During March of 2018, Mason Resnick spent several days shooting life on the streets of Jerusalem. In addition to capturing everyday life in the Old City, the Machane Yehudah marketplace and elsewhere, Resnick was there for two key events: Shushan Purim and the Jerusalem Marathon. Shushan Purim is celebrated exclusively in Jerusalem, the day after the rest of the Jewish world celebrates that holiday celebrating the salvation of the Jewish People during the time of King Ahashverosh. People of all ages dress in costumes and there is a party atmosphere. The Jerusalem Marathon is an annual 40K marathon through the streets of the city; Resnick was with tens of thousands of participants at the finish line during the running of the Marathon, taking hundreds of photos; highlights are included here.
Resnick's photography shows an Israel that most in the West do not see—people going about their everyday lives and celebrating special events. "I look for interesting moments and interactions that others may not notice, and try to capture them with my camera," notes Resnick.
The title, JLEM 18, incorporates a popular social media abbreviation for Jerusalem; the number 18 has a double meaning: It indicates the year in which the photos were taken, 2018, but the number 18 is also significant in Judaism. Letters of the Hebrew alphabet are assigned a number, and the two letters that make up the number 18 also spell out the Hebrew word for "life". Since the photos in the book depict everyday life in Jerusalem, the number is appropriate.
Published in celebration of the 70th anniversary of Israel's founding, the book includes 70 photos. The introduction—written by David Ze'ev, former English news anchor for Israel Public Radio—is one of many on-the-street stories David has collected over the years that show a slice of life that goes beyond the headlines.