Abigail Klein Leichman
May 22, 2017

Yoga in Jerusalem, vintage clothing in Tel Aviv, craft beer sporting Hebrew labels… and then there’s sassy street art, indie bands, funky tattoos and vegan cuisine.

These are among the 11 snapshots of contemporary Israel captured in “The Guide to Hipster Israel”, ISRAEL21c’s do-it-yourself online exhibition for readers to print, project or otherwise display in any way they like.

We’d like to tell you about one especially creative use of this and our previous two DIY exhibitions in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Images from “The Guide to Hipster Israel” were printed on 18-by-18-inch sidewalk stickers and placed at the front entrance of the Simon Family JCC on the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community.

“We have so many members coming in and out of our building all day — Jewish and not – and it was fun to see people slow down and read for a few seconds, and on their way out they’d pause at a different sticker,” says Robin Mancoll, director of the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, who came up with this ingenious idea. “It was an opportunity for education.”

She had the stickers in place on the pavement a week ahead of the JCC’s Israel Fest on April 30 in celebration of Israel’s 69th Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut).

ISRAEL21c’s “Guide to Hipster Israel” displayed on sidewalk stickers at the Simon Family JCC in Virginia Beach. Photo by Robin Mancoll

“The stickers were awesome because they were so bright and happy. And they still looked amazing a week later,” Mancoll tells ISRAEL21c.

Everybody seemed to have a different favorite. “Our cultural arts program associate, who is Israeli, looked at the stickers and said, ‘That’s my mom’s best friend!’ when she saw the photo of the woman in a Tel Aviv thrift store.”

This was the second year that Mancoll made sidewalk stickers from an ISRAEL21c DIY exhibition. In 2016, she printed up “18 Ways Israel is Changing the World” for the week leading up to the annual Israel Fest.

The reaction was so enthusiastic that she asked her local printer to make 24-by-24-inch stickers of our next exhibition, “My Name is Israel”, showing how Israel sends humanitarian aid across the globe.

And when “The Guide to Hipster Israel” appeared on our website, she decided to place the “My Name is Israel” stickers on the sidewalk at the back entrance of the building and use “Hipster” in the front.

This way, people had one exhibition to look at on their way in and another on their way outside to enjoy food vendors and camel rides at the festival.

“My Name is Israel” exhibition stickers at the back entrance of the Simon Family JCC in Virginia Beach. Photo by Robin Mancoll

The stickers are sturdy, stay in place well and are easy to remove, says Mancoll, but they’re not reusable.

In addition to the exhibitions, the Tidewater Jewish Community – which serves Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Suffolk – has run poster contests using facts from sources including ISRAEL21c.

“We distribute cool facts about Israel to kids in grades 1-12 and ask each student to design a poster based on one of the facts. We hang all the posters in the JCC and it’s been fun to watch people of all faiths and ethnicities stopping on their way to the gym and looking at the posters and saying, ‘I didn’t know that!’ We then let people vote on their favorite and we put the top 10 online for voting and that makes them go viral.”

The poster that wins the most votes each year gets a permanent place on the walls of the JCC.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director