Art shines the aliya path for American-Jewish painter Yoram Raanan

How a painter was able to return to his art after a fire destroyed thousands of his paintings.

Yoram Raanan courtesy of Nefesh B'Nefesh  (photo credit: NEFESH B'NEFESH)
Yoram Raanan courtesy of Nefesh B'Nefesh
(photo credit: NEFESH B'NEFESH)
Yoram Raanan is one of Israel’s most successful artists.
His paintings—which are inspired by the Jewish state’s natural beauty as well as its biblical and contemporary history—are on display at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem; the Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art in Jerusalem; and in museums, galleries, and private collections around the world.
After graduating from the Philadelphia-based University of the Arts in 1975, Raanan traveled and studied independently throughout Europe and the Near East. He made Aliyah in 1977 and opened his first studio in Jerusalem’s Bukharim Quarter. Since 1994, he has created art on his farm in the Judean hills.
Raanan describes his paintings as a “modern expression of Jewish collective consciousness.” The artworks are “characterized by intuition and imagination,” and have “a strong sense of light, color and spirituality,” according to the artist’s website.

“The sensation of creating is a dynamic and exciting process, and it feels especially good because I can share it with others,” Raanan says. “They can see what I have done and enjoy a vicarious experience.”
Raanan has also proven adept at the art of overcoming adversity. His studio was heavily damaged during the nationwide fires in November 2016. He lost 2,000 pieces of his original artwork, yet he persevered and continued painting.
“My entire professional life is gone. It hurts, but I accept this. Thank God I can start over,” Raanan told Aish.com following that tragedy.
Over the 8 days of Hanukka, The Jerusalem Post and Nefesh B’Nefesh will bring you 8 extraordinary Olim from North America and the UK that have shined their respective light on Israel and the Jewish people. Nefesh B’Nefesh, the main facilitator of Aliya from these areas, has brought over 50,000 Olim to Israel since the organizations’ founding 10 years ago. Its annual Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize honors these Olim each year. To nominate exceptional Anglo Olim making a difference in Israel, please visit: http://www.nbn.org.il/bonei-zion/