Rank and File

Zionist TED, cognitive strategies, art of loss.

Noa Yekutieli's gallery, 2 August, 2013.
Noa Yekutieli's gallery, 2 August, 2013.

ZIONIST TED: Some 750 students representing 30 countries gathered at Bar-Ilan University on Monday to get a dose of inspiration from a host of speakers delivering TED-style talks on the issue of developing innovative new ways to enhance Jewish and Zionist informal education. The Jewish Agency for Israel partnered with Bar-Ilan to produce the event called VIA, an acronym for “Values in Action,” for the participants, all in Israel on youth movement gap year programs.

“Looking at inspirational people was a nice concept but just the gathering all the youth is important because this is the future of world Jewry,” Adam Jenshil, the London-born director of Young Judaea’s Year Course program told Haaretz Thursday. He noted one impactful speaker: Guy Spigelman, an Australian native who is director of PresenTense, a hub for young Jewish entrepreneurs. “It is inspiring to see people who 20 years ago were on a program like theirs and are now making a difference,” Jenshil said. Another such speaker was Yair Zivan, co-founder of Kol Voice Seminars, which promotes Jewish identity and activism, and former campaigns director of the United Kingdom’s Union of Jewish Students.

THOUGHT PROVOKING: ESRA, the English Residents Speaking Organization, brought together parents of young children with Dr. Judy Silver, an educational consultant, who ran a workshop in Ra’anana, on developing thinking skills and cognitive strategies in young people. The goal is “to enable them to cope with the challenges of schoolwork, homework, scheduling their task and their lives and maintaining motivation,” Juliet Rostowsky, ESRA’s volunteer division co-coordinator, told Haaretz Monday. Silver, who recently relocated to Israel with her husband Paul while retaining her position at the University of Exeter, specializes in the Feuerstein method of cognitive education, which was developed by Israeli Professor Reuven Feurerstein. Silver gave participants challenging cognitive exercises, according to Rostowsky, after which possible problem-solving strategies were presented and discussed. She recalled one participant who said afterward, “I feel that the change in my responses and help with my kids has been instantaneous.” Rostowsky, a Zimbabwe-born, South African registered and now retired industrial psychologist, added. Silver will likely give similar workshops in the Sharon area.

MOVING ON: If we could remember all the moments of loss in our life, there would be no way to move on, says artist Noa Yekutieli, the winner of this year’s Young International Artist Award. This idea emerges in an installation exhibition she has at Kibbutz Hazorea’s Wilfrid Museum, which was funded in part by the award money presented to her by Outset, which supports the local arts scene, and the Tel Aviv Arts Council. She told Haaretz Thursday that the exhibition includes 200 paper-cut pieces, mainly from newspaper clippings of natural disasters from the past century. She said she chose natural disasters because “the reality changes in a very short time and when physical things disappear in a moment, our memory needs to format it into some idea of what we had and build a new reality.” The exhibit starts with a pile of objects from a house. “Our whole house is in front of us, but it’s not your house anymore,” observed the California-born Yekutieli. The two groups are organizing a trip to the exhibition next Friday, but art-goers can get a sneak peak on Wednesday at the Brown TLV Hotel, at the official award ceremony. For more info, visit https://TelAvivArtsTripNorth.eventbrite.com

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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