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February 19, 2017 / 23 Shevat, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Turkish Energy Delegation Meeting Delek, Noble Energy Reps in Jerusalem to Discuss Gas Pipeline

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

A delegation from Turkey will meet with representatives of the Israeli Delek Group and Texas-based Noble Energy in Jerusalem on Sunday to discuss a plan to lay an underwater gas pipeline between Israel and Turkey.

Delek Group and Noble Energy are the two main partners in the consortium that has developed most of Israel’s major natural gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Turkish delegation will follow the Jerusalem meeting with a visit to Gaza to meet with the region’s ruling Hamas terrorist government over its recent energy crisis.

This past Wednesday, Israel sent a delegation to Turkey’s capital city of Ankara in a similar visit to launch the first formal meeting between top officials of both governments in the past seven years. Following that meeting, the two sides announced that Turkey would send two ministers to Israel in the near future to further tighten bilateral cooperation.

Turkey and Israel, formerly close allies, reconciled last year and restored ambassadorial-level diplomatic ties, mending a deep rift caused by the deaths of 10 armed Turkish “activists” in clashes on the Mavi Marmara flotilla vessel that tried to breach Israel’s maritime blockade on Gaza in 2010.

The aim of the three-day visit was to “continue developing bilateral ties and strengthen cooperation on the political, economic and cultural spheres,” an Israeli Foreign Ministry statement explained last month.

“The political dialogue sends a positive message on the commitment of both sides to deepen the relationship between the two countries,” read the statement, adding that the talks also allowed for “comprehensive discussion, after six years of … challenges, on the drastic changes in the region.”

Issues on the agenda between the two countries were evaluated during the talks, especially opportunities for cooperation in the fields of energy, the economy, culture and tourism, a Foreign Ministry official told the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.

On Monday, Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Nabi Avci, will visit Israel on a state visit while the energy delegation is in Gaza.

Gaza has suffered major power outages for months, and recently the problem has escalated as Hamas continues to choose to invest its resources in building terrorist tunnels and military infrastructure, rather than the residential and community requirements of its civilian population.

Hana Levi Julian

$10 Million Grant Awarded to Museum of Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv has been awarded a $10 million grant from the Koret Foundation, based in San Francisco. The grant is the largest awarded to Beit Hatfutsot from a U.S. philanthropic foundation in its 40-year history and one of the largest single grants made by the Koret Foundation to an Israeli institution.

According to the announcement released Tuesday, it will establish the new Koret International School for Jewish Peoplehood as the educational centerpiece of the Museum, and will offer an extensive range of personal and professional educational programs for visitors, online users, students, educators and community leaders.

Through the grant, the museum will develop new approaches to education and will design innovative programs tailored for groups and individuals attending the Museum, learning curricula for Jewish day schools and community centers, traveling exhibits, and professional training and certification schemes for educators from around the world. It will also build on the successful flagship programs already in place, most notably the My Family Story genealogy competition and the G2G volunteer scheme.

The Koret International School will oversee a global team of full-time associates and representatives in order to oversee these initiatives, museum officials said. 

“The Koret Foundation’s grant reflects an exciting and growing convergence of interests around the revised mission for the Museum of the Jewish People, bringing leading foundations into conversation and partnership with our ongoing and much-valued partner, the Government of Israel,” said Irina Nevzlin, Chair of the Board of Directors at Beit Hatfutsot.

“With the visionary support of the Koret Foundation, The Museum of the Jewish People will be the unquestioned global hub for a new conversation about what it means to be not just Jewish, but a member of the Jewish people. 

“We are gratified to partner with Beit Hatfutsot, one of the world’s leading institutions in telling the long and extraordinary Jewish story,” said Dr. Anita Friedman, President of the Koret Foundation.

“In the 21st Century, innovative Jewish institutions and meaningful new approaches are needed. The Koret International School will play a pivotal role in strengthening Jewish identity and Jewish involvement, and offers a powerful new opportunity to engage, inspire and educate.

Hana Levi Julian

The First Jewish Americans: Freedom And Culture In The New World

Monday, January 16th, 2017

It’s always nice to see an exhibit featuring the great contribution Jews have made to our country. It’s especially encouraging and validating when a secular institution like the New York Historical Society, one of America’s most preeminent institutions, dedicates a significant path-breaking exhibition examining the story of newcomers to the New World, both Jewish and of Jewish ancestry, who made their way to colonial America and engaged fully in the cultural, social, and political life of the young nation.

Isaac Pinto, trans. Prayers for Shabbath, Rosh-Hashanah, and Kippur . . . according to the Order of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews. New York, A.M. 5526 [1766].

Isaac Pinto, trans.
Prayers for Shabbath, Rosh-Hashanah, and Kippur . . . according to the Order of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews. New York, A.M. 5526 [1766].

The First Jewish America: Freedom and Culture in the New World explores the origins of the Jewish Diaspora and paths to early Jewish life in American port cities. It examines our first synagogues and the birth of American Judaism in the 18th and early 19th centuries. It also focuses on prominent Jewish Americans who made an impact on early American life.

Founded in 1804, the NYHS, which covers general educational and informative history about New York City, New York State and the country, also has a children’s floor with interactive stations. It fosters research and presents history and issues surrounding the making and meaning of history through art exhibitions and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world today.

This past spring, the NYHS featured an exhibition tracing the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany, called Anti-Semitism 1919-1939. At a time of continuing anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish communities in Europe and elsewhere, it examined the rise of a culture of hatred through the gradual and deliberate indoctrination of German citizens into active hatred of Jews through the ubiquitous words and propaganda images seen daily during the Nazi era.

The current exhibition, on view until March 12, is in its own right combating anti-Semitism by educating the public about the impact early Jewish settlers had on helping to establish this country. Displaying more than 170 objects, including rare early portraits, drawings, maps, books, documents, and ritual objects, it explores the arrival of Jewish immigrants to the New World; their integral role in the colonial port cities of New York, Philadelphia and Charleston; and the growth of a uniquely Jewish American tradition in the new republic.

Myer Myers Rimonim, 1765-1776. Silver and brass with parcel gilding.

Myer Myers
Rimonim, 1765-1776.
Silver and brass with parcel gilding.

The exhibition features a number of notable Jewish Americans, including Myer Myers, one of colonial America’s preeminent silversmiths, who designed rimonim (Torah finials) for early synagogues, a pair of which are on view, and Luis de Carvajal, a Mexican Inquisition victim whose long-lost manuscripts were recently rediscovered.

Another noteworthy individual featured is German-born Rabbi Isaac Leeser, considered the father of American Orthodox Judaism, who fought to retain tradition and settled in Philadelphia, where he became the chazzan of Congregation Mikveh Israel as well as a publisher, journalist, and educator. Leeser believed that a measured openness to innovation, coupled with traditional Jewish religious observance, was necessary for sustaining Jewish life at a time when Jews were free to choose how they wanted to be Jewish. He embraced powerful new technologies like the steam engine and the steam-powered printing press to carry his message across America, publishing the first major American Jewish newspaper. He helped found the American Jewish Publication Society, established the first American rabbinical school, produced a solo translation of the Chumash, and traveled the continent extensively. Several of his publications are on display.

European Jews fleeing persecution and seeking ports of refuge were propelled westward to the distant shores of New World colonies, which offered hope for a new beginning until the infamous Spanish Inquisition followed them across the ocean.

Luis de Carvajal the Younger (ca. 1567-1596) Memorias autobiographical manuscripts , ca. 1595, with devotional manuscripts Manuscript leaves, 3 volumes, each stitched into plain wrappers.

Luis de Carvajal the Younger (ca. 1567-1596)
Memorias autobiographical manuscripts , ca. 1595, with devotional manuscripts
Manuscript leaves, 3 volumes, each stitched into plain wrappers.

The exhibit powerfully illustrates this experience through the 1595 autobiography of Luis de Carvajal, a “converso” Jew in Mexico and the nephew of a prominent governor, who was tried by the Inquisition and denounced more than 120 other secretly practicing Jews (including members of his own family) before he was burned at the stake in 1596. The exhibition showcases, for the first time on public display, the manuscripts relating to Carvajal – considered the earliest extant Jewish books of the New World. These three documents include Carvajal’s autobiography (written under the pseudonym Joseph Lumbroso), Maimonides Thirteen Principles of Faith, the Ten Commandments, and a prayer manual. These exceptional documents underscore the long reach of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, which followed settlers of Jewish ancestry into the New World, forcing confessions and burning suspected “Judaizers” at the stake in horrific “autos-de-fé.”

The recently-rediscovered documents, which had gone missing from the National Archives of Mexico more than 75 years ago, are believed to be the only existing writings by a Jew in Mexico during the Spanish colonial period and are on view by special arrangement with the Mexican government before returning back to Mexico at the conclusion of this exhibition.

Solomon Nunes Carvalho: Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, Interior, 1838. Oil on canvas.

Solomon Nunes Carvalho:
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, Interior, 1838.
Oil on canvas.

The First Jewish Americans also explores the paths taken by Jews who for centuries fled persecution in Europe – beginning with the little-known but remarkable stories of their experience in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Brazil during the colonial period, and following their journey toward finding freedom and tolerance in the early American Republic,” says Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the NYHS. “We are grateful for the extraordinary collections of Leonard L. Milberg and the partnership of the Princeton University Library, which will allow us to convey to the New York public the fundamental importance of the Jewish people to early American history. We are deeply grateful to Mr. Milberg for his tenacity and hard work in securing the loan of recently recovered Jewish writings from Spanish Colonial Mexico, the earliest extant Jewish manuscripts from that time period.”

The Jewish community in the New World dispersed throughout the colonies in the Caribbean, creating a network built on trade, family, and religious connections. Items of these island communities and influences include a 1718 map of the Jewish settlement in Suriname, 18th century texts of religious services for the circumcision of slaves, and Jamaican legal documents from 1823 that argued for Jewish voting rights.

During the colonial period, Jews clustered in the cosmopolitan- and commercially-minded port cities of New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, and, within each city, an elaborate communal infrastructure grew that supported all aspects of Jewish life. Shearith Israel, the first Jewish congregation in colonial North America, built its home in Lower Manhattan in 1730. The congregation has loaned significant objects to the exhibition, such as a Torah scroll that was burned by British soldiers during the Revolutionary War and Myers’ rare set of Torah bells (rimonim) from 1765 that he designed for Shearith Israel before the American Revolution. The New York-born Myers was an active member of Shearith Israel and served the congregation in many capacities, including as parnas (president) in 1759 and 1770. As the rimonim suggest, Myers was as dedicated to his craft as he was to the rites and rituals of Judaism. This set of Torah bells, constructed in the “stacked globe” style of Sephardic rimonim, is one of five surviving pairs made by Myers for congregations in New York, Philadelphia, and Newport.

Gerardus Duyckinck I (1695-1746) Portrait of Jacob Franks (1688-1769). Oil on canvas.

Gerardus Duyckinck I (1695-1746) Portrait of Jacob Franks (1688-1769). Oil on canvas.

Also on view are six oil portrait paintings, circa 1735, of the prominent Levy-Franks family of New York, also members of Shearith Israel.

The Philadelphia Jewish community grew during and after the Revolutionary War, with the city serving as a refuge for patriots fleeing British-occupied New York. Some Philadelphia Jews opposed Britain’s harsh restrictions on American trade by signing the Resolution of Non-Importation Made by the Citizens of Philadelphia in 1765 – one of the first official protests against British mercantile policy, which is on view in the exhibit. Also featured are portrait paintings of politically-active Philadelphia merchant Barnard Gratz, a signer of the resolution who supplied American militias, and of his niece Rebecca Gratz, who in 1819 established the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society, the first Jewish lay charity in the country.

Sara Trappler-Spielman

Jerusalem to Get $50 Million Arts Center

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

by Andrew Friedman The Jewish Federation of New York and the City of Jerusalem announced Wednesday a joint project to create a groundbreaking arts center in downtown Jerusalem, to be called the Jerusalem Campus for the Arts.

The project will cost $50 million and is part of a project to turn Jerusalem into a world capital of culture and the arts. It is expected to open in 2020.

Speaking at a ceremony honoring the Kirsch Family Foundation, a major backer of the project, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat thanked the family and said the center will be welcome gift as the city marks the 50th anniversary of re-unification during the 1967 Six Day War.

“The Jerusalem Center for the Arts will be yet another important step in reestablishing the downtown area as a place that is pulsing with life and energy, with thousands of young people and university students. it will provide a permanent home for Jerusalem’s leading arts institutions,” Barkat said.

The new center will be located on a 2.5 dunam lot adjacent to the Gerar Bechar Center in the Rechavia neighborhood.

The campus will serve as home to the city’s leading arts ventures, including the Nissan Netiv acting studio, Sam Spiegel film and photography school and others. Approximately 1,100 students will learn at the center at any given time.

Hana Levi Julian

Cinema Jenin Shutting Down, Dashing Hopes for Culture, Art, in Suspicious City

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

In August 2011, Cinema Jenin, with 335 seats and funding from the German Government, opened its doors to the public in a glamorous gala event that attracted international celebrities like Roger Waters and Bianca Jagger (they showed a movie called The Heart of Jenin about Israeli cruelty in the wake of an explosion that took out a Netanya hotel on the seder night). On Wednesday this week it closed down after running out of money.

According to AFP, demolition work has begun on the Cinema Jenin building, after the management team had failed to attract enough customers to allow it to continue operations. German director Marcus Vetter told AFP “it is a very disappointing and sad moment,” revealing that the original owners’ heirs had sold the place for $1.8 million.

The Cinema Jenin website related the heartwarming story of cooperation between the management team and a group of young and old people from Jenin who were going to receive technical training to run the cinema eventually. Cinema Jenin also offered film and theatre workshops, supported by “local and international partners” to get more people involved in the cinema.

And just to be able to pay the rent, Cinema Jenin also planned to become a venue for local plays, concerts, and even weddings.

Roger Waters at a fundraising event for Cinema Jenin

Roger Waters at a fundraising event for Cinema Jenin

Vetter told AFP the failure was due to a mix of local conservative attitudes and a fear that attending shows there would be tantamount to accepting Israeli “occupation.” “People were not ready to really go there. They were also maybe a little bit scared how it would be perceived if they go,” he explained.

According to news reports of the time, many locals boycotted the cinema because unmarried men and women drank alcohol and even slept together in the guest house that was attached to Cinema Jenin. In 2011 death threats were circulated in Jenin mosques, and many foreign nationals were ordered to stay off the Cinema Jenin project at the request of their governments.


Pop Culture Pundit Sees Superman as Paradigm of the Assimilated Jew

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Author and pundit Noah Berlatsky, whose collection of essays “Your Favorite Superhero Sucks” came out in September, told Sequential Tart’s Suzette Chan he thinks “superheroes are in a lot of ways originally a fantasy of assimilation.”

Chan noted how “many people have noted how the Jewish creators of Superman coded Jewishness into his alienness.” It got Berlatsky going:

“…I think superheroes are in a lot of ways originally a fantasy of assimilation,” he said. “Jewish creators like [Jerry] Siegel, [Joe] Shuster and Jack Kirby created these Jewish stereotypes (Clark Kent, Steve Rogers) who transformed into heroes who were more American than American.

“So, I think there’s a sense in which superheroes started as a kind of dream of whiteness; Superman and Captain America can be seen as Jewish creators imagining how they’d be awesome and powerful if they were white. And I think that has made it structurally difficult in some ways for superheroes to be black or POC (people of color). You have to work against the tropes a little bit. It requires more imagination, and perhaps a willingness to not treat the genre with too much reverence.”

Noah Berlatsky is the editor of the comics and culture blog The Hooded Utilitarian. He has written on gender, comics, and culture for many publications, including Slate, Public Books, The Chicago Reader, Reason, The Comics Journal, The Baffler, and The Atlantic.


2000 Years of Jewish Culture Exhibition at London’s Shapero Rare Books

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Bernard Shapero of Shapero Rare Books and Sandra Hindman of Les Enluminures are delighted to present 2000 Years of Jewish Culture: an exhibition of books, manuscripts, art, and jewelry.

A selling show, it is the first of its kind ever staged in the UK in a private space, and, accordingly, it will be marked by the publication of a fully illustrated catalogue. The exhibition encompasses every aspect of Jewish life, including philosophy, religion, literature, photography, fine art and jewelry.

Curator Bela Goldenberg Taieb said that “each of the assembled artifacts – the oldest of which is a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls – is representative of a particular field of endeavor, and as such they collectively offer a truly compelling picture of the Jewish contribution to world culture.”

The exhibition, featuring more than 100 objects, will be arranged over the basement, ground and first floor of Shapero’s Mayfair premises. It presents several important rare books, the subjects of which span the tenth to the twentieth centuries, including first editions of some important examples of Anglo-Judaica.

Bernard Shapero said that “the whole exhibition shows the positive side of Judaism. There’s no Holocaust material or anti-Semitic material, which forms a large part of collecting in this field.”

From November 2 to 19, at Shapero Rare Books, 32 St. George Street, London W1S 2EA

Gallery Talk: Beatriz Chadour-Sampson “Jewish Wedding Rings,” Thursday November 3, 7 PM.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/2000-years-of-jewish-culture-exhibition-at-londons-shapero-rare-books/2016/11/03/

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