Manchester Cathedral throws open doors to Israeli artists to promote diversity and understanding

Manchester Cathedral has opened its doors to an exhibition by 35 Israeli women to promote diversity, tolerance and understanding through the language of art.

The exhibition, which runs until Sunday, features a series of 13 paintings inspired by the friendship and commitment of Israeli women from all manner of cultural and religious backgrounds, including Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Circassian.

The women who have contributed to the exhibition highlight a diverse cross-section of all the different cultures, faiths and backgrounds within Israeli society. 

The Dean of Manchester Cathedral, Rogers Govender, who was England’s first black cathedral dean, is well known for his efforts to accommodate people of all races in the inner city.

The theme of the exhibition is Olive Trees, reflecting peace, tolerance and friendship across communities and cultures.

Artist Hana Jabarin said of the exhibition: “I did not think twice when I heard about the Olive Tree project.  It is very important to accept those different to you and I believe that this is the way – through art, painting together and group exhibitions.”

WIZO, the Women’s International Zionist Organisation who have arranged this exhibition, was founded in 1920 in direct response to needs of women and children in Israel.

The organisation is one of Israel’s biggest social welfare providers, supported by a large number of volunteers.  Their projects work with people of all ages, from infants and children at risk to equipping vulnerable parents with key life skills.

Prior to coming to Manchester, the exhibition has also been to several significant locations across Europe, including the United Nations, the European Parliament and the Scottish Parliament.

In addition to the art exhibition, Manchester Cathedral has been undergoing a number of recent renovations, including a new organ that has been paid for by donation.

The venue continues to host events for the public, with a performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and ‘Our Faith – Our Planet – Our Community’ – an effort to bring people together to discuss climate change – due to feature later this September.

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