Schusterman Center to host international Tel Aviv symposium March 22-23

'Tel Aviv at 100: Myth, Memory, and Actuality' will feature scholars from Israel and the U.S.

 WALTHAM, Mass. The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University will host a two-day international symposium entitled, “Tel Aviv at 100: Myth, Memory, and Actuality.”

Scholars will come together from Israel and the United States to examine the significance and meaning of establishing the first Hebrew city in nearly two millennia. Tel Aviv will be discussed from its founding to the present, with emphasis on its cultural legacy. There will be presentations on Tel Aviv’s art and architecture, and the premiere screening of a documentary film, "Tel Aviv" by two of Israel’s most renowned filmmakers, Modi Bar-On and Anat Zeltser.

A particular focus of the conference will be how Israelis’ desire to make Tel Aviv a world-renowned metropolis and their awareness of its provincialism figured in the cultural development of the city. Tel Aviv’s history will be examined in four phases – the “First Hebrew City” period, from the early 20th Century to early statehood years; the development of Dizengoff Street in the 1960s and 1970s; the evolution a New York-style non-stop metropolis in the 1990s, and the recognition of Tel Aviv’s “White City” architectural heritage.

Participants also will delve into the relationship and tensions between predominantly Jewish Tel Aviv and predominantly Arab Jaffa to its south, and development of Tel Aviv’s vibrant youth culture.

“For a century, the kibbutz was viewed as the prime symbol of what the Zionist dream was about,” said S. Ilan Troen '63, director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. “Most Israelis live in cities and participate in a vibrant modern economy. To explore Tel Aviv at 100 is to examine the actuality rather than the myth of Zionism. Morever, Tel Aviv is a city that became a nation."  

Troen continues: "That examination of Tel Aviv makes it possible to view simultaneously the tensions in Israeli culture between the universalism reflected in our familiarity with the dozens of skyscrapers that define Tel Aviv's skyline and Israel's particularism as reflected in the language, culture and arts of its citizens."

The symposium will be held from Sunday, March 22 through Monday, March 23 in the Hassenfeld Conference Center, located at Brandeis University, 415 South St., Waltham, Mass.

To register or for more information, email or call (781) 736-2152. Additional details can be found on the Schusterman Center Web site.

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