Beit Hatfutsot - Museum of the Jewish People (Diaspora Museum)
For our initial free day in Tel Aviv, we decided to visit Beit Hatfutsot, on the campus of Tel Aviv University. Listed in the tour book as the Diaspora Museum, this institution has multiple floors of exhibits covering the 2,500 years of Jewish life outside Israel, beginning with the destruction of the first temple in 586 BCE.
Although called a museum, there aren't actually many original artifacts here. Although compelling and formative, most of the exhibits are surprisingly realistic reproductions - which started me noticing how much of this land was based on illusion and representation. The museum opened in 1978 and hasn't been updated since, giving it more of that distinctly 1970's feel that permeates a lot of Tel Aviv. I discussed this with one of the guides in the museum and he also expressed concern. However, he also agreed with me that although the style of the exhibits was dated, as a museum dedicated to a culture that strives for timelessness, the content of the museum exhibits was completely up-to-date.
Following our trip to the Diaspora Museum, we had lunch at Suzanna. After dropping mom off for her nap, I ventured north into the Carmel Market, a fascinating and expansive collection of open-air stalls selling pretty much everything.
The thing is that pictures are everywhere. The question is what we don’t see, and why don’t we see so much. I just see it. (Harold Feinstein, photographer)