GITTA AND MILES SHEROVER ARRIVING AT THE GALA OPENING OF THE SHEROVER THEATRE JERUSALEM 21 OCTOBER 1971
THE GABRIEL SHEROVER FOUNDATION
In 1989 the late Mrs. Gitta Sherover established The Gabriel Sherover Foundation in memory of her beloved son, Gabi. I first became aware of the work of the Foundation when I met Mrs. Sherover a year later. We developed over a period of years a personal as well as a professional relationship as she ultimately sold, on behalf of the Foundation, a number of art works at Christie's to fund her growing number of projects.
It is appropriate, I think, to remember here the wonderful achievements of the Foundation. The Gabriel Sherover Promenade in East Talpiot, Jerusalem, dedicated in 1990 was the first project completed under the aegis of the Foundation. Overlooking ancient and modern Jerusalem, the promenade became a haven for tourists and residents of the City. The Council for a Beautiful Israel hounoured Mrs. Sherover for her contribution to the quality of life in Israel for this project. Further, the design of the promenade was one of three architectural projects chosen to represent Israel at the 1991 Venice Biennale.
Closely following the completion of the promenade, Mrs. Sherover funded The Gabriel Sherover Information Center for Israeli Art at the Israel Museum and embarked on a project, particularly close to her heart, the building of Beit Gabriel (Gabriel's House) on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The official opening of the International Center was co-sponsored by the Aspen Institute. What heady days those were with Mikhail Gorbachev, the architect of Glasnost, flying to Israel on her invitation to inaugurate the project and the lovely room that she set aside for the eventual (and she contended 'inevitable') signing of the peace agreement between Israel and Syria. In 1994 at the request of the Prime Minister's Office, Mrs. Sherover hosted at Beit Gabriel, King Hussein of Jordan on his first official visit to Israel.
The last project in which she was involved was the building of a welcoming home at Metsudat Ze'ev in the Negev desert for soldiers serving in the IDF with no family support in Israel. Other generous donations were made over the years to Israeli universities, hospitals and schools as well as to individuals in need.
Miles Sherover, an oil industry magnate from Venezeula, met and married Gitta in Jerusalem in the 1960's. From the start the couple were at the centre of the cultural life of the city. Beginning in 1971 with their financial support and commitment to the Sherover Theatre in Jerusalem, the couple's philanthropy, which Gitta continued with the same dedication after Miles' death in 1976 has touched the lives of many throughout the Country. The untimely death of her son in 1988 and the assassination of her close friend, Yitzchak Rabin, in November, 1995 were great personal tragedies. Nonetheless, she decided to live her life positively and to find ways to use her fortune creatively for the betterment of Israel.
Now that she is gone, the Foundation remains to interpret and to realize her vision in the management of her legacy and to steer its course in the future. The proceeds of this sale are designated to the building of a cultural centre in Jerusalem in proximity to the Gabriel Sherover promenade.
Mary Gilben, Chairman Christie's Israel
THE PROPERTY OF THE ESTATE OF GITTA SHEROVER
SOLD TO BENEFIT THE GABRIEL SHEROVER FOUNDATION, JERUSALEM
(See also lots 553 to 559)