Yakov Hadad – Moshe Castel Gallery

Before the well-known artist Moshe Castel passed away, he sold his gallery to Yakov Hadad, a young man who lived in the neighborhood and who had always been friendly with the elderly artist. Today Hadad manages Castel's gallery in the spirit that the old man wished.

Moshe Castel

Moshe Castel (1909-1991) was one of Israel’s foremost abstract artists. He was the founder of the ‘New Horizons’ group of Israeli artists. Today, his murals decorate important public buildings, both in Israel and throughout the world. Castel pioneered a sculpturing method in which basalt rock is mixed with sand and glue. His work, which includes scenes of Sephardic life in Jerusalem in pre-State Palestine as well as ancient civilizations, can be seen online, in galleries around the world and at the Moshe Castel Museum in Ma’aleh Adumim.

Castel and Tzfat

Castel studied in Paris but, with the Nazis threat, returned to Palestine in 1940. He was one of the first artists to settle in Tzfat and he lived in the city on and off over the next 50 years. He established a gallery on Rehov Tet Zayin in the Artist Quarter where he spent many summers, inspired by the beauty of the Galilee mountains and the simple people who lived in the area.

Castel’s family had originated in Castile, Spain. They immigrated to Israel in the 16th century and Castel himself was born in Hebron. Although not religious himself, Castel maintained a close relationship with Tzfat and with the traditional Jews who lived there. He helped to establish the Artist Quarter in Tzfat and maintained close ties with the city over the years.

Yakov Hadad

Castel met Yakov Hadad in the '60s when the young boy came to assist him with chores and small jobs. The two became close. Toward the end of his life Castel sold his house and gallery to Yakov Hadad. Hadad promised to renovate the property and maintain the gallery as a venue that would be dedicated to Tzfat’s art and its founding artists.

Today Yakov has renovated parts of the gallery and is in the process of renovating other sections. At the gallery visitors can see original paintings of Tzfat’s founding artists which, in addition to Moshe Castel, include Yitzhak Amitai, Moshe Rosenthalis, Rolly Sheffer, Aliza Naor, Chava Merzer (daughter of Aryeh Merzer), Yitzhak Frenel-Frankel, Shimshon Holtzman and Chaya Schwartz. The gallery is comprised of several sections. In the main part of the gallery, Hadad displays the paintings of the old Tzfat artists.

Throughout the courtyard there are small rooms and visitors can see some of the wooden doors which Ya’akov has painted, inspired by the artist Rolly Sheffer. Hadad can be reached at 04-6974731.