Our Partners Reflect

Rivka Saker, Senior Director and Chairman, Sotheby's Israel

“That unique spirit is being restored to Jerusalem and the cultural life of the capital is again thriving...”

“I first met Lynn in the late 1980’s when I was Director of Sotheby’s Israel. She came to my office to pick up a beautiful piece of Judaica that she had purchased. We began talking and our friendship was instantaneous.

“Lynn is a passionate person and she’s been able to channel her passion in a way that has deepened, enriched and strengthened Israel’s local art scene, while also helping to expose contemporary Israeli artists to the rest of world. Lynn has always known that art can be used diplomatically. Like high-tech, Israel’s cultural life is sometimes overshadowed by politics, but it’s very advanced, up-to-date and well-regarded internationally. Arts and culture can be used to garner Israel support, recognition and good will, often when we need it most.

“The Foundation has had a profound impact on Israeli arts and culture, from its support of the Association of Israel’s Decorative Arts (AIDA) to its help in creating Artis, a nonprofit that promotes contemporary Israeli art internationally and creates programs for Israeli artists to develop global partnerships. The Schusterman Visiting Artists Program is another great example. The Foundation has been able to bring Israeli artists—from writers and choreographers to musicians and painters—to college campuses for residency programs that allow American college students and faculty to intimately experience Israeli art.

“The Foundation has also made a profound impact on the cultural life of Jerusalem through founding the Jerusalem Seasons of Culture (JSOC). JSOC has created a young and avant-garde presence that is actively engaging the city’s youth, changing the city’s cultural fabric and restoring its place as Israel’s cultural capital. By altering the look and feel of a city that many young people have been fleeing in recent years, JSOC has created opportunities for artists to thrive locally. The 2012 season included 1500 participating artists from all fields of art and culture.

“Finally, the Foundation’s investment in the Israel Museum has helped it become one of the world’s leading museums. In many ways, it has been Lynn’s personal relationships that have created amazing cooperation between various foundations, museums and organizations.

“When Teddy Kollek was mayor, Jerusalem was artistically and culturally ahead of the rest of the country. With Lynn at the helm of the Foundation, that unique spirit is being restored and the cultural life of the capital is again thriving. Each summer, during the Jerusalem Season of Culture, Jerusalem is a great attraction to local tourism, buses are coming to the city from Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon, the Galilee and all over the country, and it’s been very special to be a part of it. Today, JSOC is the most contemporary avant-garde cultural event in Israel, gaining international artistic recognition already in it’s third year.”

Read more about our work in Arts and Culture