A Month to the War: Bezalel Academy Mourns | Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem

A Month to the War: Bezalel Academy Mourns

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To commemorate a month since the massacre of October 7th, Bezalel held a memorial service in presence of students, lecturers, and employees of the Academy along with friends from the public among them evacuee families currently staying in Jerusalem. During the memorial service, President of Bezalel Academy Prof. Adi Stern addressed those present, and we bring to you his words in their entirety:

״Dear Bezalel community, guests, evacuated families,

It has been a month. 31 days, 744 hours, 44,640 minutes, countless seconds. Time has stopped, or more accurately, has become one long day - one long day with short intervals of restless sleep, of clinging to the news, to reports, to updates, in an attempt to understand.

But it cannot be understood.

The events that took place on October 7th – a date that will forever be remembered in infamy – cannot be understood. It is impossible to grasp, to comprehend, much less process the horror, the heinous murder committed by the Hamas terrorists. The massacre, a behavior that no civilized person, or any human being, can tolerate or accept. We don't have the mechanism, the tools or ability to understand the murder of innocent civilians, of women and men, elderly, teenagers, children, and babies. Babies!

Entire families have been wiped off the face of the earth. Communities and towns made extinct. 1,400 people, men and women. Among them, many civilians, from every part of Israeli society, and many soldiers. Since then, more and more are dying, both at the front and at home.

We also have no way to understand the kidnapping, the captivity, of innocent civilians, old and sick, children and babies?!?!?

239 hostages. The thought of all those who have been there for a month already, and the thought of their families, hanging on by a thread, waiting for a sign of life, that thought is unbearable.

We embrace the bereaved families, whose loved ones were murdered. Sadly, we know more than a few of them, also from within us, within the Bezalel community. Our hearts are broken. The pain immeasurable.

As has been said, there's no one in Israel who hasn't been touched by this disaster. No one who doesn't know someone who has lost someone.

We hope and wish for the safe return of the hostages and those still missing.

We hope and wish a speedy and complete recovery to those hurt and injured.

We are all experiencing anxiety, distress, horror, fear, confusion and agony.

Terrible agony. A heavy, clawing, and painful brick presses down on our chest. The ground has dropped under our feet, and trust, in every context, has been broken.

Yet as someone who is a child of Holocaust survivors – my mother lost her entire family, at the age of five – and as someone with family living abroad – and we hear about the rampant antisemitism in Europe and the United States – We understand.


פרופ׳ עדי שטרן בנאום לזכר הנרצלחים והנופלים
Photography: Dan Wainstein
עדי שטרן, אירוע לזכר הנרצחים והנופלים של ה-7 באוקטובר


We understand that this is our place. It's a difficult place, it wounds us, it is complicated, and it presents us with unimaginably painful challenges and tests.

But this is the country, and this is our place, for this we must fight and build. Yes, still now, 75 years after our independence, we must continue to build this country. And even when we disagree, we must carry on together.

We must also remember who we are - we Bezalel - a community that has been working in Jerusalem for almost 120 years. We've been through many wars, periods of terrorist attacks, pandemics, and many other difficult challenges.

I am convinced, though the skies are dark right now, and we cannot yet see the horizon beyond the fog and tears, other days will come. There will be other days, clearer and brighter. And we will be there, together, stronger.

I ask that you join me in a moment of silence in memory of those who have been murdered, killed, and fallen. After which I invite you to light a memorial candle."


מיצב להשבת החטופים. יוצרת המיצב: שרון בלבן, אמנית וידאו ומרצה בכירה בבצלאל. בשיתוף מתנדבים ומתנדבות מהמחלקה לאמנויות המסך.
Creator of the Installation: Sharon Balaban, artist and senior lecturer at Bezalel. In collaboration with volunteers from the Department of Screen-Based Arts


הדלקת נרות לזכרם של הנרצחים והנופלים ב 7 באוקטובר
Photography: Dan Wainstein