Congregation Shearith Israel – Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue 360th Anniversary

Congregation Shearith Israel in New York, with which Beit Hatfutsot is enjoying profound partnership, celebrated its 360th anniversary.

Beit Hatfutsot’s cooperation with the oldest Jewish congregation in America, will be reinforced with the renewal of The Museum of the Jewish People Core Exhibition at Beit Hatfutsot, to which the congregation has contributed artifacts and knowledge.

“We are proud to bring you our special program, made possible through our partnership with Beit Hatfutsot. In conversation with Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, our honorees David and Rebbeca Nathan are going to talk about their family’s history in our congregation. Thanks to generous donation from the American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot”.

 

Chaja Gravina – A Surprising Discovery in the “My Family Story” Project

When Franco Anza, a pupil attending the “Tarbut” school in Mexico, began preparation of his roots project this year, in the framework of “My Family Story” at Beit Hatfutsot, he already had a family tree. His sister, Valentina, had prepared it two years ago using My Heritage software, which Beit Hatfutsot recommends to participants of “My Family Story.”

Franco wanted to update the tree and expand upon it, as well as to rewrite and design the work as his own.

In the course of his research, an Argentinian boy, who he never before met, told him of his Great Grandmother, Chaja Gravina , who he said was also Franco’s Great Grandmother.

The story did not end there. Franco’s family knew of Chaja Gravina and always recounted that she died in the Holocaust. However, thanks to the family link in Argentina it became apparent that she survived, immigrated to Argentina and established a new family!

Chaja never knew that her mother survived and that subsequently after WWII immigrated to Israel. In fact, she never knew that any of her family had survived.

How sad that these two women, who lived a long and full life, never knew one of the fate of the other!

If it wasn’t for the “My Family Story” project and the My Heritage software, the Anza family would never have discovered this new and exciting information.

The two families today maintain warm and friendly relations.

 

 

“The Success of the Storytellers” by Mordechai (Max) Shatner

shatnerIn his new book Mordechai (Max) Shatner, Israeli philosopher and artificial intelligence expert, suggests a fresh explanation of the famous Jewish success secret. Apparently, the ancient Jewish art of creating stories is the main source of Jews’ phenomenal success.

The diversity of Jewish success led the author to the conclusion that it depends on some basic intellectual skill, which characterizes the Jewish culture and shared by all Jews wherever or whenever they lived. Although all the people in the world are quite the storytellers, Jews are different: our stories are more like movie scripts. For example, most of the Jewish holidays have a fascinating “Hollywood” story behind them.

Shatner insists that telling a convincing and engaging story is the foundational key to success. So this national narration ability was extremely useful to many Jews in various fields: from sience to busyness. As we always say at Beit Hatfutsot: Never underestimate a good Jewish story!

Mordechai (Max) Shatner, “The Success of the Storytellers”, published (in Hebrew) by Yedioth Books.

The Mighty Don and His Descendants

The decree expelling the Jews from Spain was signed in the Alhambra palace of Granada. By Ferdinand and Isabella, king and queen of Spain, in the presence of the chief  inquisitor Torquemada and the Jewish representative Don Isaac Abrabanel. Spain, March 31, 1492. Diorama at the core exhibition, Beit Hatfutsot (photo: Yaacov Brill)

The decree expelling the Jews from Spain was signed in the Alhambra palace of Granada.
By Ferdinand and Isabella, king and queen of Spain, in the presence of the chief
inquisitor Torquemada and the Jewish representative Don Isaac Abrabanel.
Spain, March 31, 1492. Diorama at the core exhibition, Beit Hatfutsot (photo: Yaacov Brill)

These days in 1492 were fateful and busy for Don Isaac Abrabanel. This prominent philosopher, statesman and financier left nothing undone to convince Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon to revoke the Alhambra decree.  But despite all his efforts, including a huge bribe he offered the monarchs, the Edict of Expulsion went public, and Jews were forced to give up their faith or leave the country.

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The Abrabanels joined their brethren in faith and left Spain, where this distinguished Jewish family, which traces its origin from King David himself, settled right after destruction of the First Temple. 

Since then the Abrabanel family – poets, physicians, financiers, and scholars – lived in Italy, Holland, England, Turkey and other places. They were so brilliant and successful that some Ashkenazi Jewish families were happy to adopt their surname and become proud Abrabanels by themselves.

A Glimpse on Ukrainian Jewry

Now, when the Crimea on everyone’s lips, let’s recall that in 1921 the young Soviet regime had plans to establish a Jewish republic in the peninsula. Actually it was a brilliant idea: the Jewish agricultural settlements, pioneered by “Ha-Halutz” and other Jewish groups, were very efficient; and the American Joint Distribution Committee was willing to pay and provide valuable machinery.

What happened to the Jewish Crimea? Who are they, the Ukrainian Jews? Where did they come from and what is their story?

On April 30, 7p.m., you are invited to a special evening at Beit Hatfutsot, dedicated to Ukrainian Jewry.

•A selection of films from Beit Hatfutsot collections. Ms. Rivka Aderet

•Roots and family names of the Jews of the Ukraine. Mr. Haim Ghiuzeli

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The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot

Jewish Kolkhoz in Crimea, 1920.

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The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot

“Ha-Halutz” members, Crimea, 1924.

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The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot

In “Tel-Hai” settlement, Crimea, 1925.

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The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot

Lunch in the Jewish settlement, Crimea, 1925.

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The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot

Jewish kolkhoz “Fraileben” (free life), Crimea, 1931.

Beit Hatfutsot and Wizo graduates are “Zooming” into the Israeli reality

 

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 Photography: Orly Pearl Nir

The term “melting pot” was used by David Ben Gurion during the early 1950’s. It means creating an Israeli society with an unified identity which, back then, meant Ashkenazi, educated, secular and progressive.

Has the “Old Man’s” vision been realised?

“Forging the Melting Pot” is a joint project of the Wizo Academic Center  Haifa and Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of The Jewish People, Tel Aviv. The project showcases the personal interpretation of photography graduates with regards to the term “Melting Pot” in Israel 2014.

The disintegration of heavily industrial factories, next to the estates of Hi-Tec Nouveau Riche, the decline of the Kibbutz alongside with facing the hardships of immigration, newly religious couples vs. army  reservists on a brake rest. All of these and more are presented in an exhibition displaying the artists’ interpretation of the term “Melting Pot” – aimed at presenting an authentic and eclectic image of Israel

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Photography: Uzi Porat

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Photography: Omry Keren Lapidot

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Photography: Sophy Brokes

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Photography: Rony Shavid Hazan

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Photography: Nadav Rotem

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Photography: Nadav Rotem

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Photography: Rony Shavid Hazan

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Photography: Ofhy Yona

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Photography: Hadas Mualeam

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Photography: Hadas Mualeam

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photography: Poly Blum

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Photography: Nofar Hason Hendelman

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Photography: Dron Oved

Pesach Celebrations Worldwide – Happy Passover!

Dear friends,
The Beit Hatfutsot team wishes the entire Jewish people a Happy Passover!

Pesach is a time of great promise and renewal when we retell a glorious part of the Jewish history and celebrate our freedom. It is also a strong, cohesive force within the Jewish community and culture. Enjoy the pictures of the Pesach celebration worldwide.

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Passover Seder with Jewish Army Personnel from Fort Leavenworth. Leavenworth, Kansas, U.S.A. 1909. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot

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Passover celebrations at Kibbutz Hachshara, Vilkaviskis, Lithuania, 1932. Courtesy of Israel Sperling, Israel. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot

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Passover at the Rassek family, Israel 1968. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot, courtesy of Moshe Rassek, Israel

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Passover Seder in Delhi, India 1979. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot, courtesy of Donna Wosk

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The boy Aaron asking the Four Questions during Seder Pesach, Landsberg DP camp, Germany, 1946. Photo: Zvi Kadushin. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot, Zvi Kadushin Collection

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Passover Seder at the Old Age Home of the Jewish Community in Shanghai, China. 1947. From the Beit Hatfutsot Photo Exhibition: “Passage Though China: the Jewish Communities of Harbin, Tientsin and Shanghai”, 1986. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot

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Kindergartten children eating Mazzoth at the ‘Colegio Israelita de Mexico’ school. Mexico City, Mexico 1966. Second from left Chava Berger.
The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot. Courtesy of Zlate Berger, Israel

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Passover Seder in Pisa, Italy, c.1927. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot. Courtesy of Dr. Meir Padua

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Passover Seder for Sunday School Children, Sidney, Australia 1984. Photo: Debbie Rooz, Australia. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot. Courtesy of Debbie Rooz

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Child reads Passover Haggadah at the annual Seder at the Kehiillath Israel religious school, Brookline, Massachusetts, USA, 1984. Photo: G.Hilsenrath. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot. Courtesy of G. Hilsenrath, U.S.A.

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Jewish soldiers celebrating the Seder in Kushka, Poland, 1910. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot. Courtesy of Dina Tzur

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Illustration from a Passover Haggadah, London, England, 1942. Artist: Ervin Singer. Haya Gallai Collection, Tel Aviv. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot

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Two sisters set the Table for Passover Seder. New York, USA 1950′s. Photo: Herbert Sonnenfeld. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot, the Sonnenfeld collection

11 Photos – Tel Aviv’s 105 Anniversary

Following are 11 beautiful photos of views in Tel Aviv from Beit Hatfutsot photo collections:

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Herbert Sonnenfeld views Tel Aviv from top of the Va’ad HaPoel building, Tel Aviv, 1960′s. Photo: Leni Sonnenfeld. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot, the Sonnenfeld collection

בית דוד בן גוריון, תל אביב שנות 1950צילום לני זוננפלד. בית התפוצות, ארכיון התצלומים, אוסף זוננפלד

Home of David and Paula Ben-Gurion. Tel Aviv, 1950′s. Photo: Leni Sonnenfeld. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot, the Sonnenfeld collection

משחקים שחמט בבית קפה תל אביב 1950 בקירוב.  צילום לני זוננפלדבית התפוצות ארכיון התצלומים אוסף זוננפלד

Playing Chess in a Café . Tel Aviv, 1950′s. Photo: Leni Sonnenfeld. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot, the Sonnenfeld collection

סמטה ביפו העתיקה 1960

The ancient city of Jaffa, 1960. Photo: Leni Sonnenfeld. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot, the Sonnenfeld collection

רשימת דיירים בבניין משותף תל אביב

Residents list on the wall of a building. Tel Aviv, 1950′s. Photo: Leni Sonnenfeld. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot, the Sonnenfeld collection

שעה מוזיקלית בקפה קמניצר 1951

The band at the Kamnitzer Café. Tel Aviv, 1951. Photo: Herbert Sonnenfeld. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot, the Sonnenfeld collection

מראה מפרץ יפו והעיר תל אביב מכיוון יפו תל אביב שנות 1960. צילום לני זוננפלד. בית התפוצות, ארכיון התצלומים, אוסף זוננפלד

Jaffa Bay and Tel Aviv. 1960′s. Photo: Leni Sonnenfeld. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot, the Sonnenfeld collection

חסרי דיור על החוף בתל אביב

Homeless “quarter” on the beach. Tel Aviv, 1960′s. Photo: Leni Sonnenfeld. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot, the Sonnenfeld collection

התחלת הבניה של אחוזת בית שהפכה אחר כך לעיר תל אביב, ארץ ישראל,1906. תל אביב, מוזיאון ההסטוריה של תל אביב-יפו

Beginning of the construction works in Tel Aviv, 1906. Courtesy of the Museum for the history of Tal Aviv Jaffa.

בית ספר מקצועי לבנות

Vocational school for girl in Tel Aviv, 1960′s. Photo: Leni Sonnenfeld. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot, the Sonnenfeld collection

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Poster of a dancing ball, 1937. Tel Aviv, Photo: Leni Sonnenfeld. The Oster Visual Documentation Center at Beit Hatfutsot, the Sonnenfeld collection

Tommy Hilfiger Visited Beit Hatfutsot

טומי הילפיגר בתערוכה בואי כלה. צילום יעקב בריל

Inside the “Here Comes the Bride” exhibition

טומי הילפיגר עם הסטודנטים של שנקר בבית התפוצות. צילום יעקב בריל (4)

With the SHENKAR students

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Hilfiger’s signature in the exhibition’s guests book

Tommy Hilfiger was very impressed with the creative work of the Shenkar students at Beit Hatfutsot’s exhibition “Here Comes the Bride”. He was also happy to meet young and fashionable Tel-Aviv audience to talk about his professional secrets and unmatched life experience.