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Museum of Jewish Heritage to Host Talk on Polish-Jewish Artist’s Masterwork Haggadah

The Four Questions from The Haggadah. Łódź, 1935. Source: Irvin Ungar

The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City will host a special lecture on the Polish-Jewish artist Arthur Szyk and his illustrated Haggadah, one of Szyk’s masterworks, by the world’s leading expert on his work.

The online talk, on Tuesday, April 8 at 7 pm, will be given by Szyk scholar Irvin Ungar and will explore “how and why Szyk is the artist of and for the Jewish people, and the ways his art and spirit remain eternal in the service of mankind,” according to the museum’s website.

Today, Szyk is perhaps best known for his The Haggadah, an “illuminated manuscript” which tells the story of the Passover Seder in a series of watercolor illustrations. It was thoroughly anti-Nazi, linking the oppression of Jews in Nazi Germany with the enslavement of Jews in Egypt and, ultimately, their Exodus.

Szyk’s Haggadah was one of the most expensive new books in the world upon publication in 1940, according to Ungar. The Times of London deemed it “worthy of being considered among the most beautiful of books ever produced by the hand of man.”

The talk will also explore how Szyk saw Hitler as the new Pharaoh and the Nazis as the new Egyptians who had come to annihilate his people, using an ancient text to deliver a modern message about persecution and freedom.

Written between 1934-1936 in the shadow of Hitler’s Germany, Szyk’s remarkably detailed visuals and impeccable Hebrew calligraphy combined to create a “visual commentary [calling] for heroism and emigration of Europe’s Jews to Palestine,” the site adds.

Born in 1894 in the city of Łódź during the Russian Partition of Poland, Szyk lived through a violent and epochal moment in history — an age of revolution, world war, and genocide — though his life ended prematurely in 1951. His works, from sketches of the Boxer Rebellion he drew at the age of six to his depiction of Hitler as Pharaoh — and later, Hitler as Anti-Christ — were expressive commentaries on troubled times.

After Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939, Szyk fled to England and then America, where he earned a reputation as a “soldier in art” for portraying the Nazis and Axis leaders as primal mad men and using irradiating imagery to alert the world to the plight of the Jewish people under Nazi occupation, an issue that affected him personally. In 1940, his mother, Eugenia, was murdered in the Chełmno extermination camp, just 30 miles from the city in which he grew up. Many more of his relatives — and his wife’s — were murdered during the Holocaust.

The post Museum of Jewish Heritage to Host Talk on Polish-Jewish Artist’s Masterwork Haggadah first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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