This month’s art exhibition features the work of Yuda Braun and Alex Janetzko. The following introduction is by the artists in their own words. To return to this month’s online art exhibition, please visit the Sh’ma homepage. “The White Soldier” Performance: Yuda Braun Images: Alexander Janetzko Yuda Braun was born in Canada in 1984, raised
David Makovsky: Certain circles within the American Jewish community, as well as many Israelis, including those in the settler movement, believe that this generation of Palestinians is hopeless as a partner for peace — that peace will have to be deferred to another generation. But will anything be left to negotiate in a generation from now? For one thing, the settlers are not waiting. If a grand deal is not attained, the settler movement will push Israel to expand its control of the West Bank.
Israeli culture makes us wonder about how art is produced in times and places of conflict. How is the creative process different here in Israel, where art lacks the nurturing and funding it finds elsewhere? We know (from reading the classics), that art is the very thing that is produced while the world producing it
Can we expect a change to the status quo in Israel? The Israeli election earlier this year generated hope among those who oppose the privileged position of the ultra-Orthodox, the role of religion in defining personal status and regulating the Sabbath, and the lack of progress in the peace process with the Palestinians. The meteoric
Facing one another we turn our backs to the world’s calamities. Behind our closed eyes and curtains both heat and war erupted at once. The heat will calm down first, the faint breeze won’t bring back the boys who have been shot, won’t cool down the wrath of the living. Even if it tarry, the
1. How do you understand David Ben-Gurion’s original notion of “status quo,” and what is its legacy?
2. What is the argument about demographic trends and the future of democracy in Israel? How does a broader discussion of “status quo” impact the future of a Jewish and a democratic state?
3. What is the relationship, if any, between Israel’s cultural efflorescence — in food, wine, film, fiction, etc. — and a sense of political stagnation?
4. What will Israel look like — culturally, religiously, geopolitically, economically, and otherwise — if the political status quo is sustained for another 10, 20, or 50 years?
5. How does change take root in a society that situates itself both as a bulwark of tradition and at the cusp of innovation? What might remain static, and what must change?
Behind the headlines about Israel’s political challenges, forces are at work to shift the country toward a stronger Jewish democracy. The inspiring tale of a growing trend of secular Israelis engaging with “Hebrew culture” — what American Jews may recognize as Jewish learning, social justice, and ritual — is exemplified by a leading educator, visionary,
He stands, lowering his pants, and urinates on the dying bonfire of Zionism. (from “Shtei Nekudot” by Aharon Shabtai, Haaretz, Oct. 11, 1998) Growing numbers of Jews in Israel and around the world are sinking into banal ambivalence, alienation, and even hostility toward the country. On a polarized field, deprecating detractors face off against staunch
When we take a walk, we are three, You, me and the next war. When we go to sleep, we are three, You, me and the next war. When we smile at a moment of love, The next war smiles with us. When we wait at the maternity ward, The next war waits with us.