Grapevine: Busy family

A weekly round-up of news around Israel.

Conductor Anita Kamien (photo credit: HEBREW UNIVERSITY ORCHESTRA)
Conductor Anita Kamien
THINGS ARE very hectic in the artistic Kamien family. Aside from being heavily involved in efforts to prevent the light rail from running along Emek Refaim Street, orchestra conductor Anita Kamien is busy preparing for the annual Avraham Harman Memorial Concert that will be held on March 4 at 8:30 p.m. at the Jerusalem Theatre. This year’s concert marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Avraham Harman, who was the longtime president of the university whose Institute of Contemporary Jewry bears his name. The concert will include works by Schubert, Haydn and Beethoven.
The Hebrew University Orchestra was founded in 1989 by Kamien as part of the Department of Musicology, in the Faculty of Humanities. It currently includes musicians from Israel, France, Argentina, Germany, Tunisia, Ukraine and the US.
MEANWHILE AT the Israel Museum, curator Adina Kamien-Kazhdan is putting the finishing touches on the “No Place Like Home” exhibition, which opens at the Bella and Henry Wexner Gallery on February 25 and will remain on view until July 29. The galleries will be transformed into a domestic interior displaying artworks inspired by everyday household objects, prompting visitors to think about how objects that are part of our domestic lives are represented in modern and contemporary art.
In celebration of Dada’s 100th anniversary in 2016 and the centennial of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain in 2017, the exhibition examines how artists have incorporated commonplace household items into their work, removing them from the context of the home in ways that subvert the mundane experiences of daily life. The exhibition features works by Duchamp, Man Ray, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, Martha Rosler, Louise Bourgeois, Mona Hatoum and Ilit Azoulay.
WITH REGARD to Emek Refaim, with or without the light rail, a major change is taking place with the disappearance of the Tamir Bookstore, which has been sold to Steimatzky, which also has a store on Emek Refaim. The Emek Refaim store in the Tamir chain is one of several in a family enterprise headed by Moti Binshtok.
The business was started by his father, who initially sold encyclopedias. The store expanded into a chain, mostly in Jerusalem, but also in Mevaseret Zion. The stores were sold some years ago to Tzomet Sfarim. It is not yet known whether Steimatzky will continue to operate all the Tamir stores in Jerusalem under its own name or whether it will close them.
THE HISTORY of Jews in Scotland is relatively short, going back around two centuries. Moreover, the Jewish population of Scotland, even at its peak, was quite small in numbers. Yet for all that, Scotland’s Jewish communities had all the kinds of services found in large Jewish communities, in addition to which Scotland’s Jewish community has produced a number of famous people, as well as some interesting characters.
Dr. Kenneth Collins, chair of the Scottish Jewish Archives Center, visiting professor, history of medicine at the Hebrew University, and retired ambassador Neville Lamdan, who chairs the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy, are both Scotsmen living in Jerusalem, and both are active members of the Israel Branch of the Jewish Historical Society of England. Both are also keen on promoting awareness of the history of Scotland’s Jews, particularly those from Glasgow. Collins is also chairman of the Hazvi Yisrael congregation on Hovevei Zion Street in Talbiyeh, which meant he had no problem getting a venue for talks on Jewish genealogy and Scottish Jewish history, which he and Lamdan will deliver on Wednesday, February 22, at 7 p.m.
Lamdan’s topic will be “A New Dimension in Jewish Genealogy – Study of a National Jewish Community”; and Collins will speak about “What the New Dimension Teaches Us about Jewish History.”
Admission is free of charge. For people particularly interested in the history of the Jews of Scotland, the recently published book by Collins, The Jewish Experience in Scotland: From Immigration to Integration, will be available for NIS 50.