Exhibition set to open Oct 16 includes photos and letters gathered from the public, showing the personal connection Israel\’s first prime minister had with citizens. \’The people mattered to him,\’ says curator.
We\’re used to seeing David Ben-Gurion in photos memorializing him declaring Israel\’s independence, giving speeches at the Knesset, or in meetings with heads of states who were visiting Jerusalem. A new photo exhibition, set to open on his would-be 130th birthday, reveals the more private, day-to-day side of Israel\’s first prime minister, who was fondly known as "The Old Man."
One such photo shows Ben-Gurion at the brit milah (circumcision) ceremony of Roee Zivun, a baby born to members of Kibbutz Sde Boker, where the prime minister resided. Ben-Gurion, who was chosen to be little Roee\’s Godfather, is seen holding the baby and recoiling at the sight of the circumcision.
Those photos and many others will be exhibited at Ben-Gurion\’s Hut in Kibbutz Sde Boker in the Negev starting October 16.
The exhibition, titled "The Old Man and the People," will feature photos, letters and other exhibits collected from the public over the past year.
One photo shows him shaking the hand of Ora Dat, also a member of the kibbutz, on her wedding day.
"He was the star of our wedding, so what? He told us to have many children, and we did as he commanded," said Ora Dat, who was in charge of the brit milah ceremonies and other family celebrations in Sde Boker. "He would come to all of the weddings and brit milah ceremonies held in the kibbutz. I think our wedding, in 1968, was the last he attended. Two months earlier, Pola (his wife) had passed away and we were surprised he even shown up."