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Rabbi Green

Gail Asper, President and Trustee

David Asper, Chair and Trustee

Leonard Asper, Co-Chair and Trustee

Proceeds from JNF Negev Gala Honouring Rabbi Green to Go To Museum of Jewish Achievement in Tel-Aviv-Brainchild of Asper Foundation

by Rhonda Spivak, May 1, 2017

Proceeds from this year's JNF Negev Gala honouring Rabbi Green on May 29 at the Centennial Concert Hall will be directed towards the Worlds's Jewish Museum, to be built in the northwestern part of Tel-Aviv, near the Reading Power Station at the mouth of the  Yarkon River.


The Museum is the brainchild of the Asper Foundation and it will focus on the great achievements Jews around the world have made throughout history in a variety of fields which have enhanced humankind. 

Gail Asper, President of the Asper Foundation told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that she was advised by the Asper Foundation's lawyer in Israel, that the in   August 2015 , the Tel Aviv city council approved the project by of vote fo 16 infavour, and zero against. "No all we have to do is raise the money,"Asper said.

As the JNF website says about the project, “The museum will attest  to the significance of outstanding Jewish attainment and intellectual output, and showcase how these contributions have shaped the path of humankind. Whether working in a laboratory or a place of business, Jewish thinkers have transformed fundamental elements of modern life for all the world’s citizens. Exhibitions and programs will also document the connection between the world’s Jewish peoples and the land of Israel. Visitors will encounter challenging theories, ground-breaking inventions, and many moments of novelty, humor and beauty.”



Rabbi Green this year’s Negev Gala Honouree explains that "The trend has been to build commemorative museums, mainly about the Shoah, which made sense, given our recent history... But there is a bigger picture of incredible accomplishments and amazing achievements that we've made as a Jewish people, from the Ten Commandments to modern scientific discovery. So the time has come to build a different kind of museum to celebrate Jewish life.”


As David Asper, the chair of The Asper Foundation is quoted as saying in a pamphlet about The World Jewish Museum posted on the JNF website “This is a museum of, for, about, and in celebration of the history of the Jewish people. It will be located at ground zero, where our people started, and be manifested by outstanding architecture and an interior program that leaves no question about the who, what, when, where, and why of the Jewish people. It will reveal a collective DNA that builds a permanent bridge between Jews everywhere in the world, including Israel, and it’s designed as a “living tree” that contemplates future generations.”

As Leonard Asper, co-chair of the Asper Foundation notes in the same pamphlet “It is long overdue that we, the Jewish people, are able to tell our story in our own narrative, in a land that we can call our own. There has come a time, after the recent years and indeed the centuries of suffering, that the Jewish people establish an institution that can project the positive contribution of our people to the world, the miracle of our story, and the commitment innate within us to strive for an even better future for our people and the world as a whole.”

Gail Asper adds in the pamphlet “This is an opportunity to build bridges between Israel and the Diaspora so people come away understanding that we are part of one extraordinary tribe, one nation, one people.”


The Museum which will be a true architectural gem will be designed by Frank Gehry, a Jewish Canadian based in in Los Angeles since the 1960s, who is among the most acclaimed architects of the 20th century. Gehry is known for his bold postmodern designs, including the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.


"The architecture will no doubt be spectacular," says Rabbi Green.


Rabbi Green adds "I am truly honoured that the World's Jewish Museum will be the project associated with this year's JNF Negev Gala."

When asked about the interplay between Israel and the diaspora Rabbi Green told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that “Israel has become the centre of Jewish life, it now is the largest Jewish community in the world greater than North America. In the future it will grow in importance.”

Gail Asper had the Editor of the Winnipeg Jewish Review that in addition to honouring Rabbi Green , a very worthy Honouree, JNF Gala is an opportunity to buy a new spring outfit or show off an existing one. "Let's make it a freilach Gala," she said. She also noted that at the Gala after the main event  members of the community would find her at the dessert table next to the Shmoo Torte made by Shaarey Zedek Synagogue. 

"Babs Asper made the best Shmoo torte but Shaarey Zedek's is almost as good... I encourage you to meet me over the Shmoo Torte at the Gala," she said.



See companion article: The Winnipeg Jewish Review interviews Rabbi Green on the state of our community and his 26 years here.  


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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.