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My Jerusalem, The Eternal City –a Book Review

In honor of the fiftieth anniversary year of the reunification of Jerusalem a new collection of photographs of the City has been released by Geffen Publishing: “My Jerusalem, The Eternal City.” This book, edited by Ilan Greenfield, features the work of photographer Ziv Koren.

I know what you are thinking: “Another coffee table picture book?” But this one has a lot more to offer. Specifically, there are a series of essays from notable Israelis and political figures from around the world. Its contributors include such notables as former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat and of course Alan Dershowitz. There are also citations from late personages like Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.

While speaking at Jerusalem Reunification Day ceremonies in 2014, the late Israeli statesman Shimon Peres echoed Bialik when he said the city had, “gathered its children under its wings in inspiration, profound faith, and the longing for Peace. For countless generations Jerusalem has been a global source of inspiration, with a rich past and an even more promising future.” This quote is juxtaposed next to a hilarious photo of Peres sitting on his living room couch reading a copy of the English edition of the Hebrew daily newspaper Haaretz. It covers his face. A cable remote control is conspicuously placed on the coffee table.

An excerpt is provided from the speech that Yitzhak Rabin gave in Washington back in 1995 at the Jerusalem 3000 celebration. “Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish people and a deep source of pride,” said Rabin. Rabin also listed a number of things which described what “my (his) Jerusalem” was. Opposite the first page of Rabin’s remarks is a photo of the Knesset honor guard in full dress uniforms standing in formation. It is a close up of their hands in white gloves holding Israeli made Galil rifles. The other page shows a newly married couple walking along the Old City walls.

Other photographs include those of Christians worshiping in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, an aerial view of Muslims praying on the Temple Mount by the Dome of the Rock, The Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, and various images of Israeli soldiers and police.

July 21st , 2016 – Pride parade in Jerusalem. (Ziv Koren/Polaris)

And the photographs are not just generic Jerusalem pics. Too many books are on the market – as well as all manner of souvenirs like benchers and coasters – with stock pictures of Israel or Jewish events like weddings and prayer. Everyone with a semi-pro style digital camera thinks that he can be a photographer these days. They may get the lighting right and know how to use the focus properly, but they lack the professional eye for composition. Their photographs lack any sense of art. To paraphrase Bill Clinton: It’s the composition stupid.

Zvi Koren, however, is a professional through and through. The Shimon Peres picture described above alone is proof of this. Koren has been a professional photojournalist for 20 years.

He has been a photojournalist for Sygma and Gamma photo agencies, and a staff photographer for Polaris Images since 2003. Koren’s award-winning photographs have been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide, and Koren has published 8 books, lectures at workshops and universities and in 2008 he became a Canon Ambassador.

MY JERUSALEM: The Eternal City
Number of Pages: 151
Year Published: 2017

Contributors:
Prof. Yisrael Aumann
Ziv Aviram
Mayor Nir Barkat
Minister Naftali Bennett
Kevin Bermeister
Tal Brody
Matthew Bronfman
Kristina Reiko Cooper
Prof. Alan M. Dershowitz
MK Yuli Yoel Edelstein
Abraham H. Foxman
Dore Gold
Margo Gold
Blu Greenberg
Pastor John Hagee.
David Harris
Ellen Hershkin
MK Isaac Herzog
Rabbi Marvin Hier
Gal Hirsch
Malcolm Hoenlein
Gov. Mike Huckabee
Rabbi Rick Jacobs,
Mayor Teddy Kollek
MK Yair Lapid
Ronald S. Lauder
Isi Leibler
Prof. Deborah Lipstadt
Tzipi Livni
Rep. Nita M. Lowey
PM Benjamin Netanyahu
Pres. Shimon Peres
PM Yitzhak Rabin
Pres. Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
Rep. Ed Royce
David Rubinger
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
Lynn Schusterman
Rabbi Dr. Sharon Shalom
Natan Sharansky
Nancy Spielberg
Michael Steinhardt
Bret Stephens
Dr. Ruth Westheimer
Prof. Ruth Wisse
Dr. Yitzhak Yifat

Gil

Gil Tanenbaum made aliyah from New York after he completed college.He Has lived in Israel for over 20 years.He has an MBA from Bar Ilan University and is a contributor for various blogs.

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