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Israeli Cartoon Museum exhibit highlights cartoons inspired by Yiddish culture

Image by Omer Hoffman

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The national Israeli Cartoon Museum in Holon has opened an in-person exhibit, “Yiddishpitz,” that highlights the influence of Yiddish literature and culture on Israeli comic artists.

Curated by cartoonists Nimrod Reshef and Rachel Achunov, the exhibit features 63 comics, caricatures and illustrations.

The exhibit is the culmination of a multiyear initiative. In 2018, Israel’s National Cartoonist Association launched a contest to encourage comic artists in Israel and abroad to create new works inspired by Yiddish culture. In particular, organizers sought comics portraying Yiddish proverbs and idioms, new illustrations to accompany translations of Yiddish children’s books and caricatures of Yiddish literary and cultural figures.

The initiative was partly funded by Israel’s National Yiddish Authority.

Among the images on display at the exhibit are an illustration by Omer Hoffman for Shlomo Abas’ children’s book, The Sages of Chelm and the Moon, based on a Yiddish folktale; a caricature of writer Sholem Aleichem by comic artist Noam Nadav and a portrait of Yiddish comedian Shimon Dzhigan by the cartoonist Ze’ev. Ze’ev, born Yaakov Farkash, was a Holocaust survivor from Hungary whose work appeared for decades in Haaretz.

Readers in Israel can see the 63 works in person at Israel’s National Cartoon Museum in Holon.

Entry is 15 shekels for adults, 10 shekels for students and soldiers and 7 for retirees.

A bilingual (Yiddish/Hebrew) catalogue of the exhibit is being prepared for publication.

Israeli Cartoon Museum exhibit highlights cartoons inspired by Yiddish culture

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