Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod
The Mishkan Museum in Ein Harod, located in the northern periphery of Israel in the Gilboa regional council,
is listed on CNN Travel as one of the three most important museums in Israel.
Writings from the archives of Kibbutz Ein Harod bear witness to conversations held by the founding
members of the kibbutz that while living in tents and before the kibbutz had a dining room, these pioneers
prioritized creating a space for art (even in 1920), believing their lives required art.
While the guns were roaring and the kibbutz members were burying their dead from the War of Liberation,
the museum was opened in 1948 and still resides in the same building today.
The purpose of the building is to present art in an innovative and groundbreaking way for that period. Using
natural light and standing directly in front of the work was how the architect Shmuel Bickels (Lvov, 1909-
Kibbutz Beit HaShita, 1975) believed the art should be seen. In this manner, the artist's story and the spirit
of the time could be told. The building is a magnet for architects from all over the world to this day.
Despite the fear of being portrayed as ancient, the museum chose to be off-mainstream and focus on the
Jewish story of the 19th-20th centuries and how it grew, developed, and integrated with the establishment
of Israel. The exhibits illustrate the history of its founders - Art is a way to hold into life. It is bread for the
In the storage of the museum, there are about 20,000 works that have not yet been revealed, while the
permanent display has room for only a few dozen.
In the first part of the gallery, the museum celebrates 100 years of the pioneering Zionist vision and how art
reflects its contribution to the building of the State of Israel. The second gallery presents how Israeli art is
reflected through its landscape and focuses on the inner truth of the creator and the independence of the
individual. The third gallery links Jewish and Israeli art and reflects the connection between narrative and
Another exhibition in the museum is dedicated to Judaica from the end of the 18th century, unique items
that tell the story of communities which perished during the Holocaust.
Lovers of Zionist history, and not only art lovers, will enjoy the museum and will be able to learn through it
exactly how the State of Israel was built and how universal values, such as the value of man and his place in
society, are reflected in art and what is the role of art is in different periods throughout Jewish history.
Today, the museum is, among other things, an educational tool for the education system to convey
meaningful and enriching content to children and youth. Art is used to teach different fields of thought such
as history, literature and citizenship using the English language.
In addition, there are therapeutic workshops for at-risk youth and people in rehabilitation. Through art,
people connect to their personal story, tell about the challenges in their lives, and build a better reality.
Recently, the museum developed a syllabus called ZOOM Art. In the last year, the project operated as a pilot
in the Jewish community in St. Louis, Missouri with 9 schools. Zoom Art is a hybrid educational program
exploring Israeli-Jewish culture, history, current events, and identity through art. The guided digital museum
tours, followed by a discussion and corresponding art workshop, are inspired by the Museum art collection.
This program was also shared by an older audience and has been very successful for the dialogue and
familiarization with Israeli society which it enables. In the coming weeks, the program will be published as
part of the variety of programs that the museum offers, and being hybrid, it will be possible to offer it as part
of your Israel Engagement programs for your communities.
In the coming months, the museum will host the exhibition, "Brothers to the Art We Are" by the Abu-Shakra
family from Umm Al Fahem. Five artists, all Israeli Arabs from one family, despite the poverty that prevailed
in their home, were encouraged by their mother to create this exhibit. Their art reflects dialogue, co-
existence and tolerance and overflows with the dreams and hopes of a minority in Israeli society.
As part of the Gilboa/Afula region, during Covid-19 the Museum also developed the "Disruption and
Reemergence" program in collaboration with the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, generously
sponsored by the Berkshires Jewish Federation.
The museum works in cooperation with the regional councils in the North of Israel and is a part of the day-
to-day life of the region through its capacity to host activities and events. Through their educational
programs they aim to be the "heart of the community", creating a safe space for people of all backgrounds
and ages to engage with art, with history, and with one another. The museum also offers opportunities for
integration into culture on different levels including education, creativity, and a variety of community