This Hanukkah lamp was submitted by the artist Yacob Chekrone as a final project at the arts and crafts school established in the southern Algerian town of Ghardaïa by the Alliance Israélite Universelle. The AIU's educational institutions provided academic and vocational training to the Jewish communities of the Mediterranean basin. One of the skills taught at the school was damascening, a sophisticated technique for inlaying different metals. Chekrone was born in Ghardaïa in 1914. After graduating in 1933, he established a workshop in town and sold his products to the occasional tourists. Years later, his works won prizes when displayed at a Paris exhibition. In 1943 he moved to Jerusalem, where he tried to earn a living as a craftsman, but failed due to the economic hardships of the time and ended up working as a construction worker.
Benjamin, Chaya, North African Lights, Hanukkah Lamps from the Zeyde Schulman Collection in the Israel Museum, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2003, English / Hebrew
3x50@50: IMJ Collection Highlights, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2015