Grapevine: On Purim, Passover and Van Gogh

Since Pureim is arguably a women’s festival, Holon will hold a Women’s Festival between Purim and International Women’s Day.

Purim costumes 390 (photo credit: Courtesy Marom Communications)
Purim costumes 390
(photo credit: Courtesy Marom Communications)
SATIRIST, COMEDIAN and journalist Kobi Ariel, who has for some years now been hosting a cooking program, has been chosen to be the presenter for the Eating Kosher Festival that begins tomorrow and continues through February 21. Ariel will launch a campaign that will be run simultaneously in 40 kosher restaurants, and because he eats only kosher himself, will attempt to visit all 40 during the 12-day festivities.
THE ORTHODOX Union will publish a Passover Guide that will include a products list, articles explaining the differences in Passover kashrut standards, a manual for kashering kitchens and utensils, information explaining the differences of available matzot, the stringencies of Passover customs among Sephardim and Ashkenazim, what medicines one can use, and more. The OU Passover Guide is familiar to American Jews, but it is now being customized for Israel.
AMONG THE first visitors to the multimedia exhibition “Van Gogh Alive,” which opened last weekend at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, was Ambassador of The Netherlands to Israel Caspar Veldkamp, who was naturally interested in one of several world famous artists who originated from his country. “I feel a personal bond with Vincent van Gogh’s work, since I grew up in one of the towns in Holland where he lived and painted. The story of his life and work is still present in that region. Van Gogh’s postimpressionist images are among the world’s famous icons of Dutch art. The way art and audio/visual innovation are connected at the ‘Van Gogh Alive’ exhibition reflects the revolutionizing qualities of his work. Our fellow countryman Van Gogh continues to influence artists both in Holland and beyond. He deserves special attention in 2013 when we celebrate his 160th birthday,” said Veldkamp.
The exhibition, which originated in Australia, has been seen by more than 300,000 people around the world. It is a groundbreaking exploration of the work of Van Gogh that immerses the visitor in light, sound, movement and color as it combines traditional art, multimedia display technology and cinematic direction to create an experience that engrosses, educates and entertains. Two thousand of the artist’s most famous compositions have been adapted for the exhibition, which is screened on massive HD screens, walls, pillars, ceilings and even the floor. The visitor has the impression of ‘drowning’ in the essence of Van Gogh.
ONE OF the final acts of the outgoing government was the establishment this week of a National Fire and Rescue Authority. The official ceremony at which the NFRA was launched took place at Beit Yad Labanim in Ashdod, with the participation of Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Fire and Rescue Commissioner Gen. Shahar Ayalon.
Also among those present was Ashdod Mayor Yehiel Lasri, along with families of victims of the Mount Carmel disaster and firefighting officer training cadets.
SINCE PURIM is arguably a women’s festival, even though men join in, the Holon Theater for the Performing Arts together with the Holon Municipality has decided to run the annual Women’s Festival between Purim and International Women’s Day, which is on March 8. The festival will be held from February 27 to March 2, and as always will include a fascinating tapestry of feminine achievements with an abundance of performances by artists from Israel and abroad, workshops, discussions, movies, and art and design installations. Flying in specifically for the Women’s Festival and appearing in Israel for the first time is the singer, actress and dancer, Mali-born Fatoumata Diawara, who now lives in Paris. Diawara combines African rhythm with other international influences to produce a unique sound of her own. Others coming from abroad include Rita Antonopoulou, a Greek singer with a natural ability to express various genres of Greek music, from folk lyrics to dramatic ballads; and Hiske Eriks of Holland, a young actress who is taking theater festivals in Europe by storm while choosing unexpected characters and taking them to the limit, using humor and a somewhat different viewpoint of extreme situations. One of the highlights of the festival each year is a special tribute performance to a woman who has reached the peak of her profession. This year’s honoree is Rivka Michaeli, whose CV includes singer, dancer, actress, comedienne, announcer, and radio and television hostess. The title of the tribute show in her honor is taken from of her songs: “Never a Dull Moment.”