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Google Launches Virtual Jewish Exhibit with Moscow Museum
October 4, 2013

jewish theatre

Moscow’s main Jewish Museum has launched a virtual exhibit on Russian Jewish theater, in cooperation with Google.

The project was launched last week on a dedicated, English-language website that is part of Google’s Milestones in History series and is accessible online.

The Internet giant set up the exhibition with Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, according to a report published last week by the Russian news site

The museum, which opened in November 2012, is the sixth Russian cultural institution to team up with Google, according to the Komersant newspaper.

“We believe that we are facilitating a dialogue between our children and our grandfathers and great-grandfathers,” Peter Adamczyk, Google’s head of programs for southeast Europe, told the news site

The exhibition includes pictures, posters, theater programs and Hebrew and Yiddish literature on the history of the Jewish Theater in Moscow.

According to the virtual exhibition, the history of professional Jewish theatre in Russia began 146 years ago, with the October 1867 staging in Moscow theaters of comedies by the Yiddish-language poet Abraham Goldfaden, who died in 1908.

Launched at a cost of approximately $50 million, Moscow’s Jewish museum was named Museum of the Year in April by the Russia edition of the prestigious The Art newspaper.

The Google Cultural Institute was launched in 2011.


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Haredi Art Draws Jerusalem Public
Tazpit News Agency
Oct.ober 1, 2013


Jerusalem’s first Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art is giving an artistic twist to Israel’s capital, as a wide range of artwork by haredi, modern orthodox and secular artists, from both Israel and around the world, are now on display in five different venues across the city.

Modeled after the century-old Venice Biennale, the major contemporary art exhibition held in Italy every two years, the Jerusalem Biennale offers the public a chance to see 150 artworks by 50 different emerging and established artists. The Biennale features a rich interpretation of Jewish life and tradition through a wide range of contemporary artwork that includes paintings, sculpture, photography, video art and performance art.

“We are thrilled that so many artists from Israel and overseas will be participating in the first Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art,” said Biennale initiator Rami Ozeri.

One of the more unique exhibitions features work by haredi artists, graduates of the Oman School of Art, a Jerusalem art school for haredi Jews established a decade ago by the Jerusalem municipality. The haredi art school is the only one of its kind in Israel, and is today a satellite of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design.

The haredi works are part of the “My Soul Thirsts” exhibition at the Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art that features artwork reflecting Jewish spiritual subjects by 35 Jewish artists, including religious and secular.

“We have Kabbalah artists from Tzfat with works on display, alongside new immigrants who recently made aliyah to Israel, sabra Israelis, as well as secular and hassidic artists—all the different voices that make up our nation,” exhibition curator Nurit Sirkis-Bank told Tazpit News Agency.

“There is no contradiction between Jewish belief and art,” explains Sirkis-Bank, who herself became ultra-Orthodox when she was a 27-year-old art history student.

“The Haredi art here gives us an opportunity to see a more personal view of a world that is often stereotyped,” says Sirkis-Bank, pointing to the photography section of the exhibition featuring the works of an Oman graduate Tzofnat Hindi.

Hindi, who is from Mea She’arim, the well-known ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem, photographed a series of photos of Hassidic schoolboys from her neighborhood, that Sirkis-Bank sought to include in her exhibit.

“Someone who isn’t part of the Haredi world, would not have been able to capture these kinds of natural shots,” she explains. “The subjects are comfortable, they are not afraid of the camera because they know the photographer. This gives the viewers a chance to see these children in a clear, unbiased way in a time when most of Israeli society doesn’t get to interact with the Haredi world.”

Sirkis-Bank, who was an associate curator at the Israel Museum for 15 years, said that her aim was to bring the different kinds of contemporary understanding and appreciation for Jewish life shared among different Jewish artists into one exhibition.

“What all these pieces have in common is the search for a world beyond materialism, a spiritual yearning for something greater” points out Sirkis Bank.

“My Soul Thirsts” exhibition also features works by leading Israeli artists Avraham Levental from Tzfat, the late Esther Yonah and Jerusalem artist, Yossi Arish.

The first Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art is running from September 15 to October 31. Art venues are located at Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art, Hechal Shlomo, 58 King George Street, Jerusalem: Achim Chasid complex at 45 -47 Emek Refaim Street, the First Station Beit Avi-Chai and the Musrara neighborhood.


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