Israeli commentator to present unique cultural aspects

October 30, 2012 by Michelle Coleman
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Renowned Israeli commentator David Hazony will visit Australia next month as  the guest of the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA).

David Hazony

Hazony is a contributing editor to the Jewish Daily Forward, and was the former editor-in-chief of Azure magazine of the Shalem Centre. In his writing he has a broad repertoire of topics around the relationship of Israel and the diaspora, culture and Zionism.

Hazony will explore a number of themes surrounding individuals’ relationships with Israel, including the paradox that this culturally vibrant, creative and productive nation continues to thrive in an environment where it faces geo-political and security challenges. Just as Israel’s economy has transformed from largely agricultural to one based on technology, science and intellectual endeavour, so has the dominant perception of Israel morphed from the kibbutz lifestyle as an exemplar of equality and egalitarianism to a more high-tech, culturally creative one.

“Israelis have secretly transitioned from poorly importing much of their cultural life to unselfconsciously striking out on their own, compiling and recombining and remixing and creating until things are produced that are not ‘Zionist’ or even ‘Israeli,’ but just whatever they are, amazing new expressions of human and machine and creative and artistic and bold,” Hazony wrote in a April 9, 2012 piece on the Forward.

ZFA President Philip Chester said: “The ZFA is proud to bring such a highly respected, esteemed writer and Zionist thinker to the community. David will bring to our community a contemporary take on the perennial issues – how we relate to Israel, what Israel means to us in the Diaspora and how we can improve our relationship.”

“Whilst David has serious academic and literary credentials, he will explore these and other issues in an interactive and engaging way – as befits our times,” Chester added.

Hazony is the featured speaker at the ZFA’s 45th Biennial Conference on November 11 in Melbourne. He is also scheduled to present at community events on November 7 in Sydney at the Great Synagogue (166 Castlereagh Street, Sydney) and on November 11 in Melbourne at the Beth Weizmann Community Centre (306 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield South).


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