October 11th, ONLINE
"The story of the return, the fate of Jewish collections that disappeared during the Holocaust", with Natalie Nesher Aman
During World War II, Jews fled Europe leaving behind everything they had acquired. Many of them at that time were part of bourgeois society and used to be art collectors.
We began our lecture with the story of Carnelius Gurlet, the owner of the Art Gallery, who actively bought paintings that belonged to Jews and after the War refused to return them without trial -as an example, we discussed the portrait of Wally Neuzil.
Then we moved on to a discussion of the portrait of "Golden Adele Klimt" and how this Jewish woman (the model depicted in the portrait) became the symbol of Austria.
We also talked about the journey of the library of Rabbi Schneerson (one of the largest collections of Jewish books, beginning inthe 16th century), which has partly still have not been returned, and Pissaro's painting, which was exhibited at the Israel Museum.
“I never thought about this phenomenon, although I knew that the Jews left all their property in Germany and Austria during the Second World War. It is amazing how the echoes of the Holocaust reach us to this day, and how through the art world we are trying to restore justice".
October 26th, ONLINE
Review of the Israel Museum Exhibition "Chairs of Solitude" by Evgeny Siruk
While the museums are closed we decided to discuss online one of the famous exhibitions at the Israel Museum “Chairs of Solitude”. Evgeny Siruk, a specialist in Jewish studies, visited and filmed the exhibition especially for us, and created an amazing presentation. This exhibition is a joint project of Bezalel and the Israel Museum, the result of 10 years of photography collection. The photographs show the chairs that the Breslav Hasidim left in the forest to follow the tradition of solitude.
The organizers of the exhibition took the clash of culture and nature as the main idea, so we talked about the culture of Breslav Hasidism, and about nature, in Hebrew "teva", the word with the same root with "ring" (which had the meaning of "seal"). So that Nature is the seal of God.
We talked about the history and ideas of Rabbi Nachman (for example, “everyone who can sit on a chair is a person”), as well as the history of the chair that belonged to Rabbi Nachman in modern Israel.
Next we discussed that the broken and repaired chairs in the photo are an allegory of the idea of Tikkun Olam.
“I love the perspective from which Zhenya Siruk talks about the Hasidic Jewish world, his amazing ability to show how the ideas that arose in Jewish shtetls centuries ago remain relevant today. I will be happy to visit this exhibition as soon as we get out of quarantine!"
Vagif Aliev, a private lawyer and notary, and good friend of Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli shared insights into the judicial system in Israel. He discussed also how we can protect our consumer rights, during the COVID-19 period and in general.
Very interesting and useful webinar. I didn’t know how to pursue my rights in Israel – for instance, what to do with unscrupulous sellers. Thank you for all the important tips and recommendations!
Translator, journalist, and Jewish Educator Eliezer Lesovoy explained to us the world of Jewish texts and together, we examined different approaches to “money” and “material wealth” from an entirely new perspective.
We looked at several philosophies regarding money and wealthy as a phenomenon in Jewish texts. It wasf ascinating to read the ideas of Jewish sages about wealth and luxury as a reflection of tremendous inner strength, and blessing from above. Wealth gives the owner extraordinary power to correct this world and influence people (as Abraham did), allowing him to increase good deeds and Tzedaka in both ancient and modern societies..
Israeli political scientist and Bar-Ilan University lecturer Dr. Eliezer Shargorodsky shared with us details of the life and thought of a man who turned his dream into reality. We spoke about Theodor Herzl, Jewish journalist, playwright, political activist, and writer who was the father of modern political Zionism.
Thank you for such a professional and informative lecture! I painted for myself a visual portrait of Theodor Herzl, his outstanding and legendary personality!
Alex Shilman is a psychologist and economist specializing in behavioral analysis during economic crises. He discussed how the financial crisis affects people, and shared techniques to turn the current unstable situation in our favor. Alex spoke about fixed and flexible thinking, how flexible thinking saved Microsoft, and gave other examples from different companies' history which benefited from world changes.
He explained how the crisis can be perceived as a challenge and an opportunity to grow our professional skills. Webinar participants learned five correct financial behavior skills and discussed “debt, interest, loans, deductions” and other incomprehensible terms that often cause confusion.
On sight in Odessa, Guide Zeev Volk and educator and researcher Gera Grudev shared stories about the childhood of Vladimir Zhabotinsky, and his first translations, which became known all over the world. He was a talented journalist who wrote about Jewish heritage and women's rights. Zeev Zhabotinsky was also a theater critic, who wrote plays and books about the correct forms of Hebrew language for theater and cinema. During the meeting, Zeev and Gera uncovered for us a new Zhabotinsky, not a political figure, but a great writer and philosopher, whose texts are still relevant today.
I never knew my favorite translation of the poem "Nevermore" by Edgar Alan Poe was done by Zeev Zhabotinsky. After this meeting, I have many exciting books to read, thanks to Zeev and Gera for bringing us Zeev Zhabotinsky from another unexpected perspective!.
Hoshana Raba this year was held in the format of a five-hour online Limmud Marathon. All lectures were devoted to a single topic – “Jewish Unity!" It seemed to us that right now, that this theme is more relevant than ever. We expanded the geography of lecturers and participants to include excellent Jewish educators from Israel, Russia, Ukraine, and America. Israeli Government Minister Zeev Elkin spoke about the Jewish people's inner struggles precisely 1000 years ago, their consequences, but also how they resolved them.
Since the first half of the 60s of the last century, Israel's image has occupied a leading place in Soviet visual propaganda. The Israeli military and the predatory grin of Zionism was a frequent and favorite motif of hundreds and even thousands of Soviet caricatures. At the same time, many Soviet Jews asked the question: "What is the Israeli view of the Soviet Union?" We spoke with Dr. Nati Kantorovich, Director of the Information and Research Department in Nativ, about the image of the Soviet Union in Israeli caricatures between the 1930s through 1990’s. We covered topics from the pre-state period through the last years of the USSR's existence and found it very interesting.
Evgeny Kogan is well known in the Russian-speaking community as the founder and owner of the legendary book store in central Tel Aviv “Babel”. This time, he presented a lecture about OBERIU - a short-lived avant-garde collective of Russian Futurist writers, musicians, and artists in the 1920s and 1930s. He spoke about the famous absurd evenings and the tragic fate of great poets and writers of the organization at the hands of the Soviet authorities, especially Doyvber Levin.
Thanks a lot to Evgeny and Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli for organizing such an exciting and informative webinar. I’ve never heard about the organization before and the sad fate of Doyvber Levin. All the information was new and very thought-provoking.
How much time should you dedicate creating news of an important event? How do you properly publicize yourself and your efforts on behalf of the public? When do you mention or ignore critical aspects of an event - for example, Voice Override? Everything on media and publicity with well-known lawyer, publicist, and adviser to Prime Minister Netanyahu – Advocate Ariel Bulshtein.