Comments from Recent Visitors

"Madeleine gave us an objective view of the people and places we see on the news."

"She is no nonsense, easy to work with, and very flexible. I recommend her highly."

"Madeleine kept our children, 10, 13, 15 yrs interested and engaged (as only a former teacher can), and her depth of knowledge was welcome by the adults in the group."

"We were a diverse group - different ages, religions, athletic abilities - and Madeleine managed to accommodate us all."

"Madeleine gracefully navigated complex issues of faith and culture and we came away with a much better perspective of Jerusalem through 3,000 years of history"

"Madeleine has a talent for listening to what we're interested in and crafting an itinerary that when experienced, flows perfectly while she is open to being flexible and the serendipity of discovery"

"Madeleine was incredible - a huge wealth of information, extremely professional and a wonderful sense of humour"

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jerusalem Pottery - Behind the Green Door

The green door at number 15 Via Dolorosa (between Stations V and VI) conceals a tiny gallery and workshop where beautiful Armenian handpainted plates, tiles, bowls, cups and other ceramic pieces are created by brothers Stepan and Berg Karakashian and Stepan's son, third generation Hagop.

When touring the Old City, I always try and stop by the Jerusalem Pottery which has been run by the Karakashian Family since 1922 and at its current location since 1948.

Stepan and Hagop in their workshop with yours truly

Stepan and Berg's father, Megherdich Karakashian, and several other Armenian ceramic artists were brought to Jerusalem by the British from Kutahya in Armenia to repair the 16th century tiles covering the Dome of the Rock. These craftsmen were glad to leave Turkey to escape the 1915 persecution of the Armenians and settle in Jerusalem practising their traditional craft of making richly-colored glazed pottery.

The Gallery

Their work incorporates traditional Armenian bird, animal and flower designs and biblical scenes influenced by the 18th century tiles in Armenian Church of St. James which is also well worth visiting.

On your next trip along the Via Dolorosa, step behind the green door into a world of real Armenian pottery.  You are in for a treat!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Madeleine on the Roof - the article

Following the success of the rooftop video produced by Israel 21c, an article appeared about me in the the local ESRA Magazine for English-Speaking Residents of Israel. Written by Lydia Aisenberg, a member of Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek in the Jezreel Valley, who works tirelessly as a journalist, informal educator and special study tour guide for the Givat Haviva Institute which has been educating for peace, democracy, coexistence and social solidarity for half a century.

You can read the article here: Madeleine On the Roof