Israel Museum announces new director

Architect Eran Neuman of Tel Aviv University will succeed James Snyder following nine-month search

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, one of the country's major cultural institutions, is trying to find a new director (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, one of the country's major cultural institutions, is trying to find a new director (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Eran Neuman was announced Tuesday as the new director of the Israel Museum, following a nine-month search to find a successor to James Snyder.

Snyder, who will end his 20-year tenure as director, will assume the newly created role of international president of the museum, working with the network of International Friends of the Israel Museum, and building relationships with sister institutions and collectors worldwide.

Neuman, an architect and graduate of Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and UCLA, is currently director of the Azrieli School of Architecture at Tel Aviv University.

“Eran has the right mix of leadership experience, academic rigor, intellectual curiosity, and civic values needed to guide the Israel Museum into the future,” said Israel Museum board chairman Isaac Molho in a statement. “His accomplishments stand as a demonstration of the kind of vision and vigor that will foster the continuing growth and success of the Israel Museum.”

Eran Neuman, appointed as the new director of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem (Courtesy Tel Aviv University)
Eran Neuman (Courtesy Tel Aviv University)

Neuman is internationally recognized for his scholarship in postwar architecture and exploration of the impact of new technologies on architectural design and practice.

He is also considered an expert on architecture that commemorates the Holocaust.

“I am honored to be joining the Israel Museum at such an important moment in its trajectory,” said Neuman in a statement. “I look forward to working with the outstanding team at the Museum and with its leadership to build upon the incredible accomplishments of my predecessor, James Snyder.”

Israel Museum director James Snyder (Elie Posner, Israel Museum, Jerusalem)
James Snyder (Elie Posner, Israel Museum, Jerusalem)

Under Snyder’s leadership, attendance at the Israel Museum more than doubled over the course of the past two decades to between 750,000 and one million visitors each year.

Its endowments increased more than fivefold.

Snyder, a newcomer to Israel and Jerusalem when he arrived in 1995, also spearheaded a $100 million renovation of the museum’s 20-acre campus.


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