The Morris D. Baker Scholarships
Two Morris D. Baker Scholarship fund were given in 1997 by Beverly Baker in memory of her husband. Morris Baker, who graduated from the University of Michigan's School of Architecture was a successful developer in Windsor, Ontario. A serious amateur photographer he was also a collector of art and photography. Mr. Baker was interested in and involved with a spectrum of Jewish organizations. He was a member of the National Executive of the Zionist Organization of America, and a member of the National Board of CLAL, the National Jewish Centre for Learning and Leadership. He was also active on the Jewish Community Council Unity Committee in the Detroit area. The breadth of his involvements reflected his wonderful character. It was said at his funeral that "Zionism was the Sabbath of his life". The Bakers have been very dedicated and active supporters of the Center for Jewish Art since the 1980's and participated in the Center's symposia in Turkey and Provence.
In this first year since the Morris D. Baker Scholarship was established, two scholarships were generously donated to student researchers at the Center for Jewish Art. The first recipient is Dana Peleg, a talented graduate researcher in the Modern Jewish Art Section. Dana, who received her bachelor's degree from the Hebrew University in Art History, began her graduate studies in 1994. Specializing in Contemporary Israeli art, she is writing her master's thesis on the "Caricatures of Arie Navon from 1933-1950." As a member of the Center for Jewish Art's research team, Dana is contributing her expertise on modern Israeli artists. This year she is documenting and researching the work of Michael Sgan-Cohen, one of the most important artists in Israel today, who consciously addresses Jewish history and identity.
Einat Ron is the second recipient of the Morris D. Baker Scholarship. Einat has recently completed her bachelor's degree with honors in Medieval and Modern Art. She is continuing her graduate studies at the Hebrew University in Art History. A very gifted researcher in the Center's Ritual Art Section since January 1996, Einat has also completed a teaching degree and has been instructing high school students in Art History in preparation for their matriculation exams.
The Asea Furman Scholarship
The Asea Furman Scholarship was established in 1991 by Jacobo Furman of Santiago Chile, in memory of his late wife, Asea, who was an ardent supporter of the Center for Jewish Art. Together with her husband, Asea built one of the most important collections of Jewish ceremonial art in the world. The Center is honored to keep the vision of Asea Furman alive with a scholarship that contributes to preserve and document Jewish art.
This year's recipient of the Asea Furman Scholarship is Michal Sternthal, Head of the Hebrew Illuminated Manuscript Section of the Index of Jewish Art since 1994. Michal is a master's degree student who has been part of the Center's research team since 1992. She participated in the 1992 expedition to survey and document the famous Firkovitch Collection at the St. Petersburg Public Library and spent the 1993-4 academic year working on Italian manuscripts in libraries throughout the British Isles. With her considerable skill as a researcher with a methodical and perceptive approach to the study of Jewish iconography and artistic style, Michal makes a great contribution to the Center for Jewish Art.
During Professor Narkiss's visit to Jacobo Furman in March 1997, Mr. Furman generously announced the establishment of a second scholarship, the Tania Finkelstein Scholarship for graduate students in Jewish Art.
The Steinhardt Scholarship
Michael and Judy Steinhardt of New York, are deeply committed to Israel, to art, and to Jewish education. Their active interest has been demonstrated by their involvement with the Israel Museum, and the establishment of the Steinhardt Family Foundation in Israel for projects to help children at risk, and by their intensive activities throughout the United States in all aspects of Jewish education and continuity. Their knowledge and love of Jewish art is reflected in their collection of Judaica.
This year's recipient of the Steinhardt Scholarship is Boris Chaimovitch, a talented doctoral student originally from St. Petersburg, where he helped found the St. Petersburg Jewish University. At the university, he served as director of the Center for Eastern European Diaspora. As a researcher at the Center for Jewish Art Boris has carried out extensive research and documentation of synagogues, ritual objects and decorated tombstones in Eastern Europe. This summer, Boris is participating in expeditions to Romania, the Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Georgia to document ritual objects, synagogue wall paintings and tombstones.
The Leona Rosenberg Scholarship
The Leona Rosenberg Scholarship has been granted this year to graduate student Sharon Weiser, a very talented researcher in the Ritual Art Section of the Index of Jewish Art since 1996. Sharon completed her bachelor's degree in Art History in 1996, and is now working on her master's degree in modern art. In addition to her work at the Center, she is teaching a course on the Introduction to Modern Art in the Art History Department. This summer she is participating in the Center's expedition to Tunisia.
Leona Rosenberg has been a devoted supporter of the Center for Jewish Art ever since she hosted a lecture by Professor Bezalel Narkiss in her Florida home in 1993. She has participated in the Center's symposia, "Jewish Art in Turkey" and "Jewish Art in Bohemia and Moravia." This is the fourth scholarship she has sponsored at the Center.
The Madeleine and Albert Erlanger Scholarships
Professors Madeleine and Albert Erlanger of Zurich, great enthusiasts of Jewish art and devoted supporters of the Center's activities, have granted two scholarships this year for researchers at the Center of Jewish Art. The first recipient, Michael Tal, a researcher in the Ritual Art Section of the Index of Jewish Art, recently completed his master's degree with honors, with his study on mosaic floors in the Mediterranean countries during the Byzantine period. As part of the Center's research team, Michael has participated in two expeditions to Eastern Europe, where he documented ritual objects and wall paintings. This past year he has been researching the history of synagogues in Israel, a subject that has, up until now, been neglected. He has also recently done extensive work in documentation of synagogues in the Neve Tzedek area of Tel Aviv and in the Lev Ha-'ir area of Jerusalem.
Ivan Ceresnjes, a recent immigrant from Bosnia-Herzegovina, is the second recipient of this year's Madeleine and Albert Erlanger Scholarship. Ivan, who has a degree in Architecture from the University of Sarajevo, is joining the documentation and research team of the Architectural Section of the Index of Jewish Art. In addition to his extensive work as an architect, Ivan was a very active member of the Jewish Community in Sarajevo where he served as President from 1988 until the time of his aliyah, and board member and Vice-President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the former Yugoslavia. He was instrumental in organizing the preservation and restoration of Jewish synagogues, monuments and cemeteries in Sarajevo and other cities in Bosnia, and when synagogues were no longer in use, he assured their proper use for cultural purposes. He was a vital force in the community throughout the recent war in Bosnia where, with the support of the World Jewish Congress and the Jewish Agency, he made possible the aliyah of hundreds of Bosnian Jews. In 1994, he was honored by France with the title of "Chevalier de la Legion D'honneur" for preserving the multi-cultural, multi-confessional spirit of the country, for helping victims of war in a totally non-sectarian way, and for preserving an island of peace among warring parts of the country. We look forward to his participation on the Center staff.
The Henriette Noetzlin Scholarship
The Henriette Noetzlin Scholarship was established in 1990 to honor the memory of Henriette Noetzlin for her dedication and love for Israel, art and Biblical studies, by her children Brigitte and Gerard Stern of Geneva. She was a devoted supporter of the Center for Jewish Art and deeply appreciated the Center's dedicated work in the field of Jewish art. This year's scholarship recipient is Efrat Assaf, a graduate student in the Art History Department and talented researcher in the Ritual Art Section of the Index of Jewish Art. Having completed her bachelor's degree in Art History and Literature, Efrat devoted two years to teaching art to children in development areas in and around Jerusalem. Her primary field of study is Medieval Art in which she is studying iconography in Jewish and Christian Art. Efrat is participating in the Center's expedition to Tunisia this summer.
Natan Sharansky Scholarship
Antonina Lifshits is the recipient of the Natan Sharansky Scholarship which has been donated by Center supporters Jerome and Ellen Stern. Antonina, an immigrant from Russia, is presently the Head of the Modern Art Section of the Center for Jewish Art's Index of Jewish Art. She has done extensive research and documentation on artists of the former Soviet Union who were hitherto unknown in the west. Most recently she has documented the work of Pavel Zaltzman. Antonina received her bachelor's degree in Art History from the Moscow State University, where she graduated with honors. She is presently a doctoral student in the Hebrew University's Art History Department.
Jerome Stern has contributed tremendously to the advancement of immigrants from the C.I.S., and has been very involved in the Israel B'Aliyah Party. His association with Minister Natan Sharansky extends to the period when Sharansky was a refusnik in Russia. He met Sharansky standing outside a synagogue in Moscow, several days after his wife, Avital, immigrated to Israel. Sharansky asked Stern if he could help Avital in Israel. Upon visiting Israel, Avital gave Stern a sweater for her husband which Stern personally delivered, making a special trip to do so, only days before Sharansky was arrested. They have been close friends ever since.
Yad Hanadiv Scholarship
Yad Hanadiv has granted a scholarship this year to Gila Pollack to research the documentation carried out by the Center for Jewish Art at the Jewish Museum in Prague. The Center began surveying and documenting the Jewish Museum's vast collection of 30,000 Judaica pieces in 1994, with the support of Yad Hanadiv.
Gila Pollack has been a researcher in the Ritual Arts Section of the Index of Jewish Art for over three years. For the past year and a half her work has concentrated on the Prague collection, researching, in particular, hallmarks on ritual objects. With the Yad Hanadiv Scholarship, Gila is now working on the descriptions, iconography and computerization of the documented objects.
Gila participated in the Center's expedition to Turkey in 1994 documenting collections of ritual objects. She completed her bachelors degree at the Hebrew University in 1994 and is now working on her master's degree in Modern Jewish Art. Gila also works in the restoration department of the Israel Museum.
Sam Solomon Endowment Fund for Scholarships
The Sam Solomon Endowment Fund was created by Mrs. Arlene Rotchin in memory of her father, Mr. Sam Solomon, a pioneer in the Canadian garment manufacturing industry. Mr. Solomon was a fashion designer, an artist and art collector, a successful entrepreneur as well as a philanthropist. After studying at the École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal, he established what was to become a very successful dress manufacturing company. Upon semi-retirement at the age of thirty-five, he devoted much of his time to collecting art and to painting. His interests as an art collector were quite varied, from Pre-Colombian and Inuit art to the School of Paris. His own individual work ranged from figurative and abstract styles and later in life, to graffiti art.
His daughter, Mrs. Arlene Rotchin, received a Degree in Journalism from the University of Miami, and later went on to study photography and Phototherapy. In the last ten years she has implemented a program in the Montreal Youth Centers using photography as a catalyst for communication in a spontaneous, non-threatening medium, in order to develop a greater sense of self-esteem. She has been a guest lecturer at Vanier College in Montreal, and exhibited in several group shows throughout Quebec.
The family became involved with the Center for Jewish Art after Director Dr. Aliza Cohen-Mushlin, visited Montreal in late 1995. They were very impressed by the work being done at the Center and decided to establishment the Endowment Fund to assist student researchers.
The Cecile and Michael Greenberg Scholarship Endowment Fund
The Cecile and Michael Greenberg Endowment Fund was established by the Greenberg children, Peggy and Melvin Greenberg, Marlene and David Bourke and Lorna Scherzer of Montreal. The Greenberg family connection with the Center began with Lorna Scherzer's participation in the Center's symposium in Prague in Fall 1995.
Lorna, who completed a Fine Arts degree in 1983, had never before studied Jewish Art. Her participation in the symposium led her to a deepened interest in her Jewish heritage and a personal commitment to aid in the documentation work of the Center for Jewish Art. The Cecile and Michael Greenberg Scholarship Endowment Fund is an ongoing pledge to this endeavor.