David Mor’s picture of a man pushing a heavy cart of bagels up the steps of the Old City won the $5,000 first-place prize in JerusaLENS, an international online photography challenge created as part of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.
An exhibition of the 100 top vote-getters in JerusaLENS opens on June 6, 2017, at Ammunition Hill National Memorial Site in Jerusalem.
Some 14,500 photographs uploaded within a month and a half came from 84 countries and received a total of 2.4 million votes. That’s more votes than similar competitions for photographs of Paris, New York and London received.
The competition attracted photographers from Arab countries, including Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Iraq. More than 30 percent of the photos received were of the Temple Mount.
About half the photos depict religious activity in Jerusalem, with the Old City attracting the most interest. In the newer part of the city, the Bridge of Strings received a high number of submissions.
The second most popular photo, Dalia Rajuan’s picture of a man walking through the narrow streets of the Old City with the morning light peeking through the buildings, won $2,225.
JerusaLENS was dedicated to the memory of the late Israeli photographer David Rubinger. The competition was curated by Rina Castelnuovo, Gali Tibon, Ziv Koren, Avi Ohayon and Alon Wald, founder and director of Ammunition Hill.
Castelnuovo selected one photograph on behalf of Rubinger: Ariel Lebanon’s photo of teenagers sitting on top of the Old City’s walls won $2,225.
Unbeknownst to Castelnuovo when she cast her vote, the 76-year-old Lebanon was among the first wounded from the Paratroopers Brigade in the battle for the Police Academy in 1967. Moreover, Lebanon fought alongside Alon Wald’s father, who was killed in the battle on Ammunition Hill.
The free exhibition, running through August 6, also includes photos from the collections of Keren Kayemet L’Israel-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF); the ministries of foreign affairs, tourism, Jerusalem and heritage; and the Government Press Office. Sponsors include Hewlett Packard and PICO Venture Partners.
KKL-JNF representatives plan to take the photo exhibit on tour around Israel and world Jewish communities.