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Talpiot, Jerusalem. Amid the factories of the Mekor Chaim district, a red building hiding treasures; it is precisely here where the workshop of the famous Israeli sculptor Zahava Benyamin is found – and entering in her studio is like travelling in time and discovering the history of the country and the various Jewish communities.

Zahava's sculptural work is easy to recognize in its way of bringing up both the history and holiness of Israel. Lately she has become a major reference in the design and manufacture of holy arks and Sifrei Torah, communities and rabbanim from across the world entrusting her with the decoration of their synagogues and objects of worship. Over the last thirty years her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and several of her creations have been offered to Israeli leaders, as well as American presidents, the Jordanian royal family or even the Moroccan royal family. In 2008, for the sixtieth anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel, Zahava was commissioned to create a Chanukia to be presented as a gift to George W. Bush, the American president at that time, Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert, the Prime Minister at that time, as well as the President of the Supreme Court.

This year Zahava Benyamin was once again specially chosen to create a 10m x 5m mural sculpture for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be dedicated to the Righteous Among the Nations on January 22nd by Benjamin Netanyahu, in his capacity as a Minister. This work, which includes a verse from Devarim (Deuteronomy):

"ואתו לא תכרת כי האדם עץ השדה ",

"Thou shalt not cut them down because the tree of the field is man's life" (20:19),

symbolizes the importance of the generous gesture of each one of these men and women all over the world, to have saved a life, maintained the human integrity while participating in the survival of the people of Israel and his return to his homeland.

Sarah Sahad
Manager and Founder of the Art’Drenaline Agency
Producer, Curator and Essayist
(Article published in Le Petit Hebdo, French edition, N°832)