JDC Participates in “Israel Opens Doors” Exhibit
In the heart of Russia's capital city, in the Manezh exhibition hall, the 'Israel Opens Doors' exhibit -- running through June 12 -- celebrates the 25th anniversary of the resurrection of diplomatic relations between Russia and the Jewish state. JDC's 'Privilege to Help' project is a key component of the presentation.
June 10, 2016
In the heart of Russia’s capital city, in the Manezh exhibition hall, the ‘Israel Opens Doors’ exhibit — running through June 12 — celebrates the 25th anniversary of the resurrection of diplomatic relations between Russia and the Jewish state. JDC’s ‘Privilege to Help’ project is a key component of the presentation.
The exhibit showcases how JDC cares for vulnerable Jews — including children, the elderly, and families at-risk — in both Russia and Israel, for over 100 years. Today, JDC cares for 55,000 Jewish children and elderly in Russia.
The project takes its name from the notion that ‘helping others is not an obligation; it is a privilege.’
JDC has a long history of mixing art with humanitarian assistance. In the 1920s, Chagall himself taught children how to paint at a JDC-supported orphanage in the Moscow suburb of Malakhovka. Later, JDC helped him and his wife Bella escape to America during World War II.
The ‘Israel Opens Doors’ exhibit also includes ‘Past Continues,’ a piece by noted Israeli sculptor, illustrator, and designer Sasha Galitskiy, which is an artistic conceptualization of his work with the elderly. About 5,000 people a day have visited the exhibit since it’s opened.
The project consists of carved wooden figures created by actual residents of Israel’s facilities and institutions for the elderly. Art therapy like this helps to improve the quality of life for this population, giving them a new sense of purpose.
Galitskiy said his project, containing work by artists ranging in age from 70 to 100, proves it’s important to care about every person, regardless of their age.
‘Sometimes old people tell me the stories of their lives,’ Galitskiy said, ‘and when I look at them, I see that these people who are now using walkers to get around were young and full of energy not so long ago.’
‘Past Continues’ was developed by the Russian Jewish Congress and JDC’s Ralph I. Goldman Nikitskaya JCC in Moscow, with support from JDC. The JCC is singerly grateful to Leonid Krongauz for his support.