Exhibition curator Nitza Behroozi Baroz
Opening date December 1st, 2019
The Zackai family Hanukkah lamp collection is the result of the work of Drora and Pinchas Zackai. It comprises Hanukkah lamps from Israel and the Diaspora, which represent different styles of the regions in which they were collected and the periods in which they were made.
The couple received one of the Hanukkah lamps as a wedding gift, and this sparked their interest in everyday Jewish artifacts used by all families. This was the beginning of their search for more Hanukkah lamps. And thus, throughout their lives they continued to collect item after item. Eventually they had collected some sixty Hanukkah lamps which were exhibited in their home for the family’s enjoyment.
Anyone who looks at the lamps, which reflect their different appearance over generations, is sure to be animated by the wealth and diversity of form, material, and techniques, which create a link between spectators and the desire of the collectors to open a window to the cultural history of Jewish communities, and confer it to future generations.
The exhibition is homage to the collector and his wife, and immortalizes their work in collecting and preserving the cultural-material atmosphere of the Jewish Diaspora. We are about to set off on a journey in the footsteps of Hanukkah lamps, to the different places and times of Jewish life over the generations.
A great many resources were invested in preparing this exhibit, in researching the origins and preserving the Hanukah lamps that were restored to former glory. All these provide the lamps with historical and emotional value.
The exhibition and the catalogue would not have been possible without the praiseworthy initiative of the couple’s daughter Yael Almog Zackai who worked to exhibit them in the museum for the general public, which includes organization of educational and cultural activities. Her wish to exhibit the Hanukkah lamps in the museum was the result of a desire to celebrate the unique character of her parents and their passion for collecting and their deep love of all humankind.