“Shonim B’yahad” is an artistic educational project aiming to endow the values of equality, tolerance, recognizing the “other” and shared existence. The project began at the Museum of the Seam in Jerusalem, and was then adopted and renewed by the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee in Florida, USA, under the name “Embracing Our Differences.” The Federation has since remained a devoted partner of this project in Israel.
Central to the project is an exhibition of the art work which was created by students of the participating school from a variety of ages and backgrounds. This past year, of the hundreds of works submitted, our panel of judges, comprised of experts in the arts and education, chose the winning artwork, which were enlarged and exhibited on the walls of Dizengoff Center, Israel’s busiest shopping mall located in the heart of Tel Aviv. This was the second year that the artwork was displayed at this iconic landmark.
In 2015, at the opening ceremony, we were honored to welcome, among other distinguished guests, Mrs. Nechama Rivlin, First Lady of Israel, and Mr. Asaf Zamir, Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv. Both spoke passionately on the values such a project promotes. In fact, following the opening ceremony, Mrs. Rivlin wrote on the President of Israel’s official Facebook page that:
“This exhibition can teach us all a lesson about humanity, tolerance and inclusion. On patience and the love of humankind. We must have this hope, the ability of the youth to feel, even beyond what you see. To look forward. I am hopeful that this wonderful project will continue to succeed and will be a center for encounters between youths of different religions, ethnicities and [societal] sectors.“
Today, there is a threat to the delicate tapestry which makes up the Israeli society, and we are certain that particularly now it is imperative to promote this initiative and the values it promotes among students. This past year, we were so proud to bring the winning artwork to the States for exhibitions across the country. Among the participating congregations and organizations included:
– Temple Sinai of Washington, DC
– Temple Sinai of Atlanta
– Jewish Funders Conference
In 2017-2018, we are pleased to announce that the artwork will travel to: Atlanta, Washington, DC, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami and more!
If you would like to bring the artwork and spirit of this project to your community, please contact Elana Lubka at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn about Shonim B’yahad from a Jewish perspective through an article written by Rabbi Meir Azari >>Different and Together
Watch and learn what the artists themselves have to say about their artwork and what it means to ’embrace the other’ in our 2017 video narratives.