Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Yom Iyun!

Zach Narin ('14) helped create the repurposed printer
for the Yom Iyun and also was a docent at the event's art exhibit 
This past Sunday was our long-awaited Yom Iyun, Day of Learning, which we call Sichot B'Emunah, Discussions in Faith. The event, which took place at Frisch from 4:00-7:00 PM and drew about 55 participants, was dedicated by Anne and Jerry Gontownik and their family in memory of Mr. Gontownik's brother, Sidney Gontownik.

Akiva Mattenson, a driving force behind our Religious Identity team, introduced the event with a beautiful thought from the Sefer Ha-Chinuch:

The Sefer Ha-Chinuch discusses the obligation to write a Sefer Torah and asks whether a person needs to do so if his father already wrote one. The Sefer Ha-Chinuch thinks a person is for two reasons:

1) Books should proliferate among the Jewish people. We should encourage the reading -- and therefore writing -- of books and thereby enable the multiplying of books among our people.

2) Old books become worn and used and perhaps people won't want to read them. Writing new books makes them appealing to a new generation, and the act of writing them forces the new generation to grapple with them. Each new generation should renew our people's texts both literally and figuratively.

Akiva said that the aim of the Yom Iyun is to have the new generation, the students of Frisch RealSchool, grapple with the texts of our heritage and share their insights with their grandparents, parents, teachers and friends, thus continuing and renewing the mesorah, our tradition. Furthermore, the Yom Iyun art exhibit, which is a visual journey of text is another way to imagine and reimagine the texts of our tradition and shows, throughout our history, that we've have constantly been using the arts as well to think about the Big Ideas our religion presents us with.

Akiva introducing the Yom Iyun

Here are the sessions participants were able to choose from:

And here are some of our presenters:

Ronit Langer ('15) discussing family dynamics in Bereishit, Genesis

Penina Warburg ('13) discussing Hagar's journeys and the akeidah,
the sacrifice of Isaac

Solomon Wiener ('14) comparing Qohelet with Ayn Rand's Objectivism
Here are Laura Friedman ('13) and Rebecca Zakheim ('13) (on the left), the curators of the art exhibit, putting the final touches on it with Talia Schabes ('14) (on the right), a highly involved RealSchool member who, as usual, was present and helping out in tons of ways at this RS event. Zach Narin ('14) (pictured at the top of the blog post) was also an indispensable part of getting the exhibit ready for game day:

On the right, you can also see the Studio Art contributions to the exhibit
For a fuller explanation of the exhibit, see our blog post on it and read more here:

One of our favorite parts of the exhibit was the repurposed printer the art history students created. Here is how it came out and following the photo is an art historical explanation of it:

Student-created work is obviously always big with us. Here is Laura's illuminated manuscript. Our exhibit was timed for Yom Ha'atzmaut, ending as it did with a celebration of Israeli life. Laura took an old art form and one all Jews indulged in -- illuminated manuscripts -- and utilized Ashkenazi and Sephardic styles to reimagine this new Jewish prayer for the Welfare for the State of Israel:

Neat or Messy? That was participants' choices for their own texting projects, which we'll post soon:

Get messy with fingerpaints, charcoals and oil pastels!

Stay neat with paper and colored pencils!

All in all, the grandparents, parents, teachers and students who attended enjoyed the event and went home with new perspectives on text and our tradition. Thanks to everyone who made the day possible!