24 May 2017 - 28 Iyyar 5777 - כ"ח אייר ה' אלפים תשע"ז
Arts & Culture
The Diary of Anne Frank opera returns to Thailand E-mail

By popular demand, the opera The Diary of Anne Frank returned to Thailand for two exclusive performances in January.

Opera Siam, in co-operation with the embassy of Germany and the embassy of Israel, organised the performances of the deeply touching opera at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center.

The opera, by composer and lyricist Grigori Frid, is based on the original diary of Anne Frank, a German-Jewish girl under Nazi occupation. With her family, she hid in an attic in Amsterdam from July 1942 until their arrest in August 1944. On her 13th birthday, Anne was given a diary, in which she described her everyday life, what she saw, her different moods and emotions, her fear and her loneliness.

In the 60-minute performance, Anne’s emotional pressure, profound thoughts, moral power, unbending will to live, and hope for freedom and humanity unfold. Special attention is dedicated to the characters who appear in Anne’s monologues but not in person: her father, her sister Margot and various friends.

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In a screening at Cinematheque Tel Aviv on 25 January, Noel Izon presented the Israel première of his documentary, An Open Door: Holocaust Haven in the Philippines, about how the Philippines, under then-President Manuel L. Quezon, provided refuge to some 1,300 Jews fleeing the Holocaust in the 1930s.

The event kicked off the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Philippines and Israel.

“Through this excellent historical documentary, we hope to celebrate and generate greater awareness of the enduring friendship between Filipinos and Jews, which even antedates the independence of both countries,” said Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial at the event.

The envoy noted that thenPresident Quezon worked with Jewish networks in Manila from the 1930s to 1941 to provide visas and shelter to the European refugees, most of whom became “Manilaners”, making the Philippines their home.

He added that the late President’s open-door policy for Jewish refugees was a signi cant aspect of Philippine-Israel relations.

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National Library of Israel acquires valuable Jewish manuscripts and books E-mail

The National Library of Israel has acquired what is considered the world’s greatest private collection of Hebrew books and manuscripts.

The Valmadonna Trust Library contains some 10,000 items, including a 15th-century copy of the Hebrew Bible and one of the only two surviving copies of a 16th-century Passover manuscript from Prague.

The collection, assembled over decades by London collector Jack Lunzer, was entrusted to Sotheby’s auction house in New York in 2009. Lunzer initially hoped the US Library of Congress would acquire the collection, worth millions of dollars.

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