelis choose to celebrate holidays by having a picnic there.

Hagigit  , the Jerusalem artists’ cooperative I co-founded, erected its second outdoors photo studio in Sacher Park on Israel’s 60th anniversary, for that very reason. It was an opportunity to document a cross section of the people of Israel, and we had a lot of fun doing it. Here is a sample of the photos we took. Clicking a photo will open a larger version:

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Hagigit group was founded by eight graduates of the Musrara photography school in Jerusalem. The group’s main goal is to create and encourage interdisciplinary art activities in Jerusalem, including exhibitions, street performances and cooperation with artists in different mediums and with the local community under the belief that art should not be confined to a small section of the public.

A Letter to Israel on Her 60th Birthday

Dear Israel,

I know we aren’t that close. I admit I don’t keep myself as well informed about your goings-on as I should, but I do hear about you around town. You’ve got quite a reputation, you know that?

It’s hard to know what to make of you being 60 years old. Some 60 year olds are grandmothers, and sometimes you feel like my grandmother. Like when you paid for my 10 day trip to come visit you, and then lectured me about marrying a nice Jewish boy the whole time.

Click here to read the rest of this letter, beautifully written by Leah, my friend from the 2004 Birthright Israel trip.