It is with sad hearts that we announce that we are losing two of our most valued staff members at the Sifting Project. As of November 1, our site manager Ohad Tal and our office manager Rachel Nachum will be leaving for other employment. Both of them have been with us for the past 2 years.
Ohad has been a true trailblazer in site development, working in cooperation with the National Parks Authority to beautify the site, giving it the feel of a “park” and not just an “archaeological dig”. Also, he created more usable offices and workspaces, which is difficult considering that our “buildings” are two converted shipping containers! And for the convenience of our visitors, he coordinated the installation of new restrooms (with flush toilets!) to replace our previous portable johns. All of these projects have given the site a more inviting atmosphere for the visitors and volunteers who come to help us achieve our goal of recovering all the archaeological artifacts from the material so carelessly discarded from the Temple Mount.
As a personnel manager, Ohad worked tirelessly to form a cohesive bond among everyone at the site by sponsoring social activities like field trips and festive meals for the staff and volunteers. We are not just employees; we are a family of close-knit friends who enjoy each others’ company both on the job and out in the community.
One of Ohad’s greatest accomplishments was the recent exhibit of Sifting Project finds at the City of David during their 13th Annual Studies of Ancient Jerusalem Conference. Our “mini-museum” gave over 1,000 visitors an up-close (and, in some cases, even hands-on) look at museum-quality artifacts recovered by the Sifting Project. This exhibit vastly increased the awareness of the accomplishments of this project among both the professional archaeologists and the general public who attended the conference.
Rachel, an amazingly business-minded individual, has worked ceaselessly to increase the number of visitors to the site and bring an air of professionalism to the operation of the office. She is highly motivated and has given her heart and soul to the Project. Ohad has called her “the mother of the staff” for her efforts to coordinate staff scheduling and bring awareness of each staff member’s individual responsibilities.
Both Ohad and Rachel will be sorely missed at the Sifting Project, but we wish them well as they begin their new jobs.