The BLMJ is known for its cultural and educational programming.
It leads innovative tours for school children, presents weekly lectures, and offers a variety of courses for adults.
The museum is a vibrant cultural institution offering creative programs for families and a rich array of activities throughout the year.
Since opening to the public in May 1992, as the only museum in the world dedicated to the cultures and history of the lands of the Bible, the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem has developed innovative educational programs for children of all ages. These programs center on the museum’s outstanding collection of ancient Near Eastern artefacts as the basis for learning more about our history.
Our professional staff of educators, guides and art-workshop staff design age-appropriate programs that awaken the imaginative and creative spirit of children and youth visiting the museum.
It is our philosophy that a museum visit at an early age enriches the educational and cultural life of our children and that to discover the wonders of museums, children must be enchanted by what they see, while at the same time challenged to use their own creative energy during the process.
The extensive collection on display at the BLMJ offers a unique opportunity to introduce children to archaeology, history and art through an encounter with actual objects that served the cultures and civilizations of our ancestors.
Therefore, our programs combine a guided tour of the museum galleries with innovative craft activities in the museum’s art workshops. This encourages children to experience what they have learned in the galleries in a tactile and creative way – thus increasing their understanding, enjoyment and retention of what they have learned.
For each grade level, our programs are coordinated with the school curriculum to complement their studies in history, Bible and art. The museum serves as a universal institution for people of all faiths who wish to understand the history of our region through learning about the cultures and the civilizations of the Ancient Near East.
One of the most exciting educational projects created by the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem is The Image of Abraham project. This innovative program combines educational and social challenges for all involved (children, teachers and parents), and opens the door for understanding and mutual respect. Thousands of Jerusalem's Arab and Jewish 4th and 5th grade students have met together at the museum in the last 20 years.
Coexistence in a Tense Reality
Mayson Kheir, former director of The Image of Abraham project, talks about the coexistence between Jewish and Arab children from West and East Jerusalem.
Since 1997 the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem has facilitated this unique project which brings together hundreds of Arab and Jewish 4th and 5th grade students each year. The aim of the project is to encourage contact, education for mutual respect and understanding between Arab and Jewish children living in Jerusalem. The project is driven by the philosophy that by starting at an early age, and as part of an ongoing educational process, a better and peaceful future based on a life of sharing and understanding can be achieved.
The project draws its name and inspiration from Abraham/Ibrahim, a key figure in Judaism and Islam and the common ancestor of the two nations. Abraham/Ibrahim embodies the values of respect for others, honesty and the desire for peace between neighbors.
The participants in this important project—the students, their teachers and parents—get a chance to meet and learn about each other through various activities in the museum, to understand more about the cultures and traditions of the two nations and deal with stereotypes and prejudice.
The collective "other", through this personal acquaintance, becomes individuals with names, families and characteristics that can be related to.
We invite you to watch the video below, in which Mayson Kheir, then Image of Abraham Project Director, is interviewed for the Knesset Channel about the project, on 13th November, 2014. The interview was part of a discussion about coexistence in the current complex reality of Israeli Arabs.
During the interview, Mayson shares her personal and professional perspective of the importance and uniqueness of the project and why she believes that this type of program is the key to coexistence between Arabs and Jews in Israel. She also relates some of the personal stories of participants in the project, and leaves us with cautious optimism about the future.
Watch the interview ->