Conjuring up visions of southern California, Ein Hod is home to some 450 inhabitants, the majority of whom are painters, sculptors, writers and musicians. People like Naomi Verchovsky, a potter, and Dan Ben-Arye, a sculptor.
Verchovsky, an American from New York City, has lived here since 1974 and has had her own studio since 1982. Ben-Arye, originally from South Africa, has been in Ein Hod for the past 23 years.
Verchovsky produces functional stoneware and teaches pottery classes. Her husband, Zeev, whom she met on an ulpan in a kibbutz in the Negev, operates a grocery store and a second-hand bookshop. He is also an immigrant, having been born in Riga, Latvia. Ben-Arye, who conducts guided tours of Ein Hod as a sideline, resided in Jaffa before coming here. His wife, Leah, is a fabric designer from Safed who has lived in Haifa.
At least one member of each family in Ein Hod is an artist. “We’re a very mixed group in terms of age and ethnic origin,” said Verchovsky. “We absorb people from alternative lifestyles, not too square, not your usual people. There are a lot of characters here.”
Members of the community are approved by an absorption committee. Candidates who pass muster have to live here for a minimum of six months and mount an acceptable exhibition.