(photo credit: Hebrew University)
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem will award an honorary doctorate to artist
Moshe Gershuni next week for his “contribution to Israeli
Gershuni – whose art which touches on subjects such as the
Holocaust, politics, social issues and nationality – was born in 1936 in
British-controlled Tel Aviv to Polish parents.
His childhood was largely
overshadowed by the Holocaust, as several members of his mother’s family
At the request of his grandfather, he received a religious
education, although his family was secular. His father’s sudden death was a
turning point in his life, and it brought him to the world of art.
finishing his army service, he made a living by working in orchards as well as
on avocado and banana plantations. In the evenings, he studied sculpture at the
Avni Institute of Art and Design in Tel Aviv.
In 1972, he began teaching
at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, where he encouraged
students to raise political issues in their works. His paintings in the early
’80s crossed Yiddish texts of prayers and poetry with Holocaust
Gershuni has received over a dozen awards, including museum
prizes and awards from the government.
Hebrew University president Prof.
Menahem Ben- Sasson expressed his appreciation for Gershuni, calling him “one of
the pillars of Israeli art.”
Ben-Sasson declared that Gershuni was “bold
and original and contributed real morality and aesthetics to culture in
Gershuni’s work, he added, “is an extraordinary expression of
sensitivity toward society’s sorrows.”
The Hebrew University will also
award honorary doctorates to chemistry Nobel Prize laureate Sidney Altman,
Mexican economist Dr. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León, and the founder of the
Israeli Association for Mental Health, Chanita Rodney.