On the first day of the new year, I was standing in the middle of a park and a woman in a red shirt approached me.
She had the air of a new-comer and seemed nervous, as if I might know her name.
The woman, who had been a student of mine, had worked for the Israeli museum and was excited to join the ranks of the nation’s creators.
I felt that, despite being an Israeli citizen, I had not done enough to contribute to Israel’s national identity, she said, but I hoped to contribute by working in the National Museum.
The woman asked, “Is this the museum?”
I told her yes, but only if it was, I said, “for the national museum.”
I have been a member of the National Gallery of Israel for about 25 years and had not seen a painting from the National Collection since the early 1980s, said the woman.
She added that she did not want to talk about my background.
The two met through Facebook, and they quickly started talking about my interest in the collection.
She showed me a painting by Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and Holocaust survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, and I asked her how she knew.
“He wrote it down,” she said.
She mentioned Wiesel’s autobiography, The Wartime Diary, and my surprise that I had read it before.
“Wiesel is a survivor,” I said.
She said, that he died in a gas chamber, and he wrote about the suffering of the Jews who survived.
She then showed me another painting from Wiesel: “The Night of the Bally-Hoo.”
I had never heard of that painting.
“It is so beautiful,” she told me, “and so sad.
It is a great portrait of my father.”
The painting, which I was not able to view because of a budget shortage, depicts Wiesel lying on his bed in the camp, a prisoner in a cell next to him.
He is surrounded by a white sheet and a white scarf, which symbolizes the Jewish people.
She explained that Wiesel was a refugee from the Warsaw Ghetto in the years before World War II and fled to Germany.
She told me that, like many Holocaust survivors, Wiesel suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts.
I asked if she was worried about the museum being vandalized.
She responded, “No, I’m so happy to see that this is a work of art that was done by someone who was a survivor.”
The museum is in an open-air courtyard.
I was curious to see if the painting was still there, and when I entered the courtyard, I saw that it was.
I immediately recognized the work of Wiesel.
The wall of the courtyard was covered in red tape.
The painting was framed on the wall.
The museum staff, all women, held a sign in Hebrew: “My work: The Holocaust.”
The National Museum of Israel is one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious cultural institutions.
It opened in 1952 as the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Property and it was renamed the National Library of Israel in 1999.
It houses the collections of Israel’s greatest national treasures and the National Archives.
The National Museum also provides cultural programming and education for students and faculty.
The institution is currently working to upgrade its infrastructure and modernize its physical space.
The Museum of the Moving Image, a new museum building that will open in 2019, will serve as the first national museum of Israel dedicated solely to the visual arts.
I am proud to be an ambassador of the Israeli National Museum and the museum’s vision, said Miri Rosenfeld, a member and executive director of the museum.
I am proud of our partnership with the National Capital Planning Board, the board of consultants for the renovation of the building.
The building will also feature a digital kiosk for visitors to download documents, including a collection of works by Wiesel and other Holocaust survivors.
During my visit, I heard that the National Council for the History of Photography will be opening an exhibit on the Holocaust, along with the exhibit “Shelter and Healing: A Journey of Survival,” a collaboration between the museum and the Jewish Center for the Performing Arts.