Tour guide and teacher Aryeh Turovsky held a webinar about the flora and fauna of Israel, including anecdotes about how the Jews stole reindeer from the Persians, how scavenger birds became “king,” and why Israel is considered the birthplace of the elephant.
This fascinating webinar drove home the fact that Israel, although a small country, contains so much of everything in its backyard, including incredible wildlife. Thanks to Aryeh for sharing such valuable and intriguing information with us!
Two buses, masks, and capsules of 20 - we set out in high spirits for our first Friday-Shabbat Seminar in too long!! We visited the Prophet Samuel’s tomb, Nebi Mussa, and King Hussein’s unfinished palace north of Jerusalem, hiked and drank tea near Jericho and then spent Shabbat in beautiful Kibbutz Almog North of the Dead Sea.
“The Shabbaton in Almog was the first for me. It was literally a breath of fresh air and rare opportunity for high-level Jewish engagement after two lockdowns. I really appreciate the activities of "Shishi Shabbat" - not only the scholarly and positive lecturers with inimitable senses of humor, but also the self-selected, smart participants!! I found many of them brilliant. I made new friends with whom I spend time with now, and will definitely be participating and recommending your upcoming events to my friends. Thank you!!”
There is no better time than Corona to hold creative womens’ gatherings where we both make beautiful artwork and spend time together. This time we helped finish unfinished paintings by our facilitator and friend, the artist Ksenya Budilovich.
Thanks to the wonderful women and Ksenya, this turned out to be a very cozy and creative evening, and my picture is now ready to be framed! Looking forward to the next meeting!
Problems with work, wages, and the search for another job during this coronavirus period have become prominent in many people's lives. We organized a meeting with Katya Dymshits, who has over ten years of experience in the Israeli recruiting market. For the last 1.5 years - in one of the leading recruiting agencies in high-tech and cyber companies. She told the participants how to make sure their profile appears in all searches for candidates, what recruiters pay attention to, how to look for work on using social media, and what is happening to the labor market during COVID-19 crisis. What other programs and sites are there for job-hunting, what is most important in a resume. She answered all our many questions.
November 10th, ONLINE
"Who is a Jewish artist and what is Jewish art?"
Lecture by Julia Patrakova.
Julia Patrakova started the lecture by defining what is a Art from the Torah and when Bezalel was given instructions on how to make the utensils for a portable temple. Then we discussed the second commandment and whether – due to its limitations – the "Jewish artist" can exist at all. After that, we moved on to the history of the 19th and 20th centuries, talked about Moritz Oppenheim, the "Rothschild artist" who began to change the mind about Jewish art; about the first Jewish sculptor, world famous Mark Antokolsky and his sculptures.
Together with the participants in a chat, we tried to answer the question whether the Jewish theme is a sign that the artist is Jewish?
In 1915, a congress was held in Petrograd, where it was decided who the Jewish artist was and what Jewish art was.
Finally, we discussed the Yiddish proverbs encrypted in Chagall's paintings.
"The lecture was very intense! I discovered many new names and surnames. It's amazing how difficult it is to find a precise definition of what counts as Jewish art. Thank you so much for continuing to give interesting lectures even during the pandemic".
Novermer 16th, Kikar HaMedina, Tel Aviv
Guided tour around the exhibition PHOTO IS:REAL
A large annual exhibition of photographs PHOTO IS:REAL (that this year took place on Kikar HaMedina in a modified format) consisted of several thematic exhibitions - competitive and non-competitive.
Maria – a Russian-speaking guide from PHOTO IS:RAEL led our tour, starting with the exhibitions of free contestants on the topic of "feeling like an immigrant" expressed through the photographs of Sivan Elirazi.
We then discussed how to survive or express the loss of a family member based on the series "Utopia". We talked about The Lonka Project, photographs of Holocaust survivors in an attempt to show character through photography and about the project of the photographer Diana Markosyan, who photographed places in Turkey, finding them from drawings and descriptions of Armenians who fled from there in 1915 as young children.
We also learned how the non the nonprofit PHOTO IS: RAEL assists the elderly and adolescents during the Covid pandemic and watched an exhibition of photographs about their social projects.
"Every year I go to this exhibition! Well done to you guys for organizing for us a tour there despite the pandemic. After the tour, when we were discussing the exhibition in our group with Asya and Liya, I realized that despite the fact that the "main art" this year speaks mainly about personal or political traumas, I preferred the amateur projects of the amuta PHOTO IS: RAEL, simple and naive positive photographs taken by old people and teenagers. We all, as it seems to me, are missing this in 2020".
November 24th, ONLINE
"Street Art of Jerusalem"
Lecture by Rafael Shokhat
Raphael divided his lecture into three parts: architecture, graffiti and sculpture. We learned about Zvi Hecker and the honeycomb houses, round synagogues and mikvahs by the architect Chaim Hefetz, discussed the architecture of the early 20th century, the buildings of the Schneiler Orphanage and its relationship to the Six Day War, watched the Yitzhak Baruch's toy castles in the courtyards of Jerusalem.
Then we discussed the figure of a giraffe and its significance in culture, as well as sculptures of a giraffe on a street kiosk in Hel Or Square, small pigeons in Magnes Square, a sculpture "a car covered with a canvas" – the monument to the times when the old railway station in Jerusalem was in operation; dynamic sculptures by Alexander Kadler, and what the red cow symbolizes.
By the end of the lecture we remembered Solomon Suzu, a street artist who started on Mahane Yehuda, and talked the legendary Rabbi Arye Levin, whose portrait Solomon painted in Nachlaot.
"We received so much interesting information! Thank you for such a good lecturer. I will review this material many times. And I'm really looking forward to the offline street art tour to Jerusalem".
For hundreds of years, the relationship between the three Abrahamic religions has been fraught with tension, complexity, and theological stereotypes. Their relationships changed in the second half of the 20th century and continue to evolve to this day. About these changes and whether they are for the better or worse, we spoke with guide, lecturer, and blogger Pavel Bernshtein.
In collaboration with the Haifa Museum, we explored Graffiti art on Masada Street, where graffiti artists first began to live and work. We learned about about the culture of graffiti, the development of graffiti artists in Haifa and Israel, and their most notable works. It is clear that our guide Jen Katzner is well versed and passionate about this topic! Her delivery was really interesting, and aroused our interest in learning more. I think it’s fantastic that after the tour, I began to look at graffiti in a completely different way.
Yesterday's lecture caused a storm of emotions in me. Although I categorically disagreed with Eva Levit, in some places, her reasoning about the Talmud and Alahi, in general, her lecture seemed significant to me. The main thing: Eva did everything beautifully: it was even less important to me what she said (her view of Jewish traditions seemed to me unconvincing). I paid more attention to how she told. Let me emphasize one more thing: I often like to "convict" lecturers of inaccuracies, especially when it comes to Jewish texts. She is an excellent master of the material; the coverage of her knowledge is delightful!
Professional archaeology starts in the 19th century, and biblical archaeology became a serious subject only about 130 years ago. Michael Chernin - an Israeli tour guide, historian, and archaeologist spoke to us about all the most significant archeological finds and the early historians who influenced archeology as a science. He told us about Robinson and Conrad Chik, the excavations and research around the Temple Mount, how one discovery changed the scientific point of view on the House of David and King Solomon's rule and existence. In Israel, we have two leading archaeological schools, Jerusalem and Tel Avivian, that debate the historical accuracy of biblical texts to this day.
Such a great lecturer! We should learn more about this topic, which changes our whole perspective on Biblical texts! Thank you for bringing such professional lecturers to teach in Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli!
Yan Privorotsky is a historian, international tour guide and well-known Jewish Trivia Quiz Game facilitator. He helped recreate for us the Jewish life of the shtetl, through fascinating archival documents that shed light on events of bygone days. We listened to stories from many different Jewish towns, learned how to find and read archival documents, and the type of information that has survived and can be researched.
From my meeting with Jan, I learned a lot about life in the Jewish shtetls on the territory of the former Russian Empire after the partition of Poland.
Jan helped us establish a historical connection with previous Jewish generations, including locating documents about our Jewish ancestors and significantly expanding our family trees.
For example, I repatriated to Israel from Russia. I know for sure that my Jewish ancestors were from Ukraine, and now I am eager to find documents that will tell me in more detail the history of my family.
Thanks to Jan, I know now that this is possible.