The city of St. Petersburg celebrated Israel at 75 with a unique event at the iconic Hermitage Museum.
On June 28, 2023, the Israeli Consulate in the Russian city, under the leadership of Dr. Uri Resnick, organized a grand celebration for the 75th Independence Day of Israel. The event took place at the prestigious Hermitage Museum and featured various cultural performances and a remarkable exhibition showcasing a model of the First Temple from the excavation site in Khirbet Qeiyafa, a rare artifact dating back approximately 3000 years.
The event attracted around 200 participants, including members of the Jewish community from St. Petersburg and other regions of northwest Russia, notable dignitaries, cultural icons, and business leaders.
One of the highlights of the evening was a captivating dance performance by renowned Russian choreographer Boris Eifman. Eifman's show, titled 'My Jerusalem,' mesmerized the audience with its artistic portrayal of the vibrant city. Additionally, Israeli trumpeter Eric Davidoff showcased his exceptional talent with a trumpet performance that enthralled the attendees.
The event was made possible through the close collaboration between the Israeli Consulate and the Hermitage Museum, specifically with the invaluable support of Dr. Mikhail Piotrovsky, the head of the museum, and Amir Kabiri, the head of the Israel Hermitage Foundation.
Thanks to the cooperation between the Israel Museum, the Antiquities Authority, and the Hermitage Museum, the exhibition featuring the model of the First Temple will be on display at a prominent location in the Hermitage for three months. Positioned alongside the museum's permanent throne room, this rare artifact will provide visitors with a unique opportunity to explore ancient history.
The event received praise and congratulations from various government officials at different levels, including the city, district, and assembly. European councilors also welcomed the opportunity to engage with senior officials from St. Petersburg and appreciated the significance of the event itself.
The Antiquities Authority recognized the exhibition as a chance to strengthen future cooperation with the Hermitage Museum once circumstances allow. Both parties understand the sensitivities involved and aim to foster continued collaboration in the future.
Representatives from the Jewish communities expressed their heartfelt congratulations on the event. They expressed their delight at witnessing Israel's presence in such a remarkable location and acknowledged the significance of celebrating the country's independence in the current context.
The Israeli Consulate in St. Petersburg's Independence Day event at the Hermitage Museum stands as a testament to the enduring cultural ties between Israel and Russia. It showcases the importance of fostering international friendships and cultural cooperation, through art, dance, and historical artifacts even in challenging times.