24 June 2018 - 11 Tammuz 5778 - י"א תמוז ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Arts & Culture
Holocaust film and exhibition presented in the Philippines E-mail

In an event in March at the Lyceum of the Philippines in Manila, Israel’s Embassy in the Philippines, in co-operation with the Embassy of Hungary, presented Son of Saul, the Oscar-winning best foreign movie for 2016, and “Beyond Duty”, an exhibition and forum acknowledging the Righteous Among the Nations and Holocaust survivors.

The two embassies, together with the University of the Philippines (UP) Film Institute, showcased Son of Saul on 12 March at Cine Adarna in Quezon City. They also hosted two separate by-invitation-only screening events in partnership with the Film Development Council of the Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas.

Set in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944, Son of Saul tells the story of Saul Ausländer, a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, the group of Jewish prisoners isolated from the camp and forced to assist the Nazis in the machinery of largescale extermination. While working in one of the crematoriums, Saul discovers the body of a boy he takes for his son. As the Sonderkommando plans a rebellion, Saul decides to carry out an impossible task: save the child’s body from the flames, find a rabbi to recite the mourner’s Kaddish, and offer the boy a proper burial.

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Jerusalem Arts Festival 2018 E-mail

Well over 40 cultural activities, including plays, dance shows and concerts by professional and semi-professional artists, took place as part of the Jerusalem Art Festival from 5 to 12 March in Jerusalem’s major concert halls and theatres.

The venues included the Jerusalem Theater, the Gerard Behar Center, the Khan Theater, the YMCA auditorium, Beit Shmuel and St. Andrew’s Church. Free performances were held every evening before and after the main performances at the Jerusalem Theater. The festival, which has been produced annually by the Culture and Arts Department of the Jerusalem Municipality since 2002, has become a cultural tradition in the city, with hundreds of artists participating in dozens of performances.

This year’s opening event was Kalimat by Incubator Theater, featuring Arabic music, rock, rap and spoken word all in one. This new show celebrated the union between traditional Arabic music and modern Western tunes. Born out of a collaboration between Firqat Al-Nur orchestra and the Bedibur label, the concert presented authentic Arabic music that preserves the beauty of the Hebrew language. The result was a fascinating and intelligent performance with traditional melodies and puns, spiced with occasional criticism and nostalgia.

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Remains of earliest modern human outside of Africa unearthed in Israel E-mail

A jawbone complete with teeth dated to 177,000-194,000 years ago has been found in northern Israel, suggesting that modern humans left Africa at least 50,000 years earlier than previously thought.

The fossil of an adult upper jawbone with several teeth was discovered at the Misliya cave, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. “This finding – that early modern humans were present outside of Africa earlier than commonly believed – completely changes our view on modern human dispersal and the history of modern human evolution,” said Prof. Israel Hershkovitz of Tel Aviv University.

The common consensus among anthropologists has been that modern humans appeared in Africa roughly 160,000200,000 years ago, based on fossils found in Ethiopia, and that modern humans evolved in Africa and started migrating out of Africa around 100,000 years ago.

“But if the fossil at Misliya dates to roughly 170,000190,000 years ago, the entire narrative of the evolution of Homo sapiens must be pushed back by at least 100,000200,000 years,” added Prof. Hershkovitz. “In other words, if modern humans started travelling out of Africa some 200,000 years ago, it follows that they must have originated in Africa at least 300,000-500,000 years ago.”

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