House of Worship in the middle of downtown

Dwarfed by Tel-Aviv’s downtown skyscrapers this little house of worship still manages to thrive.

The Ohel Moed synagogue was part of the Houses from Within tours that I was at the beginning of May.

In 1925 Joseph Berlin was commissioned to design a synagogue for the Yemenite Jewish community. Founded and funded with the help of Adeni Jews, it became the largest Sephardi synagogue of Tel Aviv.

Today the building is used for daily prayers by employees of the Electrical Company who work nearby and some 15 regular worshipers who come on the Sabbath.  The place is kept alive thanks to an entrepreneur who operates it as a trendy family occasion hall. Continue reading

A Cool Breeze

Last week was Earth Day and it reminded me about the need for a ceiling fan in my living room. I already have one in several other rooms in the house.

Ceiling fans are a very energy efficient way to cool your home. They work by increasing air movement and helping your body lose heat. Installing fans can also drastically reduce your air conditioning costs, since they consume approximately half as much electricity as air conditioners. Turning your fan on and your air conditioner down a few degrees will result in an overall cost savings.

So if you live in a hot climate and don’t own one you should ask yourself why. Continue reading

Ancient Caves Inspire Modern Design

A while back we decided to take a day trip before the masses joined us for Israel’s annual Spring vacation. We went to the man-made bell-shaped caves near Luzit north of Beersheva.  Usually I avoid going to caves as I don’t find small, dark spaces that you have to crawl on your hands and knees at all appealing.

But these enormous spaces were anything but dark.

Continue reading

The Objects of Designers

A couple of weeks ago I was at the opening exhibition of the Design Museum Holon titled: The State of Things – Design and the 21st Century. An international exhibit that featured current objects and the practice, consumption and cultural impact of contemporary design. They were grouped into various categories. Factors that shaped the selection process were: the materials used, the concepts conveyed and the intended uses.

There were eight categories in the exhibit. But I’ll touch on the things that caught my eye. The object above is a Water clock by Kouichi Okamoto.

Now what time would you say it is?

Continue reading