Weizmann School Project – The Complete Jessy Cohen Museum
- תאריך פתיחה: 01/07/2017
The Weizmann School Project is part of the Complete Jessy Cohen Museum which was founded in 2016 by artists Effi & Amir together with a local team of neighborhood residents. In 2017 the Museum staff decided to focus on the Weizmann School, an elementary school that operated in the neighborhood from 1958 until 2012 when it was closed down, and today houses the Israeli Center for Digital Art. Together with the Museum staff, the project team, comprised of the school’s graduates, the project is investigating the school’s local history through the memories of pupils and teachers who passed through it over the years of its activity.
By means of group encounters, interviews, and discussions the project is mapping the experience of learning at the school over the generations, and the changes that took place in the school, as well as in the neighborhood residents’ attitude toward it over the years. At the center of the project is the complex relationship between the various waves of immigration and the school as a site of initiation into Israeli culture as it was manifested in teacher-pupil relationships and practices comprising school life: excursions around the country, commemoration ceremonies, celebrating festivals, and so forth.
Through a joint thinking and research process the project examines and formulates the special role played by the Weizmann School within the fabric of the Jessy Cohen neighborhood: as a site for acclimatization to Israeli society, as a social and cultural center, and for many of its pupils as a second home.
The joint process of remembering brings to the surface forgotten experiences from the neighborhood’s past, meaningful moments for individuals and groups, and people who shaped the school’s life and those who attended it over the years. A retrospective view through memories enables a joint observation that is both nostalgic and critical, examining the specific school as well as broader meanings of Israel’s education system. This observation reveals the challenges entailed in the process of learning in an immigrant society, but also ways of contending with them and the various solutions provided by individuals for these difficulties.
The elusiveness of memory and its changing nature are actually what sharpen the moments preserved in our mind over the years. Time and memory separate the essential from the incidental and reveal the most meaningful in refined form. In the course of the project differences between the various perspectives of those remembering are revealed, as well as the complex relationship between personal, collective, and national memory