On Thursday, Dec. 8th we had a taste of the diverse Israeli and Jewish culture and art. Johanan Herson, a talented Israeli artist with a unique style and story, Joined us for the opening of the gallery who is displayed in the Coffman Memorial Union and introduced his artwork. He talked about “Tikkun Olam”, the Jewish concept of repairing and perfecting the world, leadership, unity and faith. Tikkun Olam is the commitment by all of us, all religions, all men and women, to make the world better. This event left us thinking “in what ways can we repair the world?”

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Noah Mikell, a student at the University of Minnesota said “The wonderful event was held in the great hall of Coffman and had an amazing turn out of over 80 people. Accompanied by Johanan was the singer Tamar Eisenman, a performer from Jerusalem. Through his art, Herson develops an original voice that combines the dual influence of his Israeli and North American experiences. He merges them into a unified and consolidated whole, which gives his audience and amazing gallery of art. Herson talked briefly with the audience about his background and where he got his influences from. As an artist coming from a family of very religious men, I was surprised to find that his family was accepting of this career choice. However, Herson told the audience that his dad approved. This night was full of positive vibes and happiness, as Tamar played a few songs to end the reception. The opening was very successful. The audience was very engaged in Tamar’s performance; at one point, she had everyone participate in one of her songs by clapping their hands to the beat of the music. Tamar and Johanan ended the night with the song Hallelujah, a perfect way to wrap up the evening and spread the message of happiness and peace through art.”

“The event was a great way for students to learn about Israeli culture through captivating artistic experiences, bringing everyone in the room together to take a deep breath and appreciate the sights and sounds that the wonderful artists provided.” Said Jill Nowry, “Tamar’s performance was incredible, and her powerful emotional music was appreciated by everyone in the room. Hearing her play such meaningful music after hearing some passionate and inspiring words from Johanan made for a great mix, and gave students a well rounded experience of new sights, sounds, and flavors (because what would a student group event be without food?). Everyone really seemed to enjoy this fantastic experience, and we hope to see more cultural events on campus soon.”

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During the gallery opening night, we enjoyed a musical performance by Tamar Eisenman, an Israeli folk rock singer-songwriter, and guitarist, and dinner in the Great Hall. This event was a collaboration with Students Supporting Israel, Minnesota Hillel, Davis and Goldfarb Law, PLLC & Black Dog Productions, and LLC.

Want to view “Pray, Pray, Pray” at the University of Minnesota? Visit the second floor at Coffman Memorial Union to see the installation for free till March 8th, 2017.

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