Exhibit lets visitors experience Israel though nine doors

Open A Door To Israel exhibition curator Zavi Apfelbaum (right) with a scene from a Jewish day of rest dinner and (left) playing a game of beach paddle ball with an opponent on the screen.
Open A Door To Israel exhibition curator Zavi Apfelbaum (above) with a scene from a Jewish day of rest dinner and playing a game of beach paddle ball with an opponent on the screen.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Open A Door To Israel exhibition curator Zavi Apfelbaum (right) with a scene from a Jewish day of rest dinner and (left) playing a game of beach paddle ball with an opponent on the screen.
Open A Door To Israel exhibition curator Zavi Apfelbaum with a scene from a Jewish day of rest dinner and (above) playing a game of beach paddle ball with an opponent on the screen.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Interactive doors at an exhibition open to reveal videos on various aspects of Israeli life

Sit down to a Shabbat (Jewish day of rest) dinner with an Israeli family, play a game of matkot (beach paddle ball game popular in Israel) or join the merry-making at a traditional Hasidic wedding at Open A Door To Israel, a multi-sensory exhibition that transports visitors to the Middle Eastern country through interactive doors.

Opening today at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, the free exhibition is literally as its name suggests.

Instead of a series of wordy information panels, visitors can experience slices of Israel life through large LED screens that are hidden behind nine doors.

The screens come to life once a visitor opens a door and will display videos that reflect on a specific theme such as family, heritage, culture or education.

At the "Family" door, visitors press on a doorbell and peek into the homes of Israeli families engaging in various activities.

In one scene, a mother is reading a bedtime story to her children and in another, a family is sitting down to a Shabbat dinner.

  • VISIT IT / OPEN A DOOR TO ISRAEL

  • WHERE: Hall C, Sands Expo and Convention Centre, 1 Bayfront Avenue

    WHEN: Till Dec 23, 10am to 8pm daily

    ADMISSION: Free

    INFO: www.facebook.com/IsraelinSingapore/

Visitors can be hands-on for some of the exhibits. They can spin on a DJ console to join a gay pride parade in Tel Aviv or street party in Jerusalem, or use a wooden racquet to play a game of matkot with an opponent on the screen.

The exhibition's unconventional format makes for a more "fun and engaging" experience for visitors "aside from just reading content", says curator Zavi Apfelbaum.

She is also deputy director of the public diplomacy, academic and branding department at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The 15-day exhibition is created by the foreign ministry and the Ministry of Strategic Affairs to celebrate the nation's history, culture and innovation.

After peeking behind the doors, visitors can sit down to the second part of the exhibition: An eight- minute multimedia show ties up all the themes into one showcase. Using synchronised robotic screen technology, a smaller moving screen will emphasise moments seen on the bigger screen.

"We also hope to showcase the technologies that Israelis are coming up with that are being used globally," says Ms Apfelbaum.

The showcase has travelled to countries such as Poland, Italy and India, and has been seen by more than 100,000 visitors.

It is making its South-east Asian debut in Singapore, thanks to the strong ties between the two countries, says Mr Yuval Rotem, acting director general of the foreign ministry.

Ultimately, Ms Apfelbaum hopes the exhibition will help to bridge the gulf between people here and in Israel. "The doors will encourage visitors to notice the similarities between their lifestyle and Israelis'," she says.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2016, with the headline 'Doorways to Israel'. Print Edition | Subscribe