Art Exhibition, art workshops and sessions by Alisa Poplavskaya at Limmud Germany
This year´s Limmud Germany took place for the first time at Neuharlingersiel at on the Northern Atlantic coast. In previous years the Jewish learning festival had taken place in or close to Berlin.
Whilst the sea in late April was still much too cold to swim, the warmth had to came from within and from the passion dedicated to the activities.
I was happy to exhibit my brand you as well as my older paintings in the major exhibition "The Spiritellectual Art of Alisa Poplavskaya" which opened on the first night night of Limmud with 80 guests and stayed until the end. The word creation Spiritellectual was created to describe the mixing of abstract motifs from the midrash with colourful and emotional images, such as the "Pomegranate of Commandments", which previously had been exhibited alongside Marc Chagall's works in Berlin. The exhibition took place in the room in which the prayers were offered, supporting the kavanah of the congregation on Shabbat.
During another lesson I did, the participants were asked to reflect on the motifs of the paintings. A heated discussion took place on the connection of the path from slavery to freedom and the kabbalistic idea of the Five Levels of the Soul. Some felt that certain kabbalistic concepts should remain separate from contemporrary Jewish practice, while others believed them to be more accessible for seekers than a Judaism of mitzvot only.
In the CreARTiva Tikkun Olam session the participants were encouraged to explore their own spirituality. I hereby used the methods I had learned from working with Tevel Btzedek in Nepal. Most people who participated actively were in their 20s and 30s, so it turned out to be quite like a world cafe activity.
A special pleasure for me was the classes I held for children. Whilst I mostly communicated during Limmud in Hebrew and Russian, working with the children helped me to practice my German, as I have only been living in Germany for six months.
What fascinated me about Limmud Germany was the heterogenity of the German Jewish community and the influence of the Israelis who have moved to Berlin in recent years. I am happy to be one of the pioneers, along with my husband, in reinventing and vitalizing the new emerging narrative of this community.