Three Rivers Art Project New York

PO Box 291, 711 warren st. Hudson NY (518) 822-1097 cell (518) 567-1210

Jacob Elbaz

Jacob, an award-winning documentary photographer, arrived to Kibbutz Sde Nehemiah in 1955 as a youth group member. Following Jacobs's family emigration from Morocco. At the age of 20 he bought his first camera. In 1963, while the Jordan River was overflowing, his first photograph appeared on the cover page of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. That's how his professional career began, and continued on to Toronto where he worked as a photographer for the Canadian Jewish News. During this period he began to trade in art and produce prints for artists. He later opened galleries in SoHo, New York, worked with Andy Warhol and produced prints for artists: Yaakov Agam, Arie Azan, Nissan Engel and others.

After 36 years, Jacob decided to return to Sde Nehemiah to realize a dream and create a Galilee center for art.


He rented unused spaces from the kibbutz and renovated them. This is how a space used in the past as a sewing workshop of the kibbutz became the Sewing workshop for photography - a gallery that displays his photography exhibitions. The electricity workshop of the kibbutz became the Electricity Gallery - a gallery that displays temporary art exhibitions. And the first machinery room became an artist’s studio – the Motor room for painting that serves as a professional space for both senior and young emerging painters. According to Jacob's social and business outlook, the encounter with the local community is a central component of the project. Indeed, such contact is inevitable because all the spaces are located in the heart of the kibbutz





Combining business with human values

"I operate in two worlds:" Elbaz relates, "the world of art in general and prints in particular and the gallery world, both of which I was exposed to by being a press photographer, a profession I found only by accident.

I had a great commercial success. I love people, love to talk to them, learn from them, and let them learn from me. The art trade is based entirely on instincts. I did not study anything academically, not even for a minute. "

Jacob's business activity takes place in galleries in New York.

Jacob owns one gallery in SoHo and another two galleries he rents in Hudson New York. In these galleries he displays and sells his photographs and the paintings drawn in the studio at Sde Nehemiah.

The Three rivers art project

Jacob founded the Three Rivers art project Organization, whose goal is to nurture artists, especially in the periphery, and to enable them to turn art into a life-long occupation. The association includes members of Kibbutz Sde Nehemia, businessmen and people with an affinity to the art world in Israel and abroad, who are willing to contribute their time and talent to the cause.

Parallel to the Three Rivers Organization, which operates in Israel, another association was established in the same name, Three Rivers Art project, which operates in Hudson New York. The two associations work in cooperation with various Jewish organizations and synagogues in order to raise funds and provide economic and social support for the development of the new project.

Jacob, who came to the kibbutz as a hungry child, wanted to leave a rich heritage of art in Sdeh Nehemiah.

When photography is used as a model for painting

Why spoil a good photo? Is painting based on a photograph considered art? Or craft?  Why does the painter need the photograph? "I am looking for artists and not craftsmen," says Jacob Elbaz. And here is the heart of the matter. You can spoil a good photo with a bad painting and you can paint a good painting inspired by a bad photo.

For two years now, young painters have been sitting in the studio at Sde Nehemiah and painting paintings based on photographs by Elbaz. This activity fulfills one of the organization's main goals: to provide work opportunities, for art schools graduates, in their unique art fields, and to offer, among other things, a studio and work materials for young artists who cannot afford it.

The road to New York goes through Sdeh of Nehemiah - An opportunity for young artists to create art in the Galilee

In his youth, Jacob Elbaz worked as a driver and transported fish from the Galilee to the wholesale market in Tel Aviv. Today Jacob transports art from Sde Nehemia to New York.

In celebration of Israel’s Independence Day, Sde Nehemia shipped a collection of 70 pieces by artists gathered from all over the country. On the date of Israel’s Independence Day, the exhibition opened at the Hudson Gallery in New York.

Towards the end of August, a container of 400 pieces, most of which painted in Elbaz's studio by young artists such as Doron Adorian, Neta Margalit, Ben Fried and others, was also shipped from Sde Nehemia, carrying  works by experienced artists: Ruthie Segal, Miri Eitan, Zmira Lapidot, Arie Rogel , Micha Steigman, Michal Rotman and others.

In mid-October, a joint exhibition was opened for Israeli and American photographers, displayed simultaneously at Sde Nehemia and Hudson.​


The platform of the Three Rivers Art
Not for Profit Organization - in Israel and in NY


  • Our goal is to nurture artists and to enable them to turn art into a life-long profession.

  • We established our base in the Upper Galilee, at the meeting of the three sources of the Jordan River. Our intention is to encourage artistic activity in an environment full of beauty and inspiration.

  • We established a parallel NPO in New York to showcase the artwork created by the young artists, and to provide galleries and promoting tools.

  • We provide a supplementary, supportive environment, to the Art School graduates.

  • Our goal is to enable the artists to enjoy the fruits of their work and by that encourage the artist to choose art as a way of life.

  • To accomplish those targets:

    • We assist in exposing and selling art by painters and photographers who find it difficult to publish and sell their works.

    • We provide work opportunities for graduates of art schools in their unique art fields and offer a painting studio and work materials for painters who cannot afford it.

  • We believe that gaps can be bridged by brushes. Our support and guidance is provided to artists of all origins, Jews and Arabs, secular and religious, leftists and rightists, veterans and new immigrants.

  • Our budget relies mainly on donations, revenues from the sale of art in synagogues and galleries in the United States, and ark works that are sold through our internet store. | 04-6947415 |  12145 קיבוץ שדה נחמיה, גליל עליון

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לתאומי הגעה ומידע נוסף:

דורון  050-6529146,  מורן 054-7891508, בן 054-2171901