University of Haifa International School Student Blog
By Josh Artman, a student at the Study Abroad program at the International School.
Museums are pretty neat! My parents made a point of taking me to museums fairly regularly when I was growing up—I didn’t always have the attention span required to fully enjoy them back then, but I like museums now so I guess it was all worth it. Thanks Mom and Dad!
For the past two years, I’ve been spoiled by the stellar Boston museum scene—the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the JFK Presidential Library, the Museum of Science, and of course the Museum of Fine Arts, just to name a few! I’ve also spent the past three semesters working as a student ambassador at Boston College’s McMullen Museum of Art, so I’m certainly no stranger to the gallery floor. Museums are a great way to take a time-out from the daily grind, and it’s fun to learn something new about the world!
Luckily for me, Haifa has a number of terrific museums and art galleries as well! It’s a shame that I won’t be able to see them all before I leave, but I’ve been making a conscious effort to explore a new one on my own every few weeks. In the rest of this post I’d like to highlight two of my favorites, MadaTech and the Haifa Museum of Art
It was probably back in March that I went to MadaTech, or “The Israel National Museum of Science, Technology, and Space,” as it is officially titled. The museum’s sprawling campus (formerly the original site of the Technion) was chock full of interactive exhibits. I arrived three hours before the museum closed, and I still had to rush through the last few rooms in order to see everything by closing time. My favorite section was easily the small secondary building that stored all of the high-tech installations: there was an interactive soundboard, an Xbox Kinect-powered theater, a VR experience, and more.
I must have been grinning like a mad man the whole time—science centers are just plain awesome, and this one specifically reminded me of childhood field trips to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. MadaTech’s only downsides are a few older/dated exhibits and the fact that entry was a little pricey. Luckily, there’s a student discount that you’ll definitely want to take advantage of.
Just a few blocks away from MadaTech is the Haifa Museum of Art, which is definitely one of the more unique museums that I’ve visited in recent memory. My friend Peri recommended that I check it out, so I walked into the building with basically no idea of what was inside. And what a surprise that was! The museum is currently set up around the unifying theme of “Dangerous Art.” Each exhibition touches on some aspect of protest, politics, or provocation, making it a lot to absorb all in one afternoon.
I’ve never really gone to a museum with such a central, multi-exhibition theme, so I really enjoyed my time there. While not free, admission was reasonable, and for 5 extra shekels I bought a week-long Haifa museum pass. This allows me entry into 5 other museums around Haifa, so I’ll definitely be taking advantage of that this coming weekend. Who knows, maybe I’ll write another museum blog post before my time here in Haifa comes to a close!