The Etz-Chaim event is a unique site specific art project born through the collaboration of Studio of Her Own’s group of artists in their studio Alliance House, together with colleagues from New Spirit at Alliance House.
Jaffa Street is characterized by its buildings, landmarks to the history of the developing city. Two of these buildings, Eitz Haim School and Alliance House, mark a history unique to Jerusalem. They were built as Jerusalem’s first ever educational institutions and stood for the opposing philosophies that were a makeup for the new Jerusalem, a city now becoming the capital of a New Jewish State.
Eitz Haim School was one of the first attempts at institutionalizing ultra-orthodox religious study. Originally, Jerusalemite ultra-orthodox parents home-schooled their children, using respected and learned tutors. As Jerusalem became established as a city, and the enticing secular lifestyle threatened the continuation of the community, the teachers realized that children of all means need an education, to retain the teachings of their fathers and maintain tradition.
They established one of the first ever Jewish Religious Learning institutions for children in Jerusalem. Behind the Eitz Haim complex, the tall building of Alliance House stood symbolically, proudly providing the first ever secular education, in the Land of Israel. Today, both buildings stand abandoned on Jaffa St., as the institutions’ philosophies’ have branched into many different centers and Jerusalem transformed from being Two opposing communities with Two opposing schools into a city of multiple centers.
Once, these two structures were full spaces, buzzing with activity. Later they cleared out, empty and waiting for demolition, yet seeped with memories and scattered with artifacts commemorating what once was. The Alliance house, meanwhile, got temporarily taken over by New Spirit, until demolition date, and is meanwhile filled, by people and activities. Eitz Chaim, remains an empty space. In Hassidic thought, “a clear space” symbolizes potential. It is this potential that, as a group of artists, we will utilize.
September 13, 7:30 pm
Starting on the Patio of Alliance House, Kiach St. 3 Jerusalem (Behind the Market)
Participating Artists: Linda Lieff Altabef, Julia Aronson, Yehudis Barmatz-Harris, Yael Horn-Danino, Batnadiv Hacarmi, Yael Shimoni- Buchbinder, Adi Verner,
Participatory Performance: Hagit Molgan
Art Director: Aniam Dery
Coordinator: Yehudis Barmatz Harris