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Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design

BEZALEL ACADEMY OF ARTS AND DESIGN

school located in jerusalem.

The former Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts was founded in 1906 by the sculptor Boris Schatz and named for the biblical architect of the Tabernacle, Bezalel ben Uri. Within the Ottoman Empire, Schatz wanted to establish a cultural center and craft industry in Jerusalem's yishuv (Jewish settlement). The Bezalel Museum was founded as part of the school.

From the outset, efforts were made to preserve a uniquely Jewish artistic style. Funding for the project was provided by wealthy Zionists in Germany. During World War I, the school was destroyed but later rebuilt. It closed in 1932 but soon reopened as Jewish refugees fled Hitler's Germany (19331945). The "new" Bezalel, independent of the museum, opened in 1935. In 1955, it began training teachers and, in 1970 became an academy, with its diploma recognized as a B.A. equivalent. Under the directorship of Dan Hoffner, it was modernized, emphasizing design.

Ann Kahn

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