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What Will Our Future Look Like?

The Seventh Day: Israeli Literature Fifty Years After the Six-Day War

To answer the question of our future, we need to look to the past. And this timeless question—grown even more urgent in these days of global insecurity—runs like a common thread through The Seventh Day Festival. Curated by LABA Journal Editor Hanan Elstein and featuring, among others, our lead teacher Liel Leibovitz and resident scholar Ruby Namdar, the festival explores Israeli literature, politics and society fifty years after the Six-Day War.

The Seventh Day Festival is a series of five provocative conversations between ten acclaimed Israeli and American authors. The festival aims to shed light upon a wide range of controversial issues at the core of Israel’s daily reality, such as:

  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • The fragility of democracy
  • Domesticity in times of turmoil
  • Creativity, censorship and silence
  • Hebrew writing in the Diaspora
  • Jewish life in America
  • The future of Israel

The festival was launched Wednesday, October 25th at the famous KGB Bar with a fervent discussion between Nir Baram (A Land Without Borders) and LABA alumnus and The New York Times Book Review editor Gal Beckerman.

Tonight (Thursday, October 26th) we’re at Soho House, where noted Israeli author Dorit Rabinyan will be talking with David Samuels, literary editor of Tablet Magazine, about creating culture in a time of conflict. Dorit’s latest bestseller, All The Rivers, a tender tale of a love affair between an Israeli and a Palestinian, sparked one of the most prominent literary scandals in Israel’s history.

On Thursday, November 2nd, Eshkol Nevo (Three Floors Up) is in conversation with Elissa Goldstein at Brooklyn’s Congregation Beth Elohim.

On Monday November 6th, Assaf Gavron (The Hilltop) will talk with NYU Professor Ronald W. Zweig at the Taub Center for Israel Studies.

Finally, on December 7th, New Yorker and expat Israeli Ruby Namdar (The Ruined House) is in conversation with Tablet Magazine’s Liel Leibovitz for the festival’s celebratory closing event (at the American Jewish Historical Society and the Center for Jewish History).

For the full program and to RSVP, go to The Seventh Day Festival. For insights into the festival and its conception, read this interview with its director.

The Seventh Day Festival is presented by the 14th Street Y in collaboration with the Jewish Book Council, and co-sponsored by the Israeli Consulate in New York.

Fifty years on, Israel’s shortest war remains a defining moment in Israeli history. Come hear what some of Israel and America’s most prominent authors have to say about the Six-Day War and what it means to the future of Israeli politics and culture.




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