The land of Israel has always been a cultural crossroads. To understand this land, the public was gifted the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibition, official opening day: March 10, 2015 at the California Science Center in Los Angeles (http://californiasciencecenter.org/).
It took two years to put the exhibition together. Half of the scrolls’ 20 fragments on display have not been seen in the USA. The exhibit, an attestation to the birth of Judaism and Christianity, in linear time, during the second Jewish-Israeli commonwealth, takes the visitor to biblical times through the famous scrolls and many artifacts, displayed courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority, all from the collections of Israel National Treasures, shedding light on life and culture in biblical times.
The Scrolls, from the beginning of monotheism, written in Hebrew by Jews and could be read by anyone who can read Hebrew, were hidden in clay jars in a cave for 2,000 years and were discovered in the Judea Desert by a wandering shepherd. The scrolls are the largest display of the most important archeological discovery of the 20th century, all are the spiritual national asset of the Jewish People.
Additionally, on display are archeological artifacts, clay works and a 2.5 ton stone used to build the Western Wall, all were discovered in the Holy Land.
The scrolls’ Hebrew writing are the same language the Prophets spoke. They attest to the peoples of the entire region’s connection to Israel and to the land.
The Movie – Jerusalem 3D
The docufilm (https://vimeo.com/15034110), 5 years in the making, is meant to reach the youths and leave them with a long lasting impression of Jerusalem. With a $9.5 million budget, producers Taran Davies and George Duffield, both with Jewish ancestors’ roots, British actor, Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, the narrator, Michael Brook film music composer, in IMAX technology experience, it is the closest one can visit Jerusalem without actually being there. The docufilm explores the intersection of history, science, and religion soaring above the ancient city in giant screen film, presented by National Geographic.
The goal was to show the three Abrahamic religions come together in Jerusalem, considered to be the center of the world.
Executive producers Davies/Duffield grew up with the images of ongoing conflict in the land of Israel. They wanted to show the other side of the story, another aspect of Jerusalem through history, in part Jewish, in part Christian, and some aspects of the advent of Islam. The movie, an amazing piece of visual art about Jerusalem, is carrying a message of hope, and is a spiritual, culture and historical celebration of Jerusalem, the most expensive piece of fought over real estate in the world, and the Holy Land.
David Siegel, the Consul General of Israel Western Region saw the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition in Utah and there after started to put together the exhibition idea for California.
The government of Israel Antiquities Authority, the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles, spearheaded by consul general David Siegel, assisted by his dedicated staff among many is Marina Rozhansky, Director of Media and Public Relations, the California Science Center in Los Angeles, spearheaded by the President and CEO Jeffry Rudolph, serving as President for the past 29 years assisted by his extensive dedicated staff and the Israel Antiquities Authority have amalgamated their efforts and have put together a precious gift for California and beyond public, the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition.
To ascertain all aspects of putting the exhibition together, Mr. Rudolph traveled to Philadelphia where the scrolls were on display and also to Israel, his first visit there, which he described to me as “Fantastic reception; I loved the experience, a wonderful combination of history and vibrant modern life.”
Dr. Uzi Dahari, Israel Antiquities Authority Deputy Director for Archeology and his Israeli experts’ team arrived to Los Angeles and have worked tirelessly to put the exhibition, to perfection, together.
This was a financial challenge in which Consul General Mr. Siegel was most instrumental getting the funds necessary from Jewish and non-Jewish sources. Major banks and corporation, such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Union Bank, the Defense Industry, such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and National Geographic contributed their sponsorship to make the exhibition happen.
Consul General Mr. Siegel sees the exhibition the height of Israeli diplomacy, bringing Israel to the USA through IMAX technology and ancient artifacts with the accessibility to feel and touch the 2.5 ton stone from the Western Wall.
Israel means, you see it and then you get it. The exhibition is not instead of visiting Israel but a preparation for a visit. However and in the meantime, the closest you are to get to see Israel is when visiting the California Science Center in Los Angeles, walking through the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition, followed by watching the docufilm Jerusalem-3D. It will be a day to remember for a long time.
Jerusalem: 4000 Years in 5 Minutes