Israel@60 Mission: Reflections on arts and culture

The Arts & Culture track of the mission, which I led with lay person extraordinaire Liki Abrams, included all the elements we thought were essential for a rich, engaging and exciting program. We did so much it is nearly impossible to list. So here’s the short version: We delved into the visual arts and visited several museums; explored present day industrial design; met with Ronen Schorr, film director and head of the Sam Spiegel school of film and TV; encountered artists and Judaica artisans, met actors and watched a performance of theatre Mara in Kiryat Shmona; explored Yad Vashem through the prism of the arts; toured Jaffa, Neve Tzedek and Tel Aviv; met an art collector; and experienced dance, musical and theatrical performances. We did all that and much more. We had a unique and intellectually stimulating experience. Tour of Ein Harod Museum of Art The Arts and Culture track enjoys a guided tour of the Ein Harod Museum of Art in the Galil. Photo by Jack Adler Yet, judging by what was shared on the bus on the long ride from the north of Israel to Tel Aviv – much more was gained. One by one participants came up to the front of the bus – at first reluctantly and later courageously sharing impressions and emotions – speaking of transformational experiences and profound inspiration. They talked about being deeply moved during Yom Hazikaron. They shared poems they wrote. They talked about the feeling of belonging to the people and the land. They said they enjoyed each other’s company and appreciated each other’s knowledge. They planned a reunion. They said they will be back! When you are a member of the planning team for the JCF’s Israel@60 Mission you have a vision. You fantasize, plan, coordinate, prioritize, insist, compromise, get lost, return to the original vision, finalize the itinerary and finally… embark on the mission. You can never plan the small miraculous moments, foresee the unexpected connections between people, predict the deep understanding that emerges, or envisage the profound emotional impact on your fellow tripsters. In the end these are the outcomes that linger in our memory and leave a lasting imprint. A personal thank you to all the participants on the Arts & Culture track, an amazing group of individuals, who explored together and opened their minds and their hearts to this fascinating and beloved place. It was an honor and a privilege to travel with you, to learn together and to fall in love again with the people and the land. Vavi Toran

Categories: Israel


May 16, 2008


The Federation