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Valley of Flowers

'Valley of Flowers', the name taken from a poem by Ahuva Ozeri, is a rare document revealing, for the first time, the contribution made by the residents of Kerem Hateymanim to the establishment of Israel and to its social life, community, and culture, in the broadest sense imaginable. A colorful and daring document covering a comprehensive view of the Yemenite community that settled in the area between Jaffa and Tel Aviv at the beginning of the previous century: a fascinating community that was imbued with an almost messianic faith in the redemption of Israel, that experienced poverty and deprivation, oppression and discrimination from its beginning, and still managed to offer a unique and vast contribution to the Israeli culture.

The exhibition reviews the Kerem inhabitants' operations, starting with The first pioneers - Yemenite immigrants who arrived in Israel via the 'A׳aleh Betamar' immigration project as early as 1881 (even before the 'First Aliyah'). They were never defined as 'first.' Their contribution to the establishment of Israel and their involvement in the underground organizations Irgun, the Lehi, and the Haganah, through the image of Geula Cohen, born in a Kerem.

The turbulent and mighty 70's and 80's during which the media marked the Kerem crime world as 'The first organized crime in Israel'... What is organized crime? Drugs, gambling houses, smuggling, black market slaughter, alcohol, protection money, money laundering, and more, run by an organized group that simultaneously runs far-reaching legal businesses, disguising the illegal businesses. Some members of the criminal world back then maintained contact with politicians and IDF generals and starred in the gossip columns. Among them were: Tuvia Oshri, Rahamim Aharoni (Gomedi), Goel Tanami, Oded Kaplitsky, Amos Orion, Israel Danoch, Shaul 'Scar', and others.

The birth and development of Oriental music and the Khafla culture, from the neighborhood to the music charts... through the life of Ahuva Ozeri.

An astounding musician and creator who has enjoyed the status of a musical, social, and gender heroine in the last years of her life. She wrote, composed, played, sang, and even taught vocal pedagogy (to Zohar Argov, Shai Tsabari, Ron Shoval, and others) and was called by some 'The Arik Einstein of Oriental Music.' Additional Kerem creators to be named are The Amranim; The Parvarim; the Sounds of the Kerem: Daklon & Ben Mosh; The Shubelim: Moshe Mashomer, Shalom Mori & Shalom Shubeli; Ron Shoval; Boaz Sharabi; Hofni Cohen; Yizhar Cohen; The Great Suleiman; The Sound of Oud; Rami Danoch; Yehuda Keisar, and others.

The religious and traditional life through the multiplicity of synagogues raised at every corner of the Kerem, pious keeping of the holy Sabbath and the holidays of Israel, and the story of The Diwan - Anthology of para-liturgical poems written by Rabbi Shalom Shabazi that includes love and longing poems from the holy sources, events, ceremonies, and family songs. The Diwan was copied in handwriting by every family that kept it as a valuable treasure. However, it was plundered from many families when they arrived in Israel, an act which was perceived as a severe crime no less than the abduction of Yemenite children.

The Primus stove restaurants that became touristic, cultural, and social icons, through Zadok Habura And 'Maganda' restaurant; the 'Shimshon Tel Aviv' football team And its stars; 'urban renewal' blurring the traces of heritage and changing the neighborhood's face and character and more.

The Hive, A five-episode audio series - the first of its kind in the world – was written and directed for the exhibition by artists Or matza and Alexa Lerner, inspired by Kerem Hateymanim's criminal affairs during these decades.

The series features prime actors as leading figures from the Kerem: Uri Gavriel (Tuvia Oshri), Gabi Amrani (Rahamim Gomedi), Evelin Hagoel (Ahuva Ozeri), Matti Seri and Yaniv Swissa, Netta Garti, Yaniv Biton, Hisham Suliman, Mickey Leon, and Yoram Arbel. The series were recorded using the innovative 8D technology (a peripheral reality simulating sound) to create a feature series, with unique scenes filmed in the original locations where the actual events took place.

Yehuda Keisar, one of the founding fathers of the Mediterranean Guitar and the oriental genre that characterized the Kerem, participated in creating the series' soundtrack. The series theme song is performed by Rami Danoch, lead singer for the mythological Sounds of Oud band, accompanied by Keisar in two original musical pieces written for 'The Hive.'

All these and more are created in Kerem Hateymanim and coexist there, side by side;

door next to door; neighbor next to neighbor.

The exhibition, too, will feature the main characters, side by side, among them the controversial and colorful figures that builtthe neighbourhood. This exciting and innovative exhibition will enable visitors to follow this melody's development and peek into controversial areas of practice that also contributed to the cultural richness created by this neighborhood's residents, whether by choice or through the necessity of the low-income reality, which probably pushed some of them to crime -

a cultural richness from which films that shake the foundations and stir the imagination are shaped.

Ayelet Bitan Shlonsky

Chief Curator and Director of The Bialik Complex

Exhibition Design and Construction: Studio Noam Bar / Alex Pafta, Nimrod Tessler, Gabriel

Curation and development team: Noam Bar, Rona Malkin, Or Matza, Alexa Lerner, Omer

Visual and Graphic Design: Ohad Hadad
‘Valley Of Flowers’ Logo Design and Typography: Alon Thier
Tribute to Ahuva Ozeri: Maria Elper Bar, Shir Levy
Harbata Textile work by: Liza Mamly
The Singing Fish: Karish Ha’Olam HaTachton (Underworld Shark) - Avi Bitter
Kir HaDiwan (The Diwan’s Wall) – Noam Bar
Social Media Strategy and Content: Libby Tischler, Social Media: Adi Mesika
Production and Coordinating: Noy Haikin
Production Assistant: Yotam Michael Yogev
Text Editing: Rona Malkin and Omer Oushia
Photography and editing: Gil Shapiro, Gil Weinstein, Dean Aharoni Roland, Tom Porat,
Shaked Barzilay

Research and Development: Shulamit Widrich
Research team: Daniela Reiss Razon, Ilan Sheizaf
Legal advice: Adv. Amit Dolev
Yemeni Consulting: Yuval Wajima

Video Art and Animation: Or Drori
PR team: Mira Ann Binaret, Mor Shovavo - Harel, Karnit Besson
Opening Gala Production: Eliran Paz
Bialik Complex Team / Administration, Marketing and Operations: Nava Harel, Arnona Bar
Sharon Bar-Zohar, Goldie Zimmerman, Gil Romano, Tal Hefner
A warm thanks to Tel Aviv – Yafo Municipality’s Community Administration as well as
Spokesperson’s Office.

'The Hive': The world’s first audio drama series of its kind, recorded with 8D technology
(peripheral sound and simulates reality)
Creators: Alexa Lerner and Or Matza
Story By: Ayelet Bitan Shlonsky and Or Matza
Production: Alexa Lerner and Or Matza
Direction: Or Matza
Screenplay Editing: Alexa Lerner
Sound Design: Alexa Lerner and Or Matza
Audio Special FX and Mix: Or Matza
Original Soundtrack: Or Matza
Musical production and arrangements: Or Matza and Yonni Gvoura
Guitars: Yehuda Keisar
Additional Guitars, Mixing and Mastering: Yonni Gvoura
Drums and Percussions: Tom Graziani
Bulbul Tarang: Or Matza
Production Manager: Noy Haikin
Production Assistants: Matan Samin, Alon Oz, Yuval Shmuel, Shir Mintz.
Special Thanks: Boaz Sharabi
© All rights reserved to Or Matza and Alexa Lerner
Produced for ‘Valley Of Flowers’ exhibition by Beit Ha’ir Museum, Tel-Aviv – Yafo
Municipality, 2021

Actors: Uri Gabriel, Gabi Amrani, Neta Gerti, Evelyn Hagoel, Matti Sri, Yaniv Suissa, Yaniv
Bitton, Hisham Suleiman, Miki Leon, Yoram Arbel
Sound Recording and Editing: Gil Shapiro

Opening Hours:
Monday to Thursday - 09:00-17:00
Friday, Saturday - 10:00-14:00
Sunday - CLOSED