Arts Letters & Numbers

I began 2019 arriving at Arts Letters & Numbers, a multidisciplinary artist in residency program in Averill Park, NY. In other words, I entered a snow forest, just far enough away from the bustling world.
We live in a big house: a weather-beaten, hilltop mansion that used to be all sorts of things in the past hundred and fifty years. Now, it is a creative home to fine artists, architects, dancers, musicians, and people who do a little bit of everything. The residents here change and shift all the time. Some come for a week, others for a month. 
My main goal coming here was to take some time away, in a very different environment than the one I had in Jerusalem. Living and working in Jerusalem for the past few years, I almost turned away from my artistic passions. I never stopped thinking about art, creating some and looking for it everywhere.  But there are some essential elements that lead to producing art and some of them are community, space and time. I am finding them here in ALN, and I will continue following them when I leave here, too. 

Sometimes you need to step far away from a place in order to get a fresh view on it or reflect upon it. I am processing my time in Jerusalem while here in the snow: through visuals, writings, and conversations with people.

In the beginning, I had some emotional moments emerging from the change of atmosphere or dwelling over past experiences. Those moments tended to happen after I had a glass of wine…

I think a large part of my core will always stay in Israel. But as I grow older, I learn to enjoy the places I am in and the company of those I am with at the given moment. I also think it is, to some extent, thanks to my core being more defined and stable than it used to be.

What I like the most about being here is all the people I get to meet in such a short amount of time. It reminds me of college 🙂 which I missed, social wise. 

Winter is rough here. I think I have never experienced a colder winter. There is a short walk between the house and the studio building. Which means I always HAVE to wear two layers of pants and many more layers above my waist.

Sometimes my brain turns off in the middle of the day because I am cold, it only comes back after a hot shower.

Magic from Nachlaot

It’s time to explain why I love Nachlaot.

Nachlaot is a very Jewish neighborhood. But it is diversely Jewish, meaning, it has the Jewish world crammed together in its small 23 courtyards. And even in Israel, this is a bit uncommon.

It has religious folks of all kinds, who go back and forth between the many hidden synagogues. They try hard not to look at the secular folks who don’t wear too many layers. The hippies of Nachlaot are, in my humble opinion, also very Jewish because there is a certain way to be a secular jew, a liberal jew, a hippie jew, or all of them combined.

There are Mizrahi, Ashkenazi, and Ethiopian sub-neighborhoods. Yiddish, French, Arabic, Amharic and American English are part of town. Hebrew blankets over them though, always keeping its alluring balance as the language of ancient prayers (sang around each corner on Shabbat) as well as pornographic wall poems and funky political signs.

Many things are going on, and I like to simply wander around and absorb them.

There are people arguing loudly about stupid things, they stop to laugh about something, then resume arguing, with passion.  A couple is cursing each other in the middle of an alley; you cannot distinguish if they are going to kill each other or if their love is simply too strong.
There are those who found god, they smoke about it with everyone who cares to listen. Small girls, not older than 6, with long skirts and shiny shoes; their hair is restrained in a long braid behind their neck. Young minds who go to Uni, work 5 different jobs, go to a demonstration and then stay up all night doing creative things. The Americans who came to learn the truth and maybe save everyone. And the grandma who doesn’t understand when did her street become so hip. She cleans her flat patiently, wishes for the weirdos to leave.

I love the livelihood, the sense of community that almost contradicts the differences in the place, I like that everything is beautiful and messy at the same time.

But what I like the most about Nachlaot is the strange peaceful air that maintains itself along the narrow streets, at the heart of Jerusalem, where peaceful doesn’t seem to belong.

This Menorah has been chained to the wall since the Romans 

David doesn’t look happy


“You still don’t know it but one day there will be a beautiful garden here! Until then, let the Pineapples grow in peace, and don’t throw garbage on them! “

Ice Cream and “There is no one but He” 
I don’t think you need more than god and Ice cream. 

“Stopping the Deportation” (of Asylum seekers) 

“So how do you drink your coffee?”