Israeli Public Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein and El Al Israel Airlines CEO Eliezer Shkedi unveiled a new replica of Jerusalem’s Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites, at the Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn, N.Y., Thursday.
The massive replica serves as the centerpiece of the museum’s new 6,000-square-foot fourth-floor exhibit, “A Voyage Through Jewish History.” Visitors will be invited to write their prayers on a note and insert it into the wall just like in Jerusalem; the notes will then be flown to Israel via El Al and placed in the actual Western Wall. The exhibit will officially open on April 1.
Sitting across the street from Lubavitch World Headquarters in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, the museum building also houses the headquarters for the international Chabad-Lubavitch children’s organization known as Tzivos Hashem.
“The Western Wall is a special place for us,” explained an early visitor, nine-year-old Nathen Cohen. “Here at the Jewish Children’s Museum, we can pretend that we are at the Wall in Jerusalem, even though we are thousands of miles away.”
The museum’s Land of Israel gallery will also offer visitors an opportunity to wander through a garden comprised of the seven species of produce used by the Bible to describe the Land’s greatness. The exhibits are accessible to all children, regardless of background or religion.