About the Artist

(born 1949)
DANIEL KAFRI (born 1949)

Daniel Kafri was born in 1945, on the day that marked the end of World War II in Europe.

Four years later his parents, who had survived the rigors of Nazi period in the forests of Czechoslovakia, brought him to Israel.

Kafri spend three years at Bezalel Academy of Art and design in Jerusalem but is essentially self-taught as a sculptor.

In 1970 he was among those whose works were chosen to represent Israel in the Monaco Biennale for Young Artists, and in 1977 he was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for sculpture.

Kafri created an in dependent style derived from the archaic forms of ancient Middle Eastern sculpture, whose esthetic values demanded a non-realistic, abstract approach.

In Kafri reinterpretation that plastic tradition was integrated with the vitality of culture of Israel and its biblical heritage.

The Yom Kippur War was the most turbulent period for Kafri.

His experiences in the war caused a profound spiritual crisis.

Search for a purpose for life and art led him to a total commitment to the religious community and its way of life.

The impact of that crucial period was evident in a the new direction of the works he executed after 1973, beginning with "The Gate", which was erected at the entrance to restored Old Jaffa. Working principally in bronze and stone, the artist created a series of sculptures in which his deeply held beliefs become an integral part of the creative process.


In 1981 Kafri won an invitational competition among 20 leading Israeli sculptors which was sponsored by the Women's League of United Synagogue of America. His "twelve tribes of Israel"

Expressing the role of religious study as a link between Israel and the Diaspora, is now the central feature of the garden in the Jewish Theological Seminary Student Center in Jerusalem.

Visitors to Eilat may view the striking stone wall Kafri created for the entrance lobby of the Hotel Aviya Sonesta at Taba.

From "The Art Of Daniel Kafri" by Berti Eckert

"Little as I know of sculpture, I am moved by the simple massiveness of Mr.Kafri's works, clearly inspired by his grasp of literary art as well as the sacred inspiration of the Hebrew Bible"

Herman Wouk