May 17, 208 - Jerusalem
What are the different names of the Shavuot holiday? Why did Linda bring in fresh wheat and also cheeses and wine? We began this evening by reading the Ten Commandments with fresh eyes and discussing their relevance to us and their impact on world culture. Then our teams tried to answer intriguing questions about the holiday and other historical and Jewish topics. Thanks for this excellent activity which got me into the Shavuot spirit of Israel.
May 14, 2018 - Beersheva
We listened to a wonderful talk about Shavuot with excellent lecturer Boris Kaminsky and learned a tremendous amount about the origins and traditions of this important holiday. We enjoyed meeting new friends and eating delicious dairy foods. I am new to Israel and truly appreciate these opportunities. Thank you!
June 29, 2018 - Mt. Gerizim
When we went on an excursion to the Samaritans, I imagined that I would see only the remains of ancient architecture of a past civilization. To my surprise I saw a live community on the streets of their city who consider themselves descendants of the Samaritans and who continue the traditions and beliefs of their ancestors. I did not imagine that such a community thrives today in modern Israel, and all this against the backdrop of a magnificent natural landscape that helped me appreciate again the beauty of my homeland from the height of the birds’ flight! It was also important to hear the Jewish biblical narratives that took place here on Mt. Eval and Mt. Gerizim. I am impressed.
June 1, 2018 - Gush Etzion
I have to say that I have not enjoyed a trip as much as this in a long time. I learned so much and also got to pick the most delicious fruits! In my opinion, it is very important to organize trips like this which support agricultural initiatives in Gush Etzion areas and also show the lives and stories of the communities and people who live there. Was a great experience! I enjoyed not only the harvest that included both wild berries and cherries but learning how the founder of Petel B’Har created his incredible orchards with much effort e and patience and advice from Russian-speaking olim! I also loved the experience of learning how to make flour and then pita with our own hands in Kashuela Farm, where they raise sheep and other animals and lots of experimental agriculture. I highly recommend this trip for urban people and for new immigrants, but not only!
May 31, 2018 - Tel Aviv
Arkady Mayofis is the founder of the most famous regional media company in Russia. The company was closed by state authorities, and he made aliyah in 2015 from Russia and founded a new brand of Israeli food for tourists called “Yoffi.” Although Arkady does not speak Hebrew and his family helps him with everything, he successfully broke into the Israeli market with a new brand. He agreed to meet with our group and and we had an interesting, exclusive and amazing discussion with him. Arkady was very open with the participants about his life here, his psychological problems after aliyah, the difficulties of creating a new business and the differences in the mentality of businessmen and the search for investors. It was a memorable and thought-provoking evening.
May 30, 2018 - Haifa
What a great night! About 50 participants competed for prizes while testing their knowledge about Israeli history, culture and traditions. The theme was “70 Years to the State of Israel” and the question categories included Calendar (i.e. what is a leap year called in Hebrew?). Aphorisms (quote from Golda Meir?), History (operation against Egyptians in War of Independence?) Personalities (who blew the shofar at the Kotel in 1967?) , Tanach (example of unselfish male friendship in Tanach?) and much more.
May 25, 2018 - Beersheva
Today, a soldier from the Israel Logistics Service came to us and told us how to behave in case of an alarm and in various emergency situations. She also explained the structure of the army and the Home Front Command and its functioning during wartime. The information was very interesting and useful. It was good to understand that Israel is organized and prepared at a high level.
May 2018 - Tel Aviv
In May 2018, the Argaman Israeli Cultural Project held the two final meetings of the Visual Arts Course:
May 4th, Cuckoo's Nest Gallery, Tel-Aviv-Yaffo and "The CITY" Art Exhibition + art-class with Kseniya Revzin.
We met with Alexandra Levina (our guide into Israeli Art) in the main Hall of the Cuckoo's Nest Gallery, that was specially opened for us on Friday Morning. Alexandra introduced to the group Ella Cohen, the curator, who gave a short greeting speech to the group, and continued with a 30-min tour around the Exhibition talking about the most interesting of 48 participating artists.
After that we met with Kseniya Revzin, one of the exhibited artists, who took the group to prepared tables on the open veranda. Everyone received several sheets of paper, a piece of a charcoal for drawing and under her strict guidance created several small sketches, inspired by the surrounding Tel Aviv landscape and various objects.
"I really enjoyed the exhibition, it gave a fresh point of view on many familiar subjects. Ella is amazing! The art-class was a bit hard for me, as I've never tried drawing before, but closer to the end I started to understand how the materials react and made a pretty nice sketch"
"Kseniya showed us a very cool technique that is easy to repeat. I think I will continue to draw Israeli and familiar landscapes at home"
May 23rd, Marina, Tel-Aviv - Guided tour of Leonardo Art Hotel
The collection of Dubi Shiff that is located in the halls of Leonardo Art (ex Marina) Hotel in Tel-Aviv shows a great variety of Israeli realism, both in drawing techniques and in content. We met in the Lobby and then started the tour from the top floor down.
At the very beginning of a tour our guide Alexandra Levina asked us to find two photos among all the presented paintings – a very difficult task which added intrigue to the tour.
Alexandra told us stories about many of the paintings, the artists’ lives, the prestigious Israeli and international prizes that they won, and the auctions in which they participated.
After the tour, we stayed in one of the conference halls to have tea with sweets and fruits and share thoughts and emotions about the whole 6-meeting Argaman Course on Israeli Visual Arts.
"After this tour I have a strong desire to return because we only had time to see about a third of this increadible collection! I think next time I will take here my friends too to show them and give them a summary of Alexandra's lecture"
"I want to thank Alexandra and all the organizers of this wonderful course. I think that we need 2-3 more meetings with Alexandra to visit the most interesting and influential galleries around"
May 22, 2018 - Beersheva
Thank you to Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli for this useful lecture – what we must know about the banking and financial systems in Israel. We received important information and many good tips and examples that we can apply to our everyday lives here. This was a very relevant discussion for me.