For Yael Gahnassia Mayanot is far more than a gallery, it is “raison d’être”; an achievement. It is an encounter between a woman and a city, mutual discovery and above all reunion.
One fine day, in 1981 Yael decided to abandon her real estate business on Champs Elysées in
Paris, France and start over in Jerusalem. Her first formative encounter in Jerusalem was with Rabbi
Léon Askenazi known as Manitou, at his Mayanot Jewish Studies Center. Yael drew from him the
strength and knowledge that would lead her back to her Jewish origins. "It was Manitou who made
me understand one of the reasons why the Jewish people were exiled for two thousand years from
their homeland and it was very important to bring back to our recovered land the culture which we
had acquired in the Diaspora, to build and enrich this country," Yael relates. Her path was now clear
to her; to reconcile art and spirituality, the truth of the rabbinic sages and of the artists.
This demanding trajectory led her to focus her efforts in bringing to the attention of today’s Israelis
the forgotten early painters of the Bezalel School. She began to prepare an edition of Abel Pann's
Bible while encouraging contemporary artists; amongst them Zvi Malnovitzer, who comes from an
ultra-Orthodox community in Bnei Brak and today is considered a leading Israeli painter.
Yael Gahnassia knows that she can rely on her experience and the credibility that she acquired
throughout the years among art collectors. "Today art galleries face reality of e-commerce that
touches every aspect of our lives. We cannot ignore and dismiss this channel to promote arts to
a larger community, yet at the same time it is important to know and understand; - frequently our
buyers believe they will get better bargains by bypassing the gallery owner. They are mistaken; no
online sales and no auction can guarantee they are purchasing artist's best work. At times they risk
buying a forgery. Above all, once the art work is purchased it is very difficult, even impossible to
rid oneself of the art work that was purchased on impulse and shortly afterwards the buyer regrets
buying it. However in well established, known and respected galleries like mine this is not the case”.
Yael continues and explains “I have only the best creations of the artists that I personally select.
When a client comes to me, he knows that I will never offer him a minor work. Over the past 25
years, I have formed special relationships with Mayanot's customers; they have become friends
who over the years have shared with me their attachment to the works and also to the collections
that they purchased from my gallery. Personal relations of trust and loyalty are very special and
important. I offer these services and personal contact to art collectors with the same high standard
and quality level in my Jerusalem gallery and at my Mayanot Online Gallery as well.
Recently Yael has been attracted to photography and its creators whom she champions with the same enthusiasm and undiminished faith that she displayes since starting out.