Dana Avrish

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Dana Avrish
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Born (1979-12-01) December 1, 1979 (age 42)
Alma materBar-Ilan University
  • Artist
  • Designer
  • Curator
  • Researcher
  • Frequent academic
  • Media lecturer

Dana Avrish (דנה אבריש; born December 01, 1979) is an Israeli-based multi-disciplinary artist, designer, curator,[1] researcher, and frequent academic and media lecturer who specializes in the history of Jewish communities living in Islamic countries in North Africa and the Middle East . Avrish leads her own global design firm and is currently pursuing her PhD in Jewish Art at Bar-Ilan University


Avrish was born in Tel-Aviv and at her early age her family moved to Holon where she lived until her Israeli Military Service where she served in the Israeli Air Force. After her military release, she worked as a model and actress. Avrish's work took her to Australia (1994), Turkey (1995), Morocco (1997-1999), France (1999), Italy (2002-2005), Uruguay (2008) and the USA (2008-2012) where she received her O-1 visa for her extraordinary abilities and established a subsidiary branch of her design firm. In 2012 she returned to Israel. She is a mother of 2 children.


Modelling and Acting

In 1993, Avrish was crowned Israel’s Teen Queen (Malkat Hayofi-Esreh) in the Miss Israel contest; and was the second runner-up among 52 countries in the Miss Europe competition that same year.Avrish was a model and actress in television commercials before turning to design and academics[2]. She was represented by Ford Model Agency in Paris, Why Not Model Agency in Milan, Gordon Charles Model Agency in Sydney. Today she is represented by Rafi Agiv Talent Agency in Tel Aviv.

Film Executive Producer

In 1997, Avrish was invited to Morocco to produce the Israeli series ‘Egoz’ (the story of the sinking of an illegal immigrant ship that secretly left Morocco for Israel in 1961). This project led Avrish to a number of other film and television productions partnering with the Moroccan producer Samy Layani. Avrish was a co-producer of the film Jesus for the French TV TF1 by the director Serge Moati, and she played a role and co-produced a video clip for "Humana" by the Belgo-Canadian Singer Lara Fabian.


Architecture, Interior Design & Industrial Design

After graduating with a Bachelor of Design in Interior Design at The College of Management Academic Studies, she established D.A. Studio for Design & Architecture. The studio specializes in planning and designing hotels, luxury apartments, retail business and residential complexes; as well as industrial design, in-studio designed lighting elements, furniture, products, and electronic appliances. Notable past clients: Nike, Hilton Hotels[3], San Pellegrino, Superstudio Italy[4], iGuzzini, and Vitra.Other design projects include the design of H20 of DesignBoom[5] and the Moses Cradle[6].

Automotive Design

A passion for automotive design led Avrish to design a prototype for a 4x2 off-road desert buggy vehicle[7], for which she won a prestigious prize for the design’s conceptual innovation from the Israeli Ministry of Commerce. The desert buggy was later featured in a major exhibition[8] “In Front Of Your Nose: Seven Survival Spaces" at the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art in 2006. Her authority as an automotive designer led to Avrish writing a regular weekly column for The Marker[9], the automotive section of Ha’aretz newspaper and Kvishim[10].


Avrish has taught interior Design at Shenkar Academy of Design[11] in Ramat Gan, and at the Ben Gurion University. Today, she gives lectures[12] around the world in various topics.



Creativity is an integral part of Avrish’s world, according to her manifesto, which outlines other ideals that drive Avrish: communication, belief and equity, identity, language and politics, and harmony.[13] One of the ways she has demonstrated this is the transformation of her research about Jews in Islamic world into a live exhibition[14], which was exhibited[15] at the Eretz Israel Museum in 2019.


Avrish has been described as "a creator who has translated her experience in the world of research into an enterprise that makes accessible works of art that describe and discuss the question of Israeli existence, the question of personal identity, the community existence. She seeks to communicate these issues with as wide an audience as possible and does so through creativity and artistry.”[16] She believes that Art & Design are immediate tools to convey messages, ideas and feelings, and it is essential to make all of these accessible for all types of audiences.[17]

Identity, Language & Politics

Avrish identifies as a believing Jew with liberal views and believes that women should constitute at least 50% of decision-making positions in order to maintain balance in the world. She studied Arabic, English, and French in high school, believing that languages are the bridge to respect and collaboration.


As part of her high school education, Avrish studied law with the Youth seeking Hebrew law program (1992), which included a matriculation at the level of five study units at Bar-Ilan University. Later she studied painting and sculpture at the Avni Institute of Art and Design before earning her bachelor of design in interior design at The College of Management Academic Studies. She has an international master’s degree (MA) in diplomacy from Tel Aviv University (2018).

Art and Research

Female empowerment

In 2002, Avrish created a photo exhibition of 32 Israeli women athletic champions titled “It’s not just a sport” that was featured the Ramat Gan Museum of Art[18]. The exhibit grew in response to a national discussion that de-legitimized the strength of women athletes, combined with Avrish's passion for women empowerment as well as her personal training in the martial arts (Dan 1 in Karate). Avrish approached the fashion photographer Ben Lam, whom she knew when he photographed her as a model. Lam photographed Avrish as a pilot, which became one of the photographs in the exhibit.

Jews of Arab Countries and Iran

Avrish’s research of the Jewish communities in North Africa and the Middle East, combined with her personal connection to 11 Jewish communities in the Arab world, led to her creating and curating a live exhibit[19] titled "Leaving, Never to Return!" A Tribute to the Jews of Arab Countries and Iran[20], which debuted at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv from February 2019 to July 2019. The topic of Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries, has been missed, avoided and neglected by Jewish educators and historians for decades, and Avrish's exhibit has been lauded for shedding a much needed light on this part of Jewish and Middle Eastern history[21]. The exhibit includes newspaper clippings, photos, documents, costumes, instruments, jewelry, letters, interviews and other artifacts that depict Jewish life that is now extinct or endangered in these 11 countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Aden and Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon[22][23][24]. Avrish, herself a descendant of Jews of Lebanon, Syria and Iran[25], is planning a global tour of the exhibit and the establishment of a museum dedicated to the Jews in the Islamic world. She lectures, is interviewed on radio and television shows,[26] and writes on this aspect of Jewish history[27][28]. Avrish has published two books on this topic, Is Anti-Zionism the Anti-Judaism of Arab Countries? and the question of restitution of Jewish property from Islamic Countries''' and The Exhibition Catalog: "Leaving, Never To Return!" A Tribute to the Jewish Communities of Islamic Countries, which are listed in The National Library of Israel.


  1. Eretz Israel Museum, Past Exhibits (2019). "A Tribute to the Jews of Arab Countries and Iran". Eretz Israel Museum (in hw). Retrieved 2020-12-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link) CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. "Former Miss Israel's Exhibition on Pre-Israeli State Jewish Communities". Jewish Journal. 2019-05-08. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  3. "Hilton Tel Aviv". Hilton. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  4. "IDEA - THE DESIGN SUPERMARKET". SuperDesign Show. 2018-02-26. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  5. "16 ישראלים זכו בפרסים בתחרות עיצוב בינלאומית". Haaretz הארץ (in עברית). Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  6. IDEA af Niklas Jacob som bog, hardback hos tales.dk (in dansk).
  7. Campbell, Tansy (2006). "Buggy Presentation: Industrial Design Industry Awards". slideserve. Retrieved 2020-12-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. "Past exhibitions \ Tel Aviv Museum of Art". www.tamuseum.org.il. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  9. "מטוס נוסעים על כבישים מהירים: אסטרו לאב". TheMarker. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  10. "תערוכת פריז: אסטרולאב, רכב סולרי". כבישים (in עברית). 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  11. "Shenkar - Engineering. Design. Art". www.shenkar.ac.il. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  12. "Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: "Leaving, never to return!" - The journey of the Jews of Arab Countries and Iran. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar". Zoom Video. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  13. Avrish, Dana. "Manifesto". DanaAvrish.com. Retrieved December 26, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. Bataween (2020-12-01). "Point of No Return: Jewish Refugees from Arab and Muslim Countries: Remembering the Jews expelled from Muslim lands". Point of No Return. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  15. JewishBoston, Judy Bolton-Fasman for. "Museum Exhibit Captures Expulsion of Mizrahi Jews Post-1948". JewishBoston. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  16. "דנה אבריש - מרכז דהאן - כנס לציון יום היציאה והגירוש של היהודים מארצות ערב ואיראן 2020 Dana Avrish - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  17. "דנה אבריש - לצאת מבלי לחזור - כנס היציאה והגרוש מרכז דהאן - 28-11-2019 - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  18. "זה לא רק ספורט". xnet (in עברית). Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  19. "Tunisian piano, medals and magic spells: Treasures recount glory of Jews from Arab countries". Haaretz.com. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  20. Staff, JLNJ. "End of Jewish Communal Life in Arab Lands". jewishlinknj.com. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  21. JewishBoston, Judy Bolton-Fasman for. "Museum Exhibit Captures Expulsion of Mizrahi Jews Post-1948". JewishBoston. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  22. "These 10 artifacts from the Eretz Israel Museum tell intimate stories". 10Best. 2019-07-15. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  23. line (2019-04-15). "Des trésors juifs tunisiens exposés au Musée de Tel Aviv". InfoJmoderne (in français). Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  24. Pollack, Jody (2019-04-17). "A Passover Message from Jody Pollack". Atlanta Jewish Times. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  25. ""Leaving, never to return" exhibition at Eretz Israel Museum". JIMENA. 2019-05-06. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  26. "Dana Avrish in a TV interview about her exhibition on the Jewish of Islamic countries דנה אבריש - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  27. Schreirber, Sholom (2020-10-16). "Gal Gadot, Cleopatra and the Jews of Egypt". The Jewish Voice. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  28. Schreirber, Sholom (2020-12-02). ""Get Out, Leave, Never to Return!" ... "Rih'la Bidun Raja'aa!"". The Jewish Voice. Retrieved 2020-12-23.

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