Israel, Provence, Archaeology, Politics And The Arts For Canadian Friends’ 2011 Live & Learn Mission

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Live & Learn December 2011 tripDecember 2011: Under the banner of ‘Archaeology, Politics and the Arts’, this year’s Live and Learn mission — a highlight of the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University’s calendar each October — saw its 25 participants travelling to both Israel and France for 10 days of non-stop activities during November 2011.

In Israel, the group benefited from political and international relations updates from Hebrew University experts such as Prof. Reuven Hazan and Prof. Eli Podeh, explored archaeological sites in Jerusalem with Institute of Archaeology students Eldad Brin and Yoav Farchi and listened to and learned about music from Prof. Edwin Seroussi and Dr. Roni Granot of the Department of Musicology.

They also heard firsthand from two Revivim students — including Michal Talel, the great-niece of Jean Matlow, a Canadian supporter of the University— about their experiences as they teach in Jerusalem high schools; Revivim academic head Prof. Uzi Rebhun provided a comprehensive outline of the program itself.

An undoubted highlight for the group was its visit to the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC) at the Ein Kerem medical campus and the Canadian Friends’ prime campaign. The group heard about the broad range of research being conducted at IMRIC, including Alzheimer’s, birth defects, fetal alcohol syndrome and cancer. Israeli journalist and fellow at the Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace Ronni Shaked also gave the group a current events update.

During the Israel leg of the mission’s visit, participant Eve Sonner was honored at a ceremony at the Wall of Life on the University’s Mount Scopus campus where the name of her late father, Eric Sonner z”l, was inscribed in recognition of his contribution of scholarships in agriculture to the Hebrew University. University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson gave the main address at the ceremony which was moderated by Dean of Students Prof. Nurit Yirmiya.

Following its visit in Israel, the group proceeded to Provence, France accompanied by scholar-in-residence Prof. Yom Tov Assis of the University’s Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies and a world-renowned expert in Jewish history. Prof. Assis combined a series of lectures that focused on the Jews of Provence — and their location on the invisible border between the traditions of Ashkenaz and Sefarad — with site visits throughout the region to ancient synagogues, archives of medieval manuscripts and other areas of Jewish interest.

During the group’s closing dinner in Isle-sur-Sorgue, each participant shared his or her thoughts and impressions of the program, with a significant number expressing their hopes to partake in future missions.

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CFHU is dedicated to supporting IMRIC through direct funding and by developing key collaborative medical research partnerships between Canada
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