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Scholarships

The Asea Furman Scholarship

Efrat Assaf-ShapiraThe recipient of the 1997-98 Asea Furman scholarship is graduate student Efrat Assaf-Shapira, a talented researcher in the Ritual Objects Section of the Jerusalem Index of Jewish Art. Efrat is currently studying for her Master's degree in the Art History Department of the Hebrew University, focusing her studies on Jewish art and iconography. Last summer Efrat participated in an expedition to document synagogue art and architecture in Tunisia, her first expedition with the Center. She is currently involved in an extensive survey and documentation project in the Lev Ha-'Ir neighborhood, established in the late nineteenth century as one of the first neighborhoods outside the walls of Jerusalem's old city. Her fieldwork and hands-on experience have contributed greatly to her graduate studies.

Jacobo Furman of Santiago, Chile established the Asea Furman Scholarship in 1991 in memory of his late wife who was an important collector of Jewish Art and dedicated supporter of the Center. The Center is honored to keep the memory of Asea Furman alive through this scholarship.


The Tania Finkelstein Scholarship

Jacobo Furman and Tania Finkelstein FurmanJacobo Furman of Santiago, Chile has established a second scholarship this year in honor of his wife, Tania, who shares his love and appreciation for Jewish Art as well as his passion for collecting. Together they own one of the most important collections of Judaica in the world and have recently published a beautiful volume of selected pieces from this collection. This year's recipient of the Tania Finkelstein Scholarship is graduate student, Boris Chaimovitch, one of the founders of the Jewish University in St. Petersburg, and part of the Center's research team since 1994. Boris has participated in numerous expeditions to the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe including those to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Ukraine in the past year. He is currently preparing the groundwork for expeditions to Bulgaria and Ukraine to take place in 1998. The focus of Boris' research at the Center has been the iconography of synagogue decoration and tombstones. He taught these subjects this summer at the Center's Jewish Art Seminar held in St. Petersburg.

Boris Chaimovitch (far left) Boris Chaimovitch (far right) recipient of the Tania Finkelstein Scholarship, with the Center research team in Georgia.

Yad Hanadiv Scholarship

Yad Hanadiv has generously continued its involvement in the project to document the ritual objects in the Jewish Museum in Prague for its fourth consecutive year. The Center began its work surveying and documenting the Jewish Museum's large collection of over 30,000 pieces in 1994. The process of integrating the vast amounts of material into the Center's computer Index has been the intensive project of Center researcher Gila Pollack, who will again be this year's recipient of the Yad Hanadiv Scholarship. Gila will continue this year to work on the descriptions and comparative iconography of the items documented in the 1994 and 1995 expeditions. She is currently working on her Master's degree in Modern Jewish Art and also works in the Israel Museum's restoration department.

This porcelain "netilat yadayim" (hand washing vessel), dated 1843, has a painting of the Dresden Synagogue, which was destroyed by the Nazis in 1938. This object from the Prague collection is one of so many items currently being researched by Gila Pollack, recipient of thew Yad Hanadiv Scholarship.

Netilat yadayim (1843)Netilat yadayim (1843)


The Madeleine and Albert Erlanger Scholarship

The Madeleine and Albert Erlanger Scholarship has been granted this year to Heidi Bransome, Head of the Ancient Jewish Art Section of the Index of Jewish Art. Heidi, who is currently working on her Master's degree in Biblical Archeology and Art History, is particularly interested in studying the iconographical motifs in ancient art and their anthropological implications. In addition to the comprehensive work of computerizing material for the Index, she is currently researching the mahta which is one of the sanctuary implements. Although mahta is most often translated as snuff dish, researchers find that this translation is insufficient, as it does not properly describe the function of the object. In the Bible there are references to the mahta in relation to the altar and to the menorah. Its appearance is not certain nor is its exact function. It is also not known whether the mahta described in the Bible and depicted in mosaics, on capitals, and illuminated manuscripts, is that of the altar or that of the menorah, or whether or not they are the same implements. In her research, Heidi is trying to understand what this implement was, how it was used and what it symbolized for the Jewish people in ancient times.

Professors Madeleine and Albert Erlanger, great enthusiasts of Jewish art, are devoted supporters of the Center's activities. This is the fifth scholarship they have sponsored and they are also supporters of the Center's "Save-a-Synagogue" project.


The Leona Rosenberg Scholarship

Eliad Moreh, a gifted new researcher in the Ritual Art Section of the Index is this year's recipient of the Leona Rosenberg Scholarship. Currently a Master's degree student specializing in Art History with an emphasis on Modern Jewish Art, Eliad holds a B.A. in Art and English Literature from the Hebrew University. Eliad, who immigrated to Israel from Paris, was selected from amongst a group of students who participated in a documentation course given by the Center in February of this year.

Leona Rosenberg of Chicago has been a great friend of the Center's for many years, and has participated in the Center's symposia in Turkey and Bohemia and Moravia. This is the fifth student scholarship she has sponsored at the Center showing her great commitment and generosity to Jewish culture, education and the Hebrew University.


The Lillian and Harry Freedman Scholarship

Recipient of the Lillian and Harry Freedman Scholarship for the 1997-98 academic year is Michal Sternthal, who has contributed her excellent research skills to the Index of Jewish Art since 1994. She was the recipient of the prestigious Mordechai Narkiss Prize for Outstanding Research in Jewish Art in 1997. A graduate student in the Art History Department, Michal is specializing in Medieval Art and Illuminated Manuscripts. Her thesis project is the Regensburg Pentateuch and its affiliated manuscripts. The Regensburg Pentateuch was executed in Southern Germany ca. 1300. The earliest known record of the Pentateuch is from the Cracow Jewish community in 1601. It has been located at the Israel Museum since 1963.

As Head of the Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts Section of the Index, Michal coordinates her section's research, documentation and computerization. She has been especially busy with the project to update the computer system of the Index's database. The Section's current major project is the publication of the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) collection, one of the most important collections of Hebrew manuscripts in the world. In conjunction with the JTS, Michal is coordinating the publication of twenty-two of the most beautiful and important manuscripts in the collection. This is the sixth volume to be published by the Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts Section, the Center's most prolific section with regard to publication. The upcoming volume will include illuminated prayer books such as mahzorim, siddurim and Passover haggadot as well as a Bible and a volume of Maimonides' legal treatise, the Mishneh Torah. The manuscripts span the period between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, and originate from regions all over the world, including Ashkenaz, Italy, Spain and Yemen.

Lillian and Harry Freedman of Newton, Massachusetts are very dedicated to the preservation of Jewish culture, and have generously supported the Center's project to document Jewish art in Poland. This is the second scholarship the Freedman's have sponsored.


Bloomfield/Schachter Grant for Architectural Research

In November 1997, the Center for Jewish Art's founder, Professor Bezalel Narkiss, gave a number of lectures in Montreal to Friends of the Hebrew University. At that time, he had the pleasure of meeting Evelyn Bloomfield Schachter who shares a deep interest in the Center's activities to preserve the Jewish artistic heritage, especially the documentation of endangered synagogues. As a result of that meeting, the Bloomfield/Schachter families, great friends of the Hebrew University, have decided to support a post-graduate research grant. The recipient of this grant is architect Ivan Ceresnjes, a recent immigrant from Bosnia-Herzegovina where he was the president of the Jewish community of Sarajevo.

The Center has been very fortunate to have Ivan as part of its team in the Architecture Section. Bringing with him both expertise in Central European architecture and an intimate knowledge of the Jewish community there, Ivan is now heading a most important project the Center is embarking on to document all the extant synagogues and Jewish sites in the former Yugoslavia. Ivan has conducted a survey of all extant Jewish sites in the former Yugoslavia and is planning the first expedition there which will take place this fall. Ivan has also been undergoing intensive training in the Center's methodology of documenting synagogues and in building three-dimensional models of synagogues on the computer.


The Philip and Lee Hixon Scholarship

Dr. A. Cohen-Mushlin and Prof. B. Narkiss with Lee Hixon (on the left)
Dr. A. Cohen-Mushlin
and Prof. B. Narkiss with 
Lee Hixon (on the left)

As longtime devoted friends of the Center for Jewish Art, Philip and Lee Hixon have been active supporters of the Center's documentation project in Poland. They are also veteran members of the Washington Chapter of the American Friends of the Hebrew University. In the past year, the Hixons hosted a double lecture by Professor Bezalel Narkiss and Dr. Aliza Cohen-Mushlin, at which time they announced the establishment of the Philip and Lee Hixon Scholarship.

Einat Ron, researcher in the Ritual Arts Section of the Index of Jewish Art, is the first recipient of this scholarship. Einat is presently a Master's degree student in the Department of Art History. In the past year she has extensively researched the 'Sacrifice of Isaac,' a central theme in Jewish art, at which time she delved into the documentation carried out in Poland. She is currently working on the image of the Tabernacle in Samaritan ritual art and preparing for an expedition to Bulgaria. Einat has completed her teaching degree and has been assisting high school students prepare for their matriculation exams in Art History.


The Albert E. and Eva Holland Scholarship

Professor Eva Engel Holland has generously donated a scholarship to the Center for Jewish Art. The Albert E. and Eva Holland Scholarship is dedicated in loving memory of her husband, Albert E. Holland, a great humanitarian and educator, who served as Vice-President of Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges as well as Vice-President of Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachussetts. Holland was committed to the importance of community effort and to the needs and basic goals of intellectual excellence. Eva Engel Holland is a scholar of German language and Jewish history and is the general editor of the writings of Moses Mendelssohn, now in its thirtieth volume.

The Albert E. and Eva Holland Scholarship has been granted to Levana Tsfania, a researcher in the Ancient Jewish Art Section of the Index of Jewish Art. Levana is now completing her Master's degree in Classics and Art History at the Hebrew University, where she also completed her first degree in Archeology and Art History. The subject of her Master's thesis is the "Tower of Winds" monument in Athens, an ancient sun and water clock. Her current project within the Ancient Jewish Art Section of the Index is an ancient building in Hulda, which contains a mosaic panel of the sanctuary implements. There has been much conjecture about the function of the building, which may have been a mikveh, place of prayer, or most likely, a wine press. Levana who has been a researcher at the Index of Jewish Art for a year also works at the Antiquities Authority where she is working on a Samaritan ritual site on Mt. Gerizim in Nablus.


The Morris D. Baker Scholarship

This year's recipient of the Morris D. Baker Scholarship is Irina Chernetsky, a talented new member of the Ritual Arts Section of the Index of Jewish Art. Irina, who immigrated from Moscow in 1990, received her Bachelor's degree from the Hebrew University in the History of Art and Sociology and is studying Medieval and Renaissance art for her Master's degree. This past year she has taught art to kindergarten children in a program funded by the CRB Foundation. Irina recently participated in a documentation workshop given by the Center and was chosen from amongst the potential candidates to join the Center's staff.

Morris Baker, a successful developer in Windsor, Ontario, was also a serious amateur photographer and collector of art and photography. He was a devoted supporter of the Center for many years and was also involved with a spectrum of other Jewish organizations. Upon Morris' passing in 1996, Beverly established the Morris D. Baker Scholarship in his loving memory. This is the third scholarship she has given in his name.


 

 

 

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