This illustration, commissioned several years ago by a Christian publisher, is an image of Jerusalem as a city of peaceful coexistence among people of all faiths.  Using transparent silhouettes, I sought to create a colorful patchwork quilt.  You will find here a synagogue, two mosques, several churches – both Catholic and Russian Orthodox – and the outline of a universally human figure. Flying above it all are two cherubim – mythical creatures with the body of a lion, wings of an eagle, and a human face –  popular in Christianity as a celestial attendant to God.  In the Hebrew Bible, cherubim guard the gates of the Garden of Eden, and are known as divine messengers.

Yesterday’s announcement that Jerusalem will be formally recognized as the rightful capital of Israel was long overdue and most welcome.  To quote Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi of England and renowned speaker and writer on international relations:

“I welcome [today’s] decision by the United States to recognise as the capital of Israel, Jerusalem, whose name means ‘city of peace.’ This recognition is an essential element in any lasting peace in the region.

“Unlike other guardians of the city, from the Romans to the Crusaders to Jordan between 1949 and 1967, Israel has protected the holy sites of all three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam and guaranteed access to them. Today, Jerusalem remains one of the few places in the Middle East, where Jews, Christians and Muslims are able to pray in freedom, security and peace.”

Thus, this illustration was not difficult.  There’s room for everyone in Jerusalem.  Ken y’hi ratzon – may it be so.

To read the rest of Rabbi Sacks’ eloquent statement on Jerusalem, see here.

This image is available as a greeting card – along with other holiday cards.  There are  images for everyone:  multi-denominational, non-denominational, Jewish, and Christian.  Check them out here.  If you want the image of “Coexistence” printed without any words, send me a note along with your order and I’ll be happy to comply.

Good wishes to all!


D Yael Bernhard
Author / Illustrator of
THE JEWISH EYE 2018 / 5778 Calendar of Art
LOVE IS – a unique crossover book for all ages
THE LIFE OF AN OLIVEExplore the life of a 2000-year-old olive tree
JUST LIKE ME, CLIMBING A TREE: Exploring Trees Around the World
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN – A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the Sydney Taylor Award and National Jewish Book Council Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN – A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING – A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK – An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
– and more!

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