Overall, I give it two thumbs up.
I like the new layout. I like the tunnel. I like the Judaica and Archeology sections. The Second Temple Model (formerly at the Holy Land Hotel) was great (could use more shade though). And the Shrine of the Book (along with its Aleppo Codex exhibit) is always fascinating.
I think they made the museum less crowded with fewer individual pieces of art and history on display, but they chose the more interesting pieces and organized them better. It’s certainly roomier than I remember.
The (dairy) restaurants were good. No meat restaurants though.
I couldn’t stand their Modern Art exhibits.
I have no patience for what they want to call Modern Art. It’s idiotic. Feel free to disagree, but a mobile of hanging musical instruments, or videos of what could just as easily be fillers on MTV or PBS just doesn’t do it for me.
My kids couldn't stop laughing at the "Modern Art" videos - and that alone tells you the level that stuff is at.
Point of information: Guards do not appreciate it when children try to play the hanging instruments.
What I did like about the Modern Art section is they finally took out that super-annoying audio recording of the guy screaming “Shabbos”. I found it so offensive and annoying to hear that any time you walked near that section.
The classical arts section was fine.
Point of information: Guards do not appreciate it when children are holding cups of water in their hands in this section.
In the archeology section, I kept the kids busy by having them look for the dead bodies. They found them.
Point of information: Guards do not appreciate it when children try to look inside the ossuaries.
If you haven't realized it yet, if you’re going with kids, make sure the Renewed Israel Museum is having activities in the youth wing that day. My kids spent hours there doing art projects. During the summer they also have kid’s art projects outside on certain days.
Overall, well worth the visit - especially with kids. My kids were fascinated with every room we visited, and we hung up the paintings they made on our walls at home.
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