■ THE RISE of global antisemitism today is in many respects reminiscent of Germany in the 1930s. Iran's desire to eliminate Israel from the map is a grim reminder of ancient Persia when Haman, the king's grand vizier, sought to permanently get rid of all the Jews. Fast-forward and you have Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose attitude to the nation of Israel is not much different from that of Haman.
In the realization of history repeating itself, albeit without parallels to Mordecai and Esther, Beit Avi Chai will on Sunday, March 10, and Tuesday, March 12, update the Purim story under the heading of “Iran is Here,” and within this context will give a modern twist to the Book of Esther. There will also be a survey to see how much the audience knows about events in the actual Book of Esther, or for that matter about contemporary Iran.
Given the proximity of the event to International Women’s Day, one of the questions asked will relate to developments in the status of women from the period of ancient Persia to present-day Iran. Another interesting question is based on the attitude of the Iranian leadership to non-Iranian minorities in Iran.
The Sunday event will be moderated by Thamar Eilam Gindin, an author of several books on ancient Persia, a linguist and scholar of ancient Persia and modern Iran. A new Israeli interpretation of the Book of Ruth will be presented at the Tuesday event by Rabbi Mishael Zion and Prof. Avigdor Shinan.
The Sunday event begins at 8:30 p.m.; the Tuesday event at 8 p.m.
■ The Emunah Na’avah Tehilla chapter is holding a film night to benefit the new video therapy program for students of the Emunah Ulpana for Arts in Jerusalem. The film night will also benefit students of the Ma’aleh School of Television, Film and the Arts, in that viewers who may not be familiar with the works of some of the highly talented students and graduates of the school will have a chance to see three short award-winning films created by graduates and senior students.
The date is March 24 at 8 p.m. in the auditorium of Yad Harav Nissim, 44 Jabotinsky Street. The films selected for screening are The Little Dictator, I am Ready and A Shabbos Mother.
Organizers of the event who have seen the films forecast that the audience will laugh, cry and relate to the characters and places depicted. A discussion on the films will be led by Katie Green, film director, writer and staff member of the Ma’aleh school. Also present will be some of the students from the Emunah high school who visit the Ma’aleh school on a weekly basis to participate in the video therapy program. The film night is not limited to women only, and men will receive a cordial welcome. To reserve tickets contact Shirley Cahn (email@example.com) or Esther Schiller (02) 561-1078.
■ ALTHOUGH SHE is one of the leading activists among the opponents to the Blue Line light rail running down Emek Refaim Street, conductor Anita Kamien still finds time for her first love – music – and this coming Tuesday, March 12, will be conducting a concert of the Hebrew University Orchestra at the Mormon Auditorium on Mount Scopus at 8:30 pm. The concert, which features students as soloists in concerto movements, includes works by Mozart, Marcello, Bach, Rodrigo. Tchaikovsky, Sarasate and Bizet.
Hebrew University rector Barak Medina has implemented a Knesset requirement that all BA students engage in a year of community involvement, through which they will earn credit points toward their degree. This includes participation in the orchestra. The annual Avraham Harman Memorial Concert will take place at the Jerusalem Theater on June 16 in conjunction with the university’s annual meeting of the board of governors.
■ FASHION WEEK Tel Aviv opens on Saturday, March 11. Whoever hasn’t bought a NIS 250 ticket is unlikely to be able to do so at this late stage, but for anyone truly interested in Israel’s fashion evolution, a visit to the Israel Museum, where the “Fashion Statements” exhibition is still on display, is a rewarding experience. It’s difficult to concentrate on individual garments in runway fashion shows, but at the museum, where timeless creations of some of Israel’s best-ever designers can be viewed from every angle and for as long as you like, it will cost a lot less than NIS 250, and there are also video clips of runway shows.