Professor Boris Schatz, one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Art in Sofia, Bulgaria, presents his proposal to establish an arts and crafts school in the Land of Israel to Theodore Herzl.
The Seventh Zionist Congress in Basel passes a resolution to establish the "Bezalel" school of art.
Professor Schatz establishes the Bezalel School of Arts & Crafts on Abyssinia Street in Jerusalem. The school's goals are: “to train the people of Jerusalem in crafts, develop original Jewish art and support Jewish artists, and to find visual expression for the much yearned-for national and spiritual independence that seeks to create a synthesis between European artistic traditions and the Jewish design traditions of the East and West, and to integrate it with the local culture of the Land of Israel.”
The Bezalel School moves to its new buildings on what has since become Jerusalem’s Shmuel Hanagid Street. New departments are opened and the school expands its scope of activities.
Bezalel is a huge success until World War I severs its links with the executive committee in Berlin and with its patrons and supporters in Europe. As of this year, the institution faces political, financial and management difficulties.
Bezalel closes down before the British enter Jerusalem. The Turks decide to deport anyone they suspect as possessing the potential of serving as a 'fifth columnist'. Accordingly, they deport Schatz to Damascus (and subsequently to Tiberias and Safed). The Bezalel School faces a serious crisis until General Allenby enters Jerusalem in late 1917.
Schatz returns from exile and the school reopens.
Albert Einstein visites Bezalel during a tour of various educaional institutions.
The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts closes down temporarily due to financial difficulties. Schatz travels abroad to raise funds for the school.
Schatz dies in the USA while on tour with a roving exhibition of works by Bezalel’s artists.
The Berlin-based executive committee reopens the New Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts, now headed by renowned Berlin print artist Josef Budko. Many of the teachers hail from Germany and are strongly influenced by the Bauhaus movement. Bezalel emphasizes the study of typography, graphic art and practical arts as an expression of the needs and socio-economic developments of those years.
Budko dies and Max Bronstein – otherwise known as artist Mordechai Ardon – is appointed in his place. Ardon is a disciple of the Bauhaus school who taught at Johannes Itten’s art school. World War II brings about serious difficulties, once again placing the school’s existence at risk.
WIZO (Women’s International Zionist Organization) takes Bezalel under its wing and agrees to provide 50 percent of its budget.
Following the end of World War II, the new Bezalel School finally obtains materials that were previously unavailable, such as natural linen. Many new students enroll in the school after the war, and for the first time, the number of students crosses the 100 mark, reaching 103. Among the new students are several survivors of the concentration camps in Europe.
Following the establishment of the State of Israel and the end of the War of Independence, the task of integrating the school into the national cause is regarded as an important contribution to the fledgling state. The teaching of arts and crafts, as a subject in schools generally, is held in far higher regard. The new Bezalel School views itself as duty-bound to expand the teaching of fine arts in Israel and become Israel’s premier academy of arts.
Ardon leaves Bezalel, and sculptor Zeev Ben-Zvi is appointed to succeed him. The government of Israel, aware of Bezalel’s historic importance and unique role, begins to provide funding. After a year, Ben-Zvi is succeeded by Yaakov Steinhardt, who is in turn followed by Yerahmiel Schechter, Yitzhak Aschheim and Felix Darnell.
In early 1955, the “New Bezalel” academy is declared an “Academy of Art.” The student body grows to over 200 and the building is expanded.
The Bezalel Academy of Art receives the Israel Prize on the occasion of Israel’s tenth Independence Day.
Dan Hofner is appointed to head Bezalel and works intensively to change the school’s legal, financial and academic status. This is also the year when Bezalel’s departmental structure begins to evolve into its present form.
The Department of Fine Arts is established.
The Ministerial Committee for Economic Affairs decides to turn Bezalel into a government company. Henceforth, the Minister of Education and Culture and the Finance Minister appoint the members of Bezalel’s Executive Committee.
The Minister of Education and Culture appoints a committee headed by Professor Hanani of the Technion. The committee recommends that the Council for Higher Education “take the measures necessary in order to bring the Bezalel School up to the level of an institution of higher education”. The Council for Higher Education adopts the committee’s recommendations, appoints a personnel selection and curriculum committee headed by Professor Danziger, and the name of the school is changed to “The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design”.
the Animation track was established, headed by Itzhak Yoresh. This was the only program that provided students with the option and opportunity to create animation
The Danziger Committee recommends that the Bezalel Academy be awarded the status of an institution of higher education and be advance the recognition thereof as an academic institution.
A committee headed by Professor Ezriel Evyatar recommends that the graduates of the Fine Arts, Jewelry and Ceramics departments receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree, and that the graduates of the Graphic Design, Environmental and Industrial Design departments receive a Bachelor of Design (B. Des.) degree. The process of converting Bezalel into an academic institution is completed as it is finally transformed from a school of arts and crafts to an institution of higher education. The Council for Higher Education assumes responsibility for the institution’s budgeting.
Professor Dan Hofner steps down as head of Bezalel and Ran Shehori is appointed to replace him.
The first stage of the consolidation of Bezalel’s academic bylaws, under the guidance of the supervisory committee appointed by the Council for Higher Education headed by Robert Wehrman, is completed.
A request is submitted to have the curricular program of the Photography Department recognized as a program for a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree.
The review committee headed by Professor Mansfeld submits a favorable recommendation.
Bezalel enters an agreement with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Council for Higher Education regarding the construction of a building for Bezalel within the Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus. The detailed planning process begins.
The Environmental and Industrial Design Department splits into two independent departments. Bezalel submits a request to allow the Environmental Design Department to award an academic degree in architecture. The Ministerial Committee for Economic Affairs decides to transfer all of Bezalel’s activities, assets, rights and liabilities from the status of a government company to that of a nonprofit organization operating an institution of higher education. The Bezalel Non-profit Association is officially registered.
A committee headed by Professor Aryeh Shahar of the Hebrew University begins to examine the possibility of endorsing Bezalel’s architectural curriculum.
Renovations of the Weiler building on Mount Scopus begin.
Three departments – Environmental Design, Jewelry Design and Photography –launch regular curricular programs at the Mount Scopus campus. The academic secretariat, theoretical studies, the Dean’s office and student union office move into the new building.
Planning is completed and construction begins on the new Benjamin H. Swig wing of the Bezalel building.
All of Bezalel’s departments and administrative offices move to the new campus on Mount Scopus.
The Council for Higher Education authorizes the opening of a first year of studies in the Photography department every year (previously, photography studies had been opened only every other year).
The Council for Higher Education authorizes Bezalel to award an academic degree in architecture to those completing the five year curricular program launched in the 1992/1993 academic year.
Professor Ran Shehori steps down as head of the Academy and Dr. Ran Sapoznik is elected to take over.
Over the next three years a new center of activity offering diploma studies and exhibitions, headed by Ziona Shimshi, opens at Bezalel's historic building on Bezalel Street.
For the first time in Bezalel’s history, a Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch.) degree is awarded to those who completed the curricular program at the new Architecture department. The department relocates to Bezalel's historic building in central Jerusalem.
The Academy's Senate decides to integrate the Video unit as a curricular course into the Photography department.
Bezalel and the Hebrew University decide to launch a joint study program for a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree. The Raphael Frank gallery is inaugurated and the Michael Rosner faculty lounge opens for all Bezalel faculty members.
Construction of the library, slides library (V.I.B. – Visual Information Bank) and new wing of the Jack D. Weiler Architecture department is completed.
Bezalel celebrates its 90th anniversary.
In January, the “Ancient Capital Cities” exhibition opens at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, the result of a cooperative effort of the Museum and Bezalel's Architecture department.
In March, a workshop and international conference are held at the Architecture department on the subject “Jerusalem – Utopia and Daily life”.
In May, the International Judaica Fair opens in cooperation with the Jewelry Design and Ceramic Design departments.
In June, an exhibition of Judaica artifacts opens as the outcome of a cooperative effort by the Rosenthal Company and the Ceramic Design department.
At David’s Citadel, a fashion show exhibiting swimwear and body accessories is the outcome of a cooperative effort by the Gottex Swimwear Company and Bezalel’s Jewelry Design department.
The Fine Arts department is named after Blanche and Romie Shapiro in the presence of the Board of Trustees.
An exhibition of the works of Professor Dan Hofner, Bezalel’s president between 1964 and 1979, opens at Bezalel’s historic building.
For the first time, Bezalel launches a post graduate program in fine arts, titled "The Bezalel Young Artists Program". Classes are held at the Bezalel building in central Jerusalem, which has been restored as a center of creative artistic activity.
As part of Israel’s 50th anniversary celebrations, Bezalel launches the “Continuity & Change” exhibition at the International Congress Center in Jerusalem. The exhibition presents 92 years of Judaica at Bezalel. Exhibition curator and designer is Muli Ben Sasson.
Following a year in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, the “Continuity & Change” exhibition departs on a world tour. In July, the exhibition opens to the public at the Jewish Museum in Vienna, Austria.
The Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation decides to support the development of the Visual Communications department. The department will henceforth be known as "The Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation Department of Visual Communications".
The Academy's Senate endorses the Master’s degree programs of the Architecture and Industrial Design departments, and the programs are submitted to the Council for Higher Education.
The first phase of the renovation of the Bezalel building in central Jerusalem and its adaptation to the needs of the Architecture department begins. With the opening of the 2000/2001 academic year, the Architecture department returns to the heart of Jerusalem’s urban fabric.
Bezalel inaugurates a branch in Tel Aviv that includes an instructional gallery. The Master’s degree and post graduate programs of the Fine Arts and Photography departments take place at the Tel-Aviv branch.
The Board of Trustees adopts the recommendations of the committee headed by Dr. Dan Ronen to revise Bezalel’s academic-administrative structure and formulates the new Association Bylaws.
The Council for Higher Education approves Bezalel’s request to launch a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) program in cooperation with the Hebrew University, as well as a Master of Industrial Design (M. Des) program
For the first time, Bezalel launches two new master's degree programs: in fine arts (M.F.A.) and in industrial design (M. Des.).
The Bezalel Senate authorizes the launching of a fashion design program (slated for 2004) as part of the curriculum of the Jewelry Design Department, as well as the establishment of the Cinematography, Video & New Media unit, as the first step toward a four-year diploma program scheduled to start in 2004.
The "Pirchey Bezalel" (= Bezalel Flowers) program is launched in cooperation with the ShaHaR Department of the Ministry of Education, the Municipality of Jerusalem, and the "Perach" (personal tutoring) project. The program, launched in 2004, involves the integration of Jerusalem elementary and junior high school pupils in morning and afternoon classes at Bezalel.
Bezalel opens additional workshops as well as the Design Gallery on Abulafiya Street in Tel Aviv.
Dr. Ran Sapoznik steps down as president of Bezalel.
Professor Arnon Zuckerman is elected as president of Bezalel as of the 2004/2005 academic year.
Aharon Dovrat is appointed as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Adv. Zevi Barak is appointed as Chairman of the Executive Committee.
Dr. Yaara Bar-On is appointed as vice president in charge of academic affairs.
The Council for Higher Education endorses the Master of Industrial Design (M. Des) program. The first class of master’s degree students graduates.
An exhibition of works by graduates of the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A) program and post graduate program is held in Tel Aviv and receives wide acclaim.
For the first time, Bezalel launches a unique program of multi-Departmental courses for students of the higher years.
Renovations of the historic building in central Jerusalem begin. The intention is to prepare the building to accommodate the Architecture Department during the 2005/2006 academic year.
The Council for Higher Education endorses the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) program, developed in cooperation with the Hebrew University. The first class of the Master of Fine Arts program graduates.
The multi-Departmental course program was first implemented in the 2005 academic year.
The Executive Committee decides to relocate Bezalel's Mount Scopus campus to the city center. The Ministerial Committee on Jerusalem Affairs authorizes the allocation of a plot within the Russian Compound for the relocation of Bezalel back to central Jerusalem.
The History and Theory unit holds its first conference, "Theory and Practice – Parallel Lines".
2006: Bezalel's 100th Anniversary
January 4, 2006: the President of Israel, the deputy Prime Minister and the Mayor of Jerusalem attend the opening ceremony of the centennial events and the inauguration of the exhibit on Professor Boris Schatz, founder of Bezalel, at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
January: an exhibit of 18 industrial designers from Bezalel opens at the Cooper-Hewitt American National Museum of Design in New York, USA.
The holiday of Lag Ba'Omer 5766 Hebrew (May 15, 2006 Gregorian) marks Bezalel's 100th anniversary. The institution renews the "Bezalel Notable Persons" tradition and the award ceremony takes place at the President's residence. Recipients include Mr. Morton Mandel, Mrs. Marcella Brenner, Prof. Arthur Goldreich, Prof. Micha Ullman, Mrs. Rivka Sacker and Mr. Moshe Gershoni.
The President's residence hosts the Judaica exhibition "Continuity & Change - 100 Years of Judaica at Bezalel".
Bezalel launches the triple-volume book "Bezalel 100" (Dr. Gideon Efrat & David Tartakover, editors) with thousands of images describing the history of Bezalel between 1906 and 2006. Mifal Hapais (Israel State Lottery) provided funding.
April: the History & Theory unit holds its second annual conference, "The Shock of Beauty".
June 29: the first reunion of Bezalel alumni takes place at the amphitheater on Mount Scopus with more than 3,000 alumni in attendance.
July 18 through August 8: 75,000 visitors attend "Bezalel 100/Terminal 1", Bezalel's end-of-year exhibition at Terminal 1, Ben-Gurion Airport (curator and producer: Professor Dudu Mezach). The exhibition occupies more than 15,000 square meters on the terminal's two floors and displays thousands of works by more than 400 graduates and students. Another featured exhibit by Bezalel's Master of Industrial Design program, titled "Goods to Declare", hosts 52 master's degree graduates from 14 leading design schools worldwide.
September: Facing the Community – hundreds of high school pupils from 10 high schools in remote settlements were guests at Bezalel for ten days of multidisciplinary workshops, delivered by students in the context of the "Pirchey Bezalel" personal tutoring project. The purpose of this project is to encourage pupils to enroll as students in Bezalel in the future.
October 18: inauguration of the renovated historic building in central Jerusalem – the new home of the Architecture Department.
December 17-19: the international conference "Mirrors of the Spirit: New Views of Jerusalem", attended by creative participants from all fields of culture, from Israel and abroad, closes Bezalel's centennial events. Some of the prominent participants were artists Tzadok Ben David and Micha Ullman, designers Ron Arad and Per Molrop, poet Salman Matzlacha, author Aharon Appelfeld, painter Meier Appelfeld, and researchers Nissan Calderon and Aviad Kleinberg.
August 2006 – July 2007: the international architectural competition for the planning of the new Bezalel campus at the Russian Compound. By the end of Phase 1 (ended February 2007), 188 proposals were submitted. A third of these were from Israel and two thirds were from 33 other countries. The jury, Professor (architect) Toshiko Mori, Professor (architect) Moshe Safdie, Professor Hanoch Guttfreund, Professor Arnon Zuckerman, Professor (architect) Zevi Efrat, and Mr. Yiftach Poran, selected five proposals. These, along with the proposals of four firms invited to participate in the competition (two from Israel and two from abroad), moved up to Phase 2 of the competition. In July 2007, the firm "Studio Architects" was announced as the winner.
The Council for Higher Education endorses Bezalel's independent Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) program. The program was launched in the 2008 academic year.
Bezalel submits its Master of Fine Arts Theory and Policy (M.A.) program to the Council for Higher Education.
The Council for Higher Education endorses Bezalel's Bachelor of Screen-Based Arts (B.F.A.) program. The program was launched in the 2008 academic year.
For the first time, Bezalel launches a bi-Departmental program for third year students of two Departments in addition to the multi-Departmental program, as well as a program of basic courses for second year students, which enables each student to choose a basic course from a different Department.
The international conference on "Ph. D. by Practice" was attended by the Minister of Education, Prof. Yuli Tamir. This lecturers' conference, which provided a stage for lecturers of the academy to present their work to colleagues, took place for the first time in 2007 and will take place every year on Students' Day.
The third annual conference of the History and Theory Department, "Right, Left and the Holy Spirit: on Art, Religion and Politics" was held on May 20, featuring Professor Tom Mitchell from the University of Chicago.
Other conferences, produced through the cooperative efforts of the History and Theory unit and the various Departments of Bezalel, included "Israeli Animation Today" (with the Animation unit), "The Hebrew Letter" (with the Visual Communication Department) and "The Israeli Artifact" (with the Ceramic Design Department).
Aharon Dovrat, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, passed away in New York after a long illness.
Bezalel submits its five-year plan for academic development (2009-2013) to the Council for Higher Education.
The "Bezalel Notable Person" citation is awarded to curator Jonah Fisher and Dr. David Polonski, for their longstanding contribution to Bezalel.
Professor Nahum Tevet, head of the Master of Fine Arts program, receives the Minister of Education's lifetime achievement award.
David Polonski, artistic director and chief animator of the film "Waltz with Bashir", and Yonnie Goodman, director of animation for the film, receive the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film.
Bezalel's Screen-Based Arts Department wins the "Best Animation Studies School" award at the 2008 Balkanima Festival and the film "Beton" by Ariel Belinco and Michael Faust wins first prize in the directing category at the same festival.
Rutu Modan wins the 2008 Eisner Prize for the best graphic novel of that year for her novel Exit Wounds.
Professor Zevi Goldstein wins the 2008 Ministry of Education's lifetime achievement award in the plastic art category.
Irit Abba wins the 2008 Andy prize in pottery.
Lana Dubinski wins the 2008 Red Dot international prize in the concept design category.
Gil Marko Shani wins the 2009 Nathan Gottesdiener Foundation's Israeli Art Prize competition.
Ilan Kaufthal was elected as the new chairman of the Friends of Bezalel Society, New York.
A new resource development unit was established at Bezalel, to handle both international affairs and public relations.
In July, the Master of Fine Arts program held an international workshop for master's degree schools from the USA and Europe.
Bezalel in the Community: 10 projects for the community were activated this year in the context of Bezalel's social activity, including "HaveRuth Bezalel-Hadassah", in cooperation with the Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital, and Bezalel in Eastern Jerusalem (Silwan).
Appointments: Adi Stern was elected as head of the Visual Communication Department. Haim Parnes was elected as head of the Industrial Design Department.
The Council for Higher Education endorses Bezalel's Master of Urban Design program of the Architecture Department. The program is launched in 2009.
Bezalel published three books this year: "Signs in Visual Communication" by Professor Avi Eisenstein, "Back Yards" edited by Professor Ezri Tarazi and Professor Yaarah Bar-On and "Protocollage" edited by Dr. Ben Baruch Blich, Dr. Gal Ventura, Dr. Naomi Hameiri-Dan and Dr. Dana Arieli-Horowitz. Additionally, the book "Bezalel 100" was translated into English.
"Haroshet" (= Industry), an exhibition by 25 graduates of the Master of Fine Arts program, was presented this year at the "Station" compound in Tel-Aviv, in a 19th century Templar house that originally served as a floor tile factory. 7,000 visitors attended the exhibition.
Bezalel's 100th class presented their finishing projects at the End-of-Year Exhibition, in the context of which the 10x10 event took place for the second time. This event showcased the 10 selected projects.
The exhibition "Bezalel: from Jerusalem to Paris" was presented in September at the Orangerie du Senate museum, Luxemburg Gardens, Paris (curator: Jonah Fisher).
Didi Lin was the curator of the exhibition "Vision – homage to Professor Arthur Goldreich".
The Council for Higher Education issues the quality assessment report regarding Bezalel's Architecture Department, prepared by an international committee of specialists. The report compliments Bezalel for its accomplishments and points to the status of the Architecture Department at Bezalel as one of the country's leaders for its intellectual, social and cultural approach.
Bezalel establishes a school for higher degrees, offering master's degree programs in fine arts, industrial design and urban design.
A new center, "Yaffo 23" opens at the main post office building in central Jerusalem. The center includes a gallery, a modern, experimental activity center for creative artists and Bezalel's external studies unit.
The Polonski modeling center for the computerized development of models using 3D printers is inaugurated. The center will serve students, designers and local industries.
The Aharon Dovrat Prize, in honor of the late chairman of Bezalel's Board of Trustees, is awarded to an outstanding student for the first time, in the presence of the Board of Trustees.
A mass audience international conference, "Seeing the Voices" is held in Jerusalem in cooperation with the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, with support provided by the Israel Academy of Sciences and the Advanced Studies Institute.
The History and Theory Department publishes a second issue of "Protocollage", a collection of articles.
Bezalel is accepted as a member of AICAD USA, the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, a consortium of leading art schools in the USA and Canada.
Appointments: Professor Dudu Mezach is elected as head of the Screen-Based Arts Department. Architect Yuval Yaski is elected as head of the Architecture Department. Dr. Rafael Zaguri Orli is elected as head of the Master of Fine Arts program.
The roving exhibition presented in Paris continued to Berlin and opened at the UDK university of art, in the presence of the presidents of both institutions and the Israeli ambassador to Germany (curator: Muli Ben-Sasson).
"The Box", an inter-generation exhibition by the Fine Arts Department, is held at the Mani house in Tel-Aviv, sponsored by Bank Leumi.
"How to Illustrate Love in Four Languages", an international exhibition of children's book illustrations by the Visual Communication Department with participating students from leading academies in South Korea, Germany and Bulgaria, is held at the "Station" compound in Tel-Aviv.
Bezalel's "Salameh 60" gallery presented "MFA/USA", an international exhibition by the Master of Fine Arts program in cooperation with four leading similar programs in the USA: Yale, Columbia, USC and the Chicago Art Institute.
Pursuant to the "Dead Sea" seminar – which had become an annual tradition of the Industrial Design Department – the Israel Museum presented "Sitting Low – Seeing Far", an exhibition of stools made from local materials.
The Council for Higher Education approved the launching of the new humanities program in fine arts theory and policy (M.A. with thesis). Professor Menachem Brinker will head the program, which is intended for Bachelor of Fine Arts, Design and Architecture graduates (and for university graduates in other fields, subject to complementary studies), and is the first program of its kind in Israel. The program is of the utmost importance to advancing research activity at Bezalel. This breakthrough would enable the development of a program for a doctoral degree in the future.
The Council for Higher Education endorsed Bezalel's Master of Urban Design program for qualification. The review committee of the Council for Higher Education authorized the opening of this program not only to architects and landscape architects, but also to geography, anthropology and sociology graduates.
Bezalel, in cooperation with the Hebrew University, offers a program for students accepted to the Computer Science program at the University and to one of the Departments of Bezalel. Some twenty students now study for a bachelor's degree in computer science and a bachelor's degree at Bezalel, and will become the spearhead in the development of innovative projects in interactive design and new media.
The Council for Higher Education approved the qualification of Bezalel's bachelor's degree program in screen-based arts.
A proposal for a Master of Visual Communication program is submitted to the Council for Higher Education.
An interdisciplinary laboratory of the Visual Communication Department and the Master of Industrial Design program developed interactive visual solutions for the General Motors Corporation in the context of an agreement for the development of an interface for car drivers (Window of Opportunity).
The National Insurance provided Bezalel with one million Sheqalim for the establishment of a unique support center in the field of fine arts for persons with learning disorders. Bezalel will be the leader of this new field within the national higher education system.
The Council for Higher Education approved the transfer of the Bezalel campus to the Russian Compound in central Jerusalem.
Eli Fatal was elected as head of the Fine Arts Department. He will begin his tenure in 2012.
Miki Kertzman, head of Bezalel's Photography Department, and Professor Hannan Laskin, founder of the Photography Department, win the 2011 EMET Prize for Art, Science and Culture in the field of culture and fine arts. The prestigious EMET Prize is awarded annually for excellence and academic or professional achievements in the fields of fine arts, culture and science, which made a special contribution to society.
Reuven Berman, a graduate of and lecturer at Bezalel's Fine Arts Department (1979-1994), wins the Ministry of Culture and Sports' Lifetime Achievement Award in plastic arts for 2011.
Graduates of Bezalel's Screen-Based Arts Department win the ASIFA AniMix 2011 competition in the student film category: Natali Batelheim and Sharon Michaeli win first place for their finishing project, the film "Howl"; Dudi Rubin and Daniel Sasson win a commendation for their finishing project, the film "Loaf".
The Bezalel Academy wins the Council for Higher Education's Shosh Berlinski Schoenfeld Prize for Social Involvement in the Community. A quotation from the Council's reasons: "The Academy has been a leading institution in the field of social involvement in recent years, setting an example for the involvement of academia in the communities at all of the institution's levels and echelons."
The Student Deanship establishes a unique center for instruction, support and social involvement, which provides solutions to all of the student's curricular, economic and personal needs. Additionally, the center develops academic programs that combine social activism, endeavors to make the Bezalel Academy accessible to various populations and serves as an academic knowledge and research center in the fields of learning disabilities, mental hardship and creativity.
The Council for Higher Education authorizes, for the first time in Israel, the opening of an academic orthodox religious extension of the Bezalel Academy, in cooperation with the Oman School for Higher Studies of Art and Architecture. The Bezalel Academy assigns the highest degree of importance to expanding the circle of students so that it may include broad and diversified segments of the population, including the orthodox religious population.
The Bezalel Academy launches the curricular program for a master's degree in fine arts theory & policy (with thesis). The program enables students to choose between a curatorial studies major and an art criticism major.
The Bezalel Academy signs a contract with the Jerusalem Development Authority for the establishment of a center for digital media and design at the Hansen complex (the former lepers' house), and begins operating the center by offering bachelor's degree and master's degree courses and activities to the general public. The center, under the leadership of Dr. Michael Fink, deals with technology as a tool for creativity in design, in an attempt to respond to the profound challenges derived from the rapid rate of change in today's world. It combines programs of advanced studies with laboratories that bridge between the various disciplines of design, media and technology, and cooperates with the school for computer sciences of the Hebrew University.
The "Bezalel Notable Person" citation is awarded to Norah Aviad and to artist Michal Rovner.
The roving exhibition "Bezalel on Tour – USA" presents the best finishing projects of some 30 graduates from different Departments and master's degree programs in the last 3 years throughout the USA. The exhibition was presented at MICA, Baltimore and Chicago and will travel to the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, the Maltz Museum in Cleveland, Ohio and to New York.
In May 2012, the BAAD Gallery (the gallery of the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design at 60, Salameh Street in Tel-Aviv) launches project Reservoir: an archive of works by Israeli artists. 400 loaned works by artists of all disciplines will remain a part of the collection for two years, constituting the core of the project. The project is intended to offset the commercial aspect, which has become a fundamental element of contemporary art, thereby preventing the potential influence of art on society.
The Bezalel Gallery at 23, Yafo Street in Jerusalem presented exhibitions throughout the year, along with conferences held as part of those exhibitions. Some of the exhibitions presented were "Another Possible World" (showcasing ten new video projects filmed in Israel during the last year); "Formatology" (showcasing a rare collection of more than 100 music cases collected over the last five years), as well as the exhibitions "Climate Culture", "Machines for Life" and "Master Class – Concert".
The Screen-Based Arts Department of the Bezalel Academy wins the best school for animation studies award for 2011 at the Ottawa animated film festival. Many graduates win first places at various festivals in Israel and abroad, including a nomination at the Cannes Festival, the ASIFA AniMix 2011 competition, the Haifa Film Festival, the DocAviv Festival, the Haifa Student Film Festival and the Animation Festival in Corfu, Greece.
In 2011, a selection committee on behalf of the Bezalel Academy selected the Japanese architectural firm SANAA, winners of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize for 2010 and one of the world's leading architectural firms, in cooperation with the Israeli firm Nir-Kutz Architects, to design the Academy's new campus at the Russian Compound in central Jerusalem. The transfer of the Bezalel Academy back into the historic town center is the Academy's flagship project for the coming years. The planning of the building is progressing and the design suggested by the architects was enthusiastically received by the Academy and the Municipality of Jerusalem. The completion of the preliminary planning stage and the town plan for the plot and the beginning of the detailed architectural design are all expected to occur in the coming year.
Among the many conventions held by the program for a master's degree in fine arts were: "The Uncanny: Psychoanalysis Meets Art"; "Too Much Reality" – celebrating the publishing of the book of the same title; "Art, Money & Power" – in cooperation with the trade union of plastic artists in Israel, held at the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art; "The Artistry of Last Works" – on the work of Zvi Goldstein. Additionally, the following conventions were held: "Outline for a Civil Architecture" – a seminar by the Architecture Department; "Here and Now: on Israeli Documentary Movie-Making" – a seminar by the Screen-Based Arts Department, dealing with issues pertaining to the connections between documentary films and struggles for social change, past and present; "Dead Sea Festival – Low Tech" – the annual Departmental seminar of the Industrial Design Department, held at the lowest place on earth.
The Ministry of Culture selects architects Dan Handel and Erez Ella, lecturers at Bezalel's Architecture Department, and curator Milna Gitzin-Adiram, to represent Israel at the 13th International Architecture Biennale which is to open in Venice in September 2013; Gilad Retman, a graduate of and lecturer at the Fine Arts Department, is selected to represent Israel at the 2013 Art Biennale in Venice; Noah Rubin, a lecturer in the Master of Urban Design program, wins a grant by the Israel Science Foundation for her thesis "History of Urban Planning in Palestine 1927-1947"; Maya Muchavski-Parnes, a graduate of and lecturer at the Ceramic & Glass Design Department, wins the Andy Prize for the Arts; Illit Azoulay, a graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program and a lecturer at the Photography Department, wins the Constantiner Photography Award for an Israeli Artist for 2011; Professor Nahum Tevet, formerly the head of Bezalel's Master of Fine Arts program, wins the Diezengoff Award for the Art of Painting and Sculpting; Elad Koffler, a graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program, wins the 2012 Rappaport Award for a Young Artist; Anat Kosti, graduate of Bezalel's Screen-Based Arts Department, is nominated at the Cannes Festival with her finishing project, the film "On my Doorstep". The Bezalel Laboratories – Research & Development Company, in cooperation with Arthur Bruter, graduate of the Industrial Design Department, and Ido Bruno, coach of the finishing project (a desk that resists earthquake damage), win second place in the Social Impact category of the 77Core competition; Annie Belitzki and Tomer Harari, graduates of the Architecture Department, win the David Azrieli "Tomorrow's Flowers" prize; Yael Alkalai, graduate of the Visual Communication Department, and Ronit Levin Delgado, graduate of the Fine Arts Department, win the Fulbright scholarship for master's degree studies in the USA for 2011-2013.
Professor Arnon Zuckerman concludes his term as President of the Bezalel Academy, having served in this office over the last nine years. Professor Yaarah Bar-On concludes her term as Deputy President of the Academy and Dr. Tal Ben-Zvi is appointed as her replacement.
Dr. Uri Bartal is appointed as head of the History and Theory Department and Mrs. Michal Eitan is appointed as head of the Master of Industrial Design program.