Archive for the ‘Israel: Jews In A State’ Category

Herzl Magic

April 3, 2014

This article was first published in The Jerusalem Report magazine.


Herzl memorabilia collector David Matlow (photo by Leah Boyd)

When Toronto attorney David Matlow was 12 years old, he and his good friend, Barry Simon, wrote a play for their seventh grade class in Jewish day school. They called it “The Hall of Zionists”, modeling it after “The Hall of Presidents” attraction at Disney World. Matlow remembers being Ze’ev Jabotinsky and his friend playing Theodor Herzl.

For most people, such a school assignment would be something forgotten years later, or if it were recalled at all, it would just be a fond childhood memory to look back on. But for Matlow, it is the moment he points to as the beginning of his lifelong fascination with anything and everything to do with Theodor Herzl, the father of modern political Zionism and the visionary of the State of Israel.

Overthe last 41 years, Matlow has gone from being a middle-school student playacting a Zionist leader to becoming the world’s leading private collector of Herzl memorabilia. He owns between 2,500 and 3,000 Herzl-related items. He is not sure of the exact number, but people in the business tell him that of the handful of private Herzl collections in the world, his is the largest.

The rest of this article can be read in the April 21, 2014 issue of The Jerusalem Report. It is online, but behind a pay wall.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.


Where Are the Israeli Female Small Business Owners?

April 2, 2014

This piece first appeared on The Sisterhood blog at the Forward.

Renee Ghert-Zand // Israeli women network at the business conference

Renee Ghert-Zand // Israeli women network at the business conference

Israeli women, like their counterparts in the United States are, in parlance popularized by Sheryl Sandberg, leaning in. However, although Israel is “start-up nation,” it is no leader when it comes to women and business. I got a chance to learn more about this at a conference I attended last week in Jerusalem.

Onlife, an Israeli news and content website for women, partnered with the Jerusalem Municipality to bring an annual conference on small businesses owned by women to the Jerusalem. It was held at The First Station, Jerusalem’s old train station, which has been renovated in to a culture and entertainment venue, and was attended by 1,000 women from around the country.

Click here to read more.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Tel Aviv photo shop freezes a changing Israel in its frames

March 13, 2014

This article was first published in The Times of Israel.

Nurit Wahl (photo credit: Rudi Weissenstein/Courtesy of Ian Sternthal)

Nurit Wahl (photo credit: Rudi Weissenstein/Courtesy of Ian Sternthal)

In 2006 Ian Sternthal wandered into the legendary Pri-Or Photo House on Tel Aviv’s Allenby Street and never really left. Although he has come and gone on visits to Israel from his Montreal home, he has been unable to get the thousands of portraits taken by the studio’s co-founder, famed photographer Rudi Weissenstein (1910-1992), out of his head.

Sternthal, owner of Sternthal Books, an art group and publishing company, decided to curate and produce a coffee-table book of some of the portraits. He plans to also create an e-book with digital footage, as well as a traveling exhibition. The project, which he has named “Zalmania” (Hebrew for photo house), is moving ahead following a successful Kickstarter campaign.

“I came across the zalmania when I was doing research on old photos of Tel Aviv for a project on Zionism I was doing,” Sternthal, 33, tells The Times of Israel. “People are always interested in Rudi’s folkloric, scenic and event photographs of Israel’s early years  but I was captivated by his studio portraits.”

Click here to read more, view some of the portraits, and watch a video.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.


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