Star of David Art Shines on the Negev as a Beacon of Hope and Healing
Soroka Medical Center now home to "The History of the Star of David" public art installation by artist and filmmaker Marc Bennett.
"The History of the Star of David" art installation is now on view at its permanent home at Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva, Israel. Artist and filmmaker Marc Bennett’s monumental artwork greets visitors, patients and their families with its uplifting color palette depicting the enduring journey of the world's most recognizable star. American Friends of Soroka Medical Center commissioned Bennett to create this installation, which is the largest of its kind, standing 16 feet tall and spanning 24 feet wide. This permanent public art installation produced on a striking stainless steel material shines as a beacon of hope throughout the Healing Garden adjacent to the Legacy Heritage Oncology Center and Dr. Larry Norton Institute at the campus in Be’er Sheva.
“While I’m in chemo treatment, I can look out of my room and see these gorgeous colors and imagine that I’m as strong as those stars looking back at me” said a recent patient at Soroka.
“This is a significant opportunity for Soroka to support its life-saving mission through the healing power of art,” states Rachel Heisler Sheinfeld, Executive Director for the American Friends of Soroka Medical Center.
"The History of the Star of David" installation at Soroka provides visitors with a unique cultural experience that honors three pillars of Jewish heritage: education, tolerance, and giving. It is in this spirit that Marc Bennett has partnered with Soroka Medical Center to share a powerful message of hope and healing. Accompanying the installation will be an educational panel and scannable QR code that reveals the many stories of perseverance as witnessed by Judaism’s iconic star throughout the ages. In order to serve its multicultural population, all related information is published in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Soroka’s public art initiative is also exploring collaborations with local and national tourism boards to welcome visiting tour groups, student led art tours, children's art workshops, and other educational programs to enhance the learning value of Bennett’s art. Soroka’s proximity to and partnership with Ben Gurion University places "The History of the Star of David" artwork at the center of the Negev’s cultural hub, uniquely positioning the work to inspire visitors and promote cross-cultural engagement.
Prof. Itzhak Avital, Executive Medical Director of Soroka’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and Chairman of Surgery has shown enthusiasm for the project from the inception. Now that it is part of the campus he is moved by watching visitors, patients and staff connect with the powerful piece. “This masterpiece is just what our garden needed. It’s a place to relax, ponder and gain hope,” explains Avital. “If the Magen David survived so many tribulations, so too can the cancer patient. It goes way beyond art.”
Art in this case is healing, emotional, inspirational and may also be a source of sought after supplemental funding. This installation brings notoriety to the institution which helps with global donor development. There is also a long term vision for support through the assets of the art itself.
"'The History of the Star of David' art’s vibrant jewel-tone colors and images provide a plethora of licensing opportunities for associated art and art-related merchandise,” remarks Mindy Gale, CEO of Gale Branding. “From charm bracelets to treasured tabletop items and Judaica pieces, these will provide Soroka with a steady stream of additional funding to support its mission for generations to come.”
Looking to the future, the work of art is expected to generate significant revenue. Ten percent of worldwide art and art-related merchandise sales will go directly to Soroka. Branded merchandise will be available for purchase on-site, online at StarofDavidArt.com, museum gift shops, Jewish centers, and specialty stores around the world. The universal message of hope for the future told by each of the 18 stars featured on the piece reminds viewers that they too have the power to endure adversity through strength, perseverance, and faith.
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"The History of the Star of David" by Marc Bennett is an artwork that explores the long and complex history of the Star of David through 18 iterations of its use spanning centuries. The artwork allows viewers to bear witness to the depths and heights of the journey of the Jewish people. “The History of the Star of David” artwork both inspires and educates the public on the development of this symbol and the meanings it has come to represent as a result of its proliferation from remote antiquity up to the current State of Israel in the twenty-first century. It evokes a sense of survival and
determination, as well as a celebration of Jewish culture, tradition and faith. StarofDavidArt.com
Marc Bennett is an artist and filmmaker from Brooklyn, NY and is a member of the Directors of America. He received his education at The Brooklyn Museum Art School and The School of Visual Arts in New York City. Bennett has been honored with the Art of California Magazine’s "Discovery Award," the Stamford Art Association's "Color Award,” the World Medal from the New York Festival's Television Advertising Awards, and the Best Shorts Competition “Outstanding Achievement Humanitarian Award,” which honors filmmakers who are bringing awareness to important issues and committed to making a difference in the world. His artwork has been used in campaigns to raise money and awareness for organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, Hadassah, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the Museum of Tolerance. Bennett’s artwork is part of many private and public collections and is on display throughout the US and Israel. His directorial projects include the animated short film "The Tattooed Torah,” narrated by Ed Asner, which was named one of the top "10 Films That Keep the Holocaust Fresh in Our Memories,” by The Wrap, and the upcoming feature-length documentary “For the Living," an inspirational story about the annual bike ride from Auschwitz to the JCC Krakow. Bennett is committed to art and film as visual languages that entertain, educate, enlighten, and inspire positive change worldwide. StarofDavidArt.com/the-artist
American Friends of Soroka Medical Center (AFS) is a New York State 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. AFS is a community of individuals, families, foundations and businesses dedicated to supporting the vision and lifesaving work of Soroka Medical Center. AFS educates the U.S. public about Soroka’s break-through research and global impact, as well as cultivates philanthropic funding to ensure Soroka achieves its goals. Soroka.org Soroka Medical Center is Israel’s leading healthcare institution, providing world-class healthcare for all. Located in Be’er Sheva, it is the sole medical center for the Negev, one of the country’s most diverse and fastest-growing regions. Soroka serves over 1.2 million residents, including over 400,000 children, servicing an area that comprises 60 percent of Israel’s land mass. With two medical schools, a proven record of producing ground-breaking research and life-saving treatments, as well as an extraordinary staff, Soroka offers exceptional healthcare for all, regardless of race, religion, or politics. This unique institution, founded in 1959, exemplifies a deep commitment to outstanding medical care, peaceful coexistence in action and medical research and innovation that has a global impact. Soroka.org