Beit Shemesh, Israel - Jan. 24, 2022 -  In Israel, Beit Shemesh is home to a very diverse population. Many of the early residents were poor and Ethiopian Olim, however, today it has grown with new Anglo communities and various charedi factions who have moved from overcrowded populated areas. Often the headlines concerning Beit Shemesh are of conflict and protests.

The Beit Shemesh Mayor Dr. Aliza Bloch has made an effort to unite the residents, to work together, to receive their unique needs, and live in unity despite their differences. One initiative has Jewish artwork displayed in the lobby of the local municipality buildings.

A magazine mention caught the eye and sparked the interest of local artist Naama Goldberg, who felt her art collection featuring Rabbonim from almost all of the different branches of Jewish culture would be most suitable. Naama specifically delayed the exhibition until the beginning of November to finish producing the Chassidic Rebbes which were in development so that they could be featured and each Jew would be able to find their heritage and Jewish connection within the exhibition. 

In designing the interior of their Beit Shemesh home, a wall was allocated to showcase portraits of Gedolei Yisrael which she and her husband Asher considered to be an essential part of a Jewish home. She wondered how to feature Gedolim in a way that aligned with the modern minimalistic design that she had worked so hard to achieve in her home.

Working with her husband, they found factories had a hard time meeting their delicate requirements in the metalwork necessary to produce the modern designs, created from laser cut stainless steel on a bed of acrylic.

The couple, both Olim from South Africa, has lived in Beit Shemesh for 17 years. Challenges arose with the advent of the coronavirus in showing their art and having to move the business online. New challenges arose when it was suddenly possible to meet people face to face. They were asked for business cards and printed brochures but had none. There had not been any need for the year. “I quickly produced cards and brochures in Hebrew and English. The Hebrew brochures were produced for the exhibition at the Beit Shemesh Iriya which was our first event with a mix of Hebrew and English-speaking audience,” Naama told BJL.

“We are trying to reach Jews all over the world, to enable them to connect to their beloved rabbis in a modern aesthetic way in their homes and offices.” Organizations have bought portraits to give to their esteemed donors with a custom inscription. There is a real demand and each person has their own connection and uses for our portraits. Many have taken them for presents for their husbands or as an Illui Lishmat for their lost loved ones."

Further, she added, “We are very proud that we can help Jews connect to their roots while integrating their modern aesthetic values with no contradiction between the two. We are constantly expanding our collection so that each Jew should be able to find his Rav and follow his roots. We believe we can respect all branches of Judaism and their great Rabbonim even if we follow our own Rav."

The exhibition was held for one week in the lobby of the Beit Shemesh Municipality. A grand opening including opening remarks from Mayor Bloch with municipality members in attendance was featured in the local and national press. Mayor Bloch repeated Naama’s message at the opening ceremony. 

Ben Zion Fine Arts, the official name of the business produces modern, laser-cut, stainless steel portraits of Gedolei Yisrael, with the artworks merging Jewish values and modern design.

Ben Zion Fine Arts has received numerous requests to add more Rabbonim. The Goldbergs look forward to the expansion of their business in the future.

A current endeavor is to create a portrait of Rav Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman z"l, however, they informed BJL, they have not found a clear high-resolution photograph on which to base the artwork.

Anyone with rights to such an image can reach the Goldberg's at