Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

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Every election someone raises the issue of those Israelis who happen to be abroad for a million reasons. Recently, Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, asked to elect his party from... space. The election in Israel took place on January 28, 2003. How will Ramon vote? Israel pro-vides him with a special 'E' channel... Israelis who are living or temporarily living abroad can not vote!
Israeli emissaries and diplomats do vote with a double envelop like Israeli's military personnel. Recently, M.K. Misha Arens tried to change the law by suggesting that Israelis who live abroad but do not visit Israel or care to keep their linkage with the country, will be enti-tled to vote abroad in the Israeli consulate.

But this precedent is unlikely to become a reality today. The political establishment still regards these classes of Israelis as 'Yordim' or 'deserters.' Of course, this rigid approach has not stopped the waves of emigration from Israel, mainly, of young people.

A new unique collection of poetry and songs is on the market: The Shallow Cry of a Human's Soul (120 pages, bilingual with translation into Russian, Publication of Liberty Publishing House, NYC, 212-213-2126).

The author is an Israeli-Russian girl who is only 12 years old. Her name is to be remembered in the world of literature: Sonia Burlan. The poet, Sonia Burlan, according to the publisher and Russian Radio commentator is an exceptionally gifted child. Her many extraordinary tal-ents include poetry, music, dance, and art. She has a beautiful singing voice and plays the piano and clarinet. Her spontaneous dancing is inspired by the moment and she does not record the choreography. When she is not performing, she can be seen drawing with great intensity.

Sonia began writing poetry at the age of six. There was something mystical about her poems that defied comprehension. The poems ap-peared suddenly on pieces of paper and just as quickly disappeared. This mode of writing can be described as inspired creativity and it domi-nates her writing even today.

Sonia is an avid reader, but she has a subliminal affinity with the melancholy moods of Edgar Allen Poe, her favorite poet. Sonia is encouraged by her loving parents and younger sister, Julia. Her pleasant companion is her beloved Labrador, Mukhtar. The multi-talented Sonia Burlan is a poet to read and a name to remember.

Baas Vaadia is one of America's most distinguished artists. Vaadia, a native of Israel, is also an international sculptor. Recently he opened his new artistic field: heads. People, collectors and galleries already are in love with his 'heads.' He exhibited his new sculptures at the pres-tigious Boca Raton's Elaine Baker Gallery. Among the sculptures was 'Baaz,' his head.

This exhibition means more success and recognition to the artist whose work was also recognized by Senator Hillary Clinton and her na-tional art experts. Boaz Vaadia is a shy and lovely person. He is an optimist believing in humanity forever. And he always expresses his pride of being an Israeli, a Sabra. In a new book which was published on his work in Israel, Gali Benzano, the editor (Baaz Vaadia - Outdoor Sculptures) wrote:

"Vaadia's sculptures remain simply human, democratic, secular, not pretentious and not elevating the person, without constructing classes. The sculpture is simply present in the garden, in the park, unnoticed, passing. almost unseen, with arms and legs modestly attached to the body unlike other figurative sculptures with arms and legs spread apart.

In this age of fast communication many have the tendency to rush and be there as if their absence means they do not exist. Boaz Vaadia represents the inner reflection of an artist who has submitted himself to his work with a persistence which should be admired: rushing nowhere, loyal to his conception of his sculptures and seemingly unidentified with any current contemporary trend which may force artists to draw a line.

The value of his work is measured by the internal serenity. the total devotion to return again and again to the human being which is all shadow and totally anonymous; the invisible person. the non existing. that is blended and supported b nature's open spaces gaining elevation and growing from stone into sculpture.

I met the great, unique artist, Shlomo Swarthz, at Caffe America in the Z.O.A.'s center in Tel Aviv. The Americanization of Israel's land-scape is not a new phenomenon in Israel. It is the culture of the almighty dollar. (Recently, journalist Sever Plotzker suggested to replace the shekel with the dollar.) Shlomo loves America and plans his new exhibition on Long Island in the coming spring. Recently, Shlomo, a Holocaust survivor, pro-duced a new line of paintings: major cities in Israel and Europe. He exhibited his series of paintings of major buildings from the 1930s in Tel Aviv. These beautiful buildings are to be found as landmarks in streets such as Winson or Bialik, Tel Aviv.

Shlomo Swarthz, who loves to link his work to the Jewish tradition or mystery, is expressing on canvass, large scale, a new series of Passover's legends. Of course Swarthz is completing his major work of illustrations and paintings which depicts the years in which he was a prisoner (a child) of the British army, in its concentration camps in Cypress.

A new exhibition in the Jewish Museum (Tel: 212-423-3200, 1109 Fifth Avenue, corner of 92nd St.). We live in the performing arts era: From the Silent Movie Era to Seinfeld, Innovative New Exhibition Explores Changing Public Attitudes Toward American Jews and the Entertainment Media." (Entertaining America: Jews, Movies and Broadcasting on View at The Jewish Museum).

It's based on: 80 films, 18 audio-video presentations, radio and television programs and shows.

Among the items: The Jazz Singer, Yiddish Films, Hollywood's Jewish Moguls, The Goldbergs (series), The Blacklist Jews (commu-nism), Holocaust and Entertainment, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, and Seinfeld (Jewish Self-Portraiture.) The Museum and Princeton University Press published a 336 page album of this exhibition.

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