"It was summer, and Jerusalem was burning." Two thousand years ago, we started a war against a world empire and lost almost everything. This story is the last battle of a doomed city and an unexpected victory two thousand years later, narrated by the amazing historian, writer, and Israel guide Boris Dolin.
I listened to the lecture in one breath! Thanks to Boris and Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli!
Gennady Gorodetskiy has been advising groups and individuals on taxation and business management for the past several years. He works in the MATI center, the Ministry of Absorption's assistance program in the field of entrepreneurship, business start-up, and development.
Business is the basis of any economy, and for new immigrants, an opportunity to do something of their own in their new country. As part of an hour and a half meeting, Gennady shared his best practices with the participants: how to start a new business, who to contact to become an entrepreneur in Israel, what programs exists, how many years you can participate in subsidized programs, and other useful and practical information.
Raphael Shohat, an Analytical Chemist and informal Jewish educator, helped us take a closer look at texts from the Tanach. We started by understanding the books included in the Tanakh, what a Talmudic pages look like, how to read the Torah, and various levels and methods of its interpretation..
He shared the most curious stories and misnomers about events in the Torah, and recommended additional literature on this topic. He also touched on codes in the Bible and gave fascinating examples. Thanks to Raphael, I am very curious to explore these topics further.
During these intellectual Quiz competitions, teams of participants pooled and showed off their knowledge on Jewish, historical and general topics in a fun atmosphere and learned many new things.
The participants were divided into six teams, and spent 1.5 hours answering questions using their mobile phones. In the end, the quiz facilitator announced the winner.
This game was great entertainment at a difficult time for many people, and we held two of these quiz games in November.
Zeev Volk, a professional guide and informal Jewish educator, began this lecture about the history of Odessa's formation and the Odessa Jews who attended synagogue in the same way they would visit the Opera. That is why Cantors were so crucial in Odessa synagogues.
Zeev told us that Zionism in Odessa was from the “newcomers”’ who discovered how free Odessa was and began to change the Jewish world from this city. Tsar Nicholas II allowed free press in Odessa, which became the center of Zionistic and Jewish mass media, with newspapers and journals in Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian and other languages. Zeev spoke to us about Lilenblum and Ahad haAm, and the creation of an alternative religious Zionist organization, Mizrahi in Minsk in 1884. He explained how the third Aliya became the most important one, as they started to write the history of the first and second Aliya.
I like the lectures and tours of Zeev Volk who knows how to speak to a young audience. He has made Odessa, Zionism, and the history of Jews from eastern Europe interesting topics for me.
A journalist in Israel is more than a journalist. He can dismiss the prime minister and destroy the government. He expresses his opinion publicly and is not afraid of accusations of subjectivity.
But are Israeli journalists really all so powerful? Can journalism and media be separated? What is the future of this profession in our country? All this we discussed with Dmitry Dubov, journalist, TV presenter, and editor-in-chief of the Channel 9 news service.
Dmitry told stories from his practice, about famous Interviewees such as Yair Lapid and others.
Participants learned about the world of Israeli journalists, the specifics of their work, and evolving perspectives on Russian-language journalism in Israel.
We continue to host the “Torah podcasts through our eyes”. This is a weekly podcast in which three people with different perspectives and backgrounds discuss interesting themes in the weekly Torah portion.
The number of downloads and listeners has increased each week. One listener wrote to me that it has opened up a whole world of wisdom that she didn’t know before, and that she really looks forward to these podcasts!
We continue our series of weekly Conversational Ulpan classes with Olga Klein. Two groups of ten people meet once a week in Haifa and discuss current events and topics of interest to improve their spoken Hebrew skills.
The course provides an opportunity to practice Hebrew. Thanks to it, I started to speak more and am much less afraid to use the little Hebrew I know!.
Every culture has its definition of "a good person." Beginning with this famous quote from Pirkei Avot, (Ethics of the Fathers) , what is this definition according to Jewish sources? Journalist and Jewish studies lecturer Eva Levit provided another fascinating online lecture about what it means to be a “human” from the perspective of Jewish tradition. She also shared the Kabbalah's point of view and the qualities of a refined person. Eva spoke about the psychological point of view of the Tanakh and Talmuc and differences between the ancient and modern religious approaches to this phrase.
Arie Turovsky is a professional Israeli guide informal Jewish educator. He provided for us a virtual tour of Nes Ziona, moving from square to square, along the flagged trail. Arie told us the story of Nahalat Reuven and the deal between Reuven Lerer and a templar, and the development of the First and Second Aliyah. We also talked about the Israeli flag and the debate between Nes Ziona and Rishon le Zion on who invented it first. We also discussed the controversial figure Michael Halperin who entered a lion’s cage (like the prophet Daniel). At the end of our tour, we decrypted the city's emblem and spoke about the first honey farm in the early Jewish settlements.
I've been living in Israel for more than ten years, and this was totally new information for me! Thanks to Arie for such good stories and for Shishi Shabbat Israeli for introducing us to a great guide like Arie Turovsky. I hope we will go on a real tour with him also!