(Miami, May 21, 2018)—The exhibition People, Book, Land—The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land, produced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has traveled widely since its inception in 2014. Targum Shlishi is supporting the translation of the exhibition’s twenty-five text panels into Hungarian, in preparation for an exhibition in Hungary.
The exhibition, authored by the late scholar Robert Wistrich, a professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is co-sponsored by UNESCO (the educational and cultural arm of the UN), and the governments of Canada, Israel, and the United States. The exhibition traces the history of the Jewish people’s long relationship with the Holy Land, beginning with text panels focused on subject material including Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon, and the Prophets. The chronologically organized exhibition then moves through centuries of Jewish history before devoting several panels to exploring the recent past, from the late 1800s until today, in terms of the Jewish presence in the Holy Land.
Rebutting the Delegitimization of Israel
Professor Wistrich was a scholar of anti-Semitism who found significant parallels between today’s extreme anti-Zionism and the anti-Jewish sentiments so prevalent in Europe before the Holocaust. Part of the purpose of the exhibition is to address and counter anti-Zionism.
“Israel just celebrated its seventieth Independence Day. Unfortunately, there are persistent and aggressive assaults on Israel’s legitimacy from multiple sources that range from the international community to college campuses. As the current climate demonstrates, this exhibition is more important than ever,” notes Andrea Gollin, program director of Targum Shlishi. “People, Book, Land counters the delegitimization of Israel by clearly tracing the long and profound connection the Jews have had with this land.”
This is the first exhibition of its kind in the history of the UN. As Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said on the occasion of the initial launch, the exhibition “outlines the historic raison d’etre for the UN decision to recognize a Jewish homeland in Palestine in 1947: the indisputable fact that the Jewish people have an uninterrupted 3,500-year relationship with the Holy Land.”
The exhibition’s early days were marked with controversy; its launch at UNESCO in Paris in 2014 was delayed by six months due to opposition from the Arab block, which protested that the exhibition would undermine Middle East peace talks. The initial response to the exhibition demonstrates why this material is so relevant and how significant it is that thousands of people all over the world have viewed this material since the show’s initial launch.
The exhibition has traveled widely since its inception in 2014 and been viewed by thousands. Places where it has been on view, in addition to UNESCO in Paris, include the UN in New York, the US Congress, the Israeli Knesset, the Vatican, Copenhagen Town Hall, the New Delhi Gandhi Centre, the British House of Commons, and the CCK Presidential Cultural Centre in Buenos Aires.
About the Simon Wiesenthal Center
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations. Its focus is to research the Holocaust and hate in a historic and contemporary context The Center confronts anti-Semitism, hate, and terrorism, promotes human rights and dignity, stands with Israel, defends the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaches the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations. To learn more about the Center, visit its website.
About Targum Shlishi
Targum Shlishi, a Raquel and Aryeh Rubin Foundation, is dedicated to providing a range of creative solutions to problems facing Jewry today. Premised on the conviction that dynamic change and adaptation have historically been crucial to a vibrant and relevant Judaism and to the survival of its people, Targum Shlishi’s initiatives are designed to stimulate the development of new ideas and innovative strategies that will enable Jewish life, its culture, and its traditions to continue to flourish. For more information on the foundation, visit its website. Follow Aryeh Rubin, Targum Shlishi’s director, on Twitter.