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May 18, 1979 - Image 64

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-05-18

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64 Friday, May 18, 1979


People of the Book Are Captured by Artist Jossi Stern

Jossi Stern is among the
masters in the Israel art
colony. His genius has ele-
vated him to a universal
role. Exhibitions of his
works have attracted
worldwide attention in the
capitals and the leading art
centers of the world, and
Detroit at one time bene-
fited from a display of his
A native of Hungary,
where he was born in 1923,
he fou-nd refuge from the
Nazi terror in Israel at the
age of 19. As a Bezalel Art
Academy student he corn-
menced his career and he
has gained a place among
the very greatest in the
Jewish state.
Jossi has many awards to
his credit, and most notable
of the recent recognitions
accorded him is the Herzl
Prize as Laureate in Crea-
tive Art.
The most notable skills
of this distinguished Is-
rael artist now are ex
pressed in a volume,
"People of the Book,"
which was printed in
Great Britain by Purnell
& Sons, and issued as an
American edition by
William Collins Pub-
lishers of Cleveland.

As the title of the book
implies, it traces the drama-
tic story of the Jewish
people, portraying leading
personalities, emphasizing
the events as they began
with Abram.
Beginning with the Bible,
glorifying Abram as the Ab-
raham who was destined to
become "the father of a
great nation," continuing
with the patriarchs and
priests, judgeg and kings,
poets, prophets, warriors,
nation builders.
Having reached the era of
Ezekiel, he notes the
prophecy of the return of Is-
rael to the land of Israel,

reaching the 20th Century,
then planting his people on
the streets of Jerusalem in
the process of redemption
from out of dispersion and
persecution. It is the Return
to the Promised Land that
becomes an emphatically
impressive portrayal in this
great book.
The importance of this
book already is evident in
its having appeared in
many lands and in trans-
lations in six languages
other than Hebrew, in-
cluding the Collins
English edition.
In addition to the text,
with more than 100 reprod-
uctions of Jossi Stern's not-
able illustrations, there is
an essay by Jerusalem
Mayor Teddy Kollek
entitled "City of the Book."
Dave Foster edited the
book, and his tribute to
Stern declares: "For years I
have admired Jossi Stern's
work but have never met
him. His wide range of ar-
tistic expression fascinated
me. By viewing his pictures
I gained an insight to the
man, his love for Jerusalem,
his sense of humor, his
acute powers of observation,
his sheer joy of living, and

his refusal either to be life. Truly it is a living Bi-
bound by the restrictions of ble.
"The sound of the shofar
a single style or to be pushed
into a stultifying mold by . . . The peal of church bells
pressures of the avant- . . . the wailing Moslem call
garde. I could relax and to prayer from the Mosque
enjoy his pictures without . . . all are reminders that
needing to have them ex- this is a special place for
plained." three monotheistic reli-
A review of his book
"Jerusalem still over-
merits a view of reprod-
uctions of his works and a whelms and conquers me. I
quotation from his preface live in it and am inspired to
create by it. In a sense I
in which he states:
don't paint Jerusalem and
"Working, sketching, its people. I paint with them
painting in Jerusalem for . . . happy in my privileged
more than a quarter of a role as a modest chronicler
century, I cannot escape who tries to add a few lines
a constant recognition of
the great heritage of this
place and our people. It
cries out from every
corner of this City of
David and the Prophets.

"These ancient stones
have seen it all. They have
been mute witness to great
dramas, amazing miracles
and terrible tragedies. I can
hear the excited and happy
sounds of David's conquer-
ing soldiers. I can hear the
weeping of Jeremiah as the
city is deatroyed.

"Just being here brings
the Book of our people to

to the beauty and glory of
this great city — the eternal
home of the People of the

It is also necessary to
know Mayor Kollek's
tribute to the eminent ar-
tist. Kollek's essay in this
book is significant as a
glorying factor in
Jerusalem, whose mayor
writes in the Stern book:

"Jossi Stern's char-
acterization of the pat-
riarchs and prophets
striking, and his portray,
of present-day People of the
Book and the City of the
Book is most realistic .. .
History endorses the dura-
bility of both the Jews and
Jerusalem . . . If you want a
single word to symbolize the
history of the People of the
Book, that word is

Just as Jossi Stern has
enriched Israel with his art,
so also emerges a recogni-.
tion of the gifts he has made
to art itself. His "People of
the Book" is a gem in all re-
spects, with art giving due
recognition to the genius of
the people portrayed in the
fascinating book.
— P.S.

The Abundant Musical Talent in Israel Is Boosted by Immigrants


The Jewish News Special
Israel Correspondent

TEL AVIV — Israel is a
country rich in art and
music. It is amazing, that a
country with only three mil-
lion inhabitants should de-
velop art and cultural ac-
tivity of such high standard.
In Israel, there are dozens
of symphony orchestras,
many chamber orchestras,
trios and quartets. The
kibutzim also have much
musical activity. The
famous philharmonic or-
chestra in Tel Aviv was
founded 63 years ago by the
two world famous musi-
cians: Arturo Toscanini and
Bronislav Huberman.. The
Tel Aviv municipality
named two streets near the
Mann Concert Hall . after
the two musicians.
The orchestra is com-
prised of 115 musicians,
among them 29 immig-
rants, mostly from the
Soviet Union, U.S. and
Romania. In one year the
orchestra gives more than
150 concerts in Israel and
dozens in several countries
abroad. Most concerts are
subscription concerts in the
big cities. All concerts are
sold out. The Mann Concert
Hall in Tel Aviv has 2,700
seats. The permanent mus-
ical director of the orchestra
is the world famous conduc-
tor Zubin Mehta.
The orchestra never in-


terrupted its subscrip-
tion concerts in war-
times. During World War
II, it visited Cairo,
Alexandria and played in
Europe for the Jewish
Brigade. It visited all
Jewish settlements and
military strongholds in
Israel. Nearly all famous
musicians of the world
played as soloists with
the orchestra.
The Radio Orchestra in
Jerusalem consists of 96
musicians, mostly new im-
migrants from the Soviet
Union, U.S., England and
Canada. It has 75 concerts
per year. It has visited sev-
eral countries throughout
the world and plays in mili-
tary camps. The musical di-
rector of the Jerusalem
Symphonic Orchestra is the

famous Israeli musician
Gary Bertini.
The Chamber Orchestra
of Tel Aviv has lately found
a permanent conductor,
Rudolf Barshay of the
Soviet Union. It has 45
musicians, among them
immigrants from the Soviet
Union and other countries.
It has eight subscription
series and six special con-
certs, in all 100 concerts per
The Symphonic Or-
chestra of Haifa, which is
supported by the municipal-
ity, has undergone a crisis.
It has 60 musicians, among
them 29 new immigrants.
Some of them come from the
U.S. and Canada and had
planned originally to start
an orchestra in Gailee.
The orchestra gives 25 con-
certs per year for subscrib-
ers and others in several
places in the country and for
the Israeli 'Army. Its con-
ductor is Dan Fogel. The or-
chestra plays an Israeli
composition in every con-
There also is much
musical activity in the
kibutzim. In Shfaym, 30
musicians of 25 kibutzim
hold two rehearsals each
week. This orchestra has
80 concerts per year all
over the country from
Eilat to the Golan
Heights. It has made 30
records of classical music


and visited Europe with cially for youth, in the Union and U.S. It plays five
great success. The leader Jibutzim and new de- concerts for subscribers,
three for youth and five out-
of the orchestra is the Is- velopment towns. It gives
raeli composer and con- 30 subscription concerts side of Petah Tikva. Its con-
in Beersheba. Its conduc- ductor is the new immig-
ductor Noam Sherif.
rant from the Soviet Union
There is a youth orchestra tor is Mandy Rodan.
Camillo Koltschinsky.
of the village, Moshe Jacob-
The city of Ramt-Gan has
Israeli musician and con-
sists of 40 young musicians four orchestras: the youth
and is conducted by the orchestra consists of 250 ductor' Dalia Atlas has
young conductor Ahron youngsters, a symphonic, a founded in the Haifa Tech-
Harlap. In the Children's jazz and a chamber or- nical University a chamber
Village, Shfeya (near Zic- chestra. The charriber or- orchestra together with a
hron Yaacov) the manager chestra conducted by Amos student choir. Recently she
of the Village, Moshe Jacob- Meller, gives 15 concerts in received the second prize in
son, founded in 1942 a chil- Ramat-Gan per year. It has an international contest of
dren's orchestra. It was a played already in the U.S., conductors in Brazil.
There is a special youth
mandolin orchestra. Today England Aid Austria. The
some of the original mem- conductor of the youth or- pipe orchestra in Kiryat
"Ono, conducted by Ahron
bers of this orchestra are chestra is Zvi Ronen.
Alkalai. It has 50 young
mothers and fathers, lec-
age 12-20. It has
turers in universities,
clerks, military men and has a string orchestra of 18 given concerts in the U.S.,
musicians, mostly new im- England, Holland, Austria
even merchants.
The orchestra gives con- migrants from the Soviet and Canada.
certs in Israel and abroad. A
few years ago it participated
in an international musical
contest in Holland and won
the first prize among 13 or-
NEW YORK — The sented to YIVO by Prof. M.
Ginsburg of New York.
chestras from several coun- YIVO Institute for Jewish
tries. Jacobson is the con- Research has been pre-
The picture carries a
humorous inscription in
sented a photographic por-
The universities in Israel trait of the national Yiddish
Frug's own hand: "Well,
founded orchestras. Nine poet Shimen Frug as a what.shall I tell you? Ho
years ago the Young young man.
hum — Shmulik Fry - 1
Philharmonic Orchestra to-
The rare photograph of Kharsan." This `.
preserved portrait dates
gether with the Chamber Frug (1860-1916) was pre-
Orchestra and Symphonic
from the 1880s when the
Orchestra of Tel Aviv Uni-
poet was still in his twen-
versity was founded. This
orchestra is comprised of 80
Prof. Ginsburg also gave
young musicians, some of
the YIVO a copy of the third
them students from the
edition of Shimen Frug's
Soviet Union and other
Russian poems, "Stikhot-
countries. The orchestra
vorenye," published in St.
plays in several places in Is-
Petersburg in 1897. This
rael and abroad and partici-
single volume contains
pates in festivals. Its con-
three books of poetry, is
ductor is Shalom Riklis,
bound luxuriously with
who also is the conductor of
toolings of gold flowers and
the Holon Municipal Or-
bears an inscription in Rus-
sian: "For the dear Bukiben
yogli (pseudonym' of
In Beersheba, there is a
municipal orchestra with
Katzenelson) from the
32 musicians. It gives 120
concerts per year, espe-

Rare Photo of Yiddish Poet
Presented to YIVO Institute

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