The impressive new “Lion’s Trail” sculpture by artist Sam Philip was placed on May 22 at the entrance to the city of Beit Shean. It was made possible by a donation secured by Mayor Jackie Levy from the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation. Similar sculptures have been placed in Gush Etzion and Ma’ale Adumim. Lion projects are being fabricated for Kiryat Shemona, Nesher, Ariel, and the Golan Heights. “The lion is the symbol of Judah. Its identity signifies Jews have lived for more than 3,000 years in the Land of Israel and here in Beit She’an”
“The Lion has roared; who will not fear?” Amos 3:8
Anyone who entered Beit Shean from the northwest (Tiberias) in the past week cannot help but admire the impressive “Lion’s Trail” sculpture that has been installed at the entrance to the city.
The statue, which is no less than three meters high, was built on a base of Jerusalem stone. It weighs 2 tons and is made of steel and concrete. It is the artistic interpretation fabricated by Sam Philip, a noted Israeli-international artist. Sam’s works are primarily focused on Jewish and Zionist themes. Philip’s artistic creations have been sited throughout the city in recent years. They interpret the story of the city through biblical, historical, and archaeological contexts.
Funding for the “Lion’s Trail” sculpture was raised by Mayor Jackie Levy and Sam Philip from Jerry Klinger, president of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation. Klinger has been involved in over 25 artistic interpretive projects in Israel that are focused on strengthening and preserving Jewish history and identity.
Klinger explained, “the Lion of Judah is a distinctly Jewish symbol. It is representative of the House of David, and the Kingdom of Israel with its capital, Jerusalem.”
“The Beit She’an Lion sculpture is a physical, very visible statement of Jewish settlement and legitimacy spanning more than 3,000 years here,” said donor Jerry Klinger. “The enemies of the modern State of Israel try to deny the truth and reality of the Jewish experience. The Lion stands in their way. Beit She’an is now joining the “Lion’s Path,” he continued.
Mayor Jackie Levy added, “I am pleased that we were able to secure an important donation from Jerry Klinger, a dear Jew who is doing much to strengthen Jewish identity in the Land of Israel. Beit She’an has an impressive culture and beauty. Beit She’an’s story is expressed through the city’s squares, public spaces, and entrances. The artistic expressions tell the story of the ancient daily Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel and this city.”