• Issue: July 2001
  • Artist: Asher Kalderon
  • Stamp Size: 30.8 mm x 40 mm
  • Plate no.: 457 - one phosphor bar
  • Plate no.: 458 - two phosphor bars
  • Plate no.: 459 - two phosphor bars
  • Plate no.: 460 - two phosphor bars
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein ltd.
  • Method of printing: Offset

The first part of this series was dedicated to the Bezalel ceramic picture of
Jerusalem, by the artist, Ze'ev Raban, (1925), which decorates the Laderberg House in Tel Aviv. This ceramic tile was the subject of the souvenir sheet that was issued on March 18th 2001 especially for the Jerusalem Multinational Stamp Exhibition, "Jerusalem 2001 ".

The current set of stamps is dedicated to four landscapes of Eretz Israel that decorate the facade of the Ahad Ha'am Municipal Boys School, Tel Aviv, built 1924. The building is one of the most important schools in the city and, by adopting Hebrew as the language of study, the school symbolizes the first Hebrew city Its special architectural style, the work of the city architect Dov Hershkovitz, harmoniously combines the Eastern style of the entrance, with many varied ceramic tiles of Jewish and Eretz Israeli character decorating the facade of the building, and elements taken from the treasures of classical architecture. Due to the importance of the school and its location in Ahad Ha'am Street, in 1926 the City Council decided to name the school after the writer and philosopher, Ahad Ha'am, who was then 70 years old.

The ceramic decorations on the facade of this historical building were created
in the Bezalel School of Art workshop and they illustrate subjects from the Bible, local landscapes, vegetation in the land of Israel and Jewish symbols. The combination of the tiles on the facade of the Ahad Ha'am School, the first public building in Tel Aviv to be decorated with Bezalel ceramics, signifies the desire to express the realization of Zionism in Eretz Israel and, amongst other things, the establishment and development of Tel Aviv as the first Hebrew city in Eretz Israel.

The main ceramics along the facade in the center of the building include Jewish elements such as the twelve tribes, the ten commandments, winged lions, a picture of ancient Jerusalem with the quote " if I forget thee o'Jerusalem may my right hand forget its cunning" and an idyllic picture in the spirit of Isaiah's vision "the wolf shall dwell with the lamb" which carries the Zionist message.

Symmetrically on both sides of the facade, above the windows of the first floor, there is an arch of scenes of four of the main cities of Eretz Israel: Hebron and Jaffa which are ancient cities and represent Israel's past and Haifa and Tiberias symbolizing modern Zionism. The Cave of the Patriarchs is pictured on the Hebron tile and the Jaffa tile shows a view of the old city.

The Technion building appears on the tile of Haifa symbolizing the establishment of the center of professional scientific Hebrew education in Eretz Israel and the supremacy of the Hebrew language (over German).

The Tiberias tile shows a motor boat, named after the well-known Zionist leader, Dr. Max Nordau, that was used to transport immigrants to Zemah from Tiberias where they came to from Kurdistan.

The depiction of these cities are the only reference to the connection between the past and present on the facade of the building and on each side there are two pairs representing the ancient and the new: Jaffa and Tiberias on one side and Hebron and Haifa on the other side. The signature "Bezalel Ceramics" appears under the pictures.

Batia Carmiel
Director and Curator
Historical Historical Museum of Tel Aviv–Yaffo Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv

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Bezalel Ceramics (II) - Hebron, Jaffa, Haifa, Tiberias