«Jewish Observer»
December 2002
5763 Tevet

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The IV fair of intellectual literature in Central house of artists has presented new projects of the Association "Bridges of culture/Gesharim". The gathering, interested in problems of Judaics, acquainted themselves with a new book in Hebrew "From first person. Talks with Vladimir Putin". This is the translation of a bestseller the publishing house "Vagrius" issued on the eve of presidential elections. An Association "Gesharim's" head Mikhail Grinberg has told a book's signal copy was solemnly handed to President of Israel Moshe Katsav in his Jerusalem residence 14 November, 2002. This was done on behalf of the publisher and head of Russian Council of Jerusalem University's friends, member of Council of Federation Leonid Nevzlin. President of Israel got so much interested in the book that he asked for another copy for President Putin.

The second to be presented became a book by a doctor of philological sciences, famous researcher of Russian literature of the XX century Leonid Katsis "Osip Mandelshtam: musk of Judaism". It is published as part of a joint project by "Gesharim" and Russian Jewish Congress, which envisages publishing 31 books in 2002. During the presentation L.Katsis underlined this book appeared largely due to lifting bans in early 1990's on learning Jewish themes and quick development of Judaics. Speaking about the causes to write "Musk of Judaism", the author noted he was prompted to do it by an abnormal situation in the Soviet and post-Soviet philological science. Dealing with issues related to the works of classics of the XX century, this science absolutely ignored a national origin and corresponding culture heritage exerting a certain influence on their creativity. This resulted in substituting seemingly simplest explanations of motives in their works with utterly complicated ones.

A most typical example of such classic is O.Mandelshtam - a Jew by origin, poet, whose verses are in the golden fund of Russian and world culture.

Beside books, two magazines published by the Association were represented at the presentation. The first - "Sun plexus", edited by professor of Jerusalem University M.Vaiskopf, appeared in Israel 3 years ago. It published the works of Russian-speaking intelligentsia - emigrants to the Promised Land. Over these years the magazine has significantly enlarged, obtained its own internet-version. Nowadays it seriously claims to have the status of a Jewish "New World", where the best of modern Israeli Russian-speaking poetry, prose and publicism can be found. First nineteen issues were published in Israel, and the 20th appeared in Russia. The problems enlightened here concern not only Russia and Russian Jewry, but also Israel, Holocaust etc.

If "Sun plexus" has some analogues in modern Russia, then the magazine "Jewish colporteur", the first issue of which was presented, too, is a unique one. This is the only in its way magazine combining bibliography of books on Judaics published in Russian (despite the fact the magazine is published by the Association "Culture bridges/Gesharim", the information about books on given subjects of other publishers will be included, too). Readers will find detailed stories, interviews, reviews dedicated to separate books, as well as certain topics.


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