Sderot solidarity on display
Thank the good Lord, the rockets haven’t been falling much in the southern part of the country lately. Sure, not all the news coming out of the Gaza border area is positive, but at least the rate of Qassam fire into Israel has slowed dramatically in recent months.
Several grassroots, cultural initiatives have aimed at making the situation on Israel’s southern front as comfortable as possible, and at expressing or fostering solidarity with those effected (on these pages, we’ve written in the past about a lot of them, including one initiated by musicians looking to bring aid into Gaza, a community of local young bloggers sharing their experiences under fire with the world, and even one rock and rocket-themed film project).
A year ago, the Connections Israel non-profit, which has been in operation for 11 years and aims to strengthen ties between Jewish communities in the Diaspora and those here, raised the question, “To what extent do Jews around the world feel responsible to one another in the context of the situation in Sderot?” The organization mobilized its network of young people the world over to submit answers to this question that were expressed via original works of art. The solidarity-themed exhibit that resulted from the campaign opened in a Sderot community center last month (a slide show from the opening can be seen here), with plans for the exhibit to travel the world in the works.
Mordechai David Cohen, Connections Israel’s director, is proud of the work the organization had done. From his statement in the exhibit’s catalogue:
“We believe in the power of energy conservation. The energy that a young artist expends, even in a place as far away as the United States, is transferred to the person viewing his creation here in Israel!”
Connections Israel received hundreds of submissions from Europe, the former Soviet Union, South and North America, with works including sculptures, photos, paintings, poems, multimedia and even large installations. 25 of the best submissions were included in the exhibit, curated by Noa Lea Cohen, with the top three receiving prizes.
Pictured is Jerusalemite Yedidyah Ish Shalom’s “From You to You I Shall Flee,” its title taken from a poem by Rabbi Yehuda Helevi as an expression of the duality of our interconnectedness, its subject matter taken from a newspaper photograph depicting a Qassam landing area.