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Israel’s pavilion in Shanghai showcases the history, people, geography and scientific achievements of Israel—from computers and medicine to irrigation and music.
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At the Israel Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo, visitors walk past the wall with the painting of various well-known places in the Jewish state.

Israel Tells Its Story in China

Israel has set up a special pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai that illustrates its remarkable technological innovations, contributions to humanity and endurance as a nation. The large, teardrop-shaped pavilion, made of stone and glass, showcases the history, people, geography and scientific achievements of Israel—from computers and medicine to irrigation and music.

The pavilion, which promotes the theme “Innovation for Better Life,” marks the first that Israel has ever built at a World Expo. Its teardrop design also resembles two clasped hands, signifying the union of ancient wisdom and modern innovation.

“It’s not a museum to be looked at,” Yaffa Ben-Ari, the pavilion’s deputy commissioner, told The Forward, “but a way of making an emotional connection. It’s a dialogue between the old and the new, tradition and the future.”

The Expo, which runs this year from April 30 to October 31, features more than 190 countries and 50 international organizations and is expected to draw 70 million to 100 million visitors. China has spent billions of dollars on the Expo.

The Israeli pavilion, according to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, comprises three parts: the Whispering Garden, the Hall of Light and the Hall of Innovations.

Upon entering the pavilion, the Whispering Garden, an orchard, greets visitors, who then proceed to the glass-covered Hall of Light, which symbolizes technology, transparency, lightness and future.

The Hall of Innovation, the pavilion’s centerpiece, is made of stone and represents Israel’s links with the earth and history. It showcases the vast range of Israeli innovation and technology, which includes developments in the fields of agriculture, energy, science, music, literature, medicine and telecommunications.

The theme of the old merging with the new found apt expression at the opening day of the Israeli pavilion, on May 6. Popular Israeli singer David D’Or and the Hora Jerusalem dance troupe joined with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra to perform “The Spirit of Israel,” which combined both Jewish and world music and reflected Israel’s various cultures and its dialogue with China.

Other opening-day events included the unveiling of a new Israeli postage stamp commemorating the Expo, the display of two pages of the original manuscript of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and the screening of a video about Israel’s technological achievements.

Among the prominent visitors at the opening were Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan, as well as China’s deputy general representative to the Expo, Shu Zhan. BACK TO TOP