A TASTE OF ISRAEL
Commemorating anniversary with art and food.
WRITTEN BY ANNIE FLANZRAICH
Tal Shochat, Cherry Tree (Spring) from triptych, 2017, C-Print. ©Tal Shochat. Photo courtesy of Meislin Projects
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of a Jewish state, the Nevada Museum of Art and the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa are bringing Israeli art, food, and culture to Reno.
Beginning April 12, the museum will display the work of two female Israeli artists: sculptor and video artist Michal Rovner and photographer Tal Shochat.
JoAnne Northrup, curatorial director and curator of contemporary art, met Rovner and Shochat during a 2015 trip to Israel organized by the museum and Atlantis owners John and Catherine Farahi.
"We were so entranced with both Michal's and Tal's work," Northrup says. "Our museum focuses on art and environment, and both artists fit that aesthetic and vision."
In addition to introducing Northrup and other participants to Israeli art, food, and culture, the 2015 trip also bonded the group of travelers. Since the trip, attendees have gathered for monthly, Friday night Shabbat dinners, to observe Judaism's weekly day of rest. When planning the events to celebrate Israel's 70th anniversary, Northrup and Heidi Loeb, the museum's director of special projects, worked with the Farahis to bring a bit of that closeness to a broader audience.
"This is an experience that we want to share with everyone," Northrup says. "You don't have to be Jewish to come and experience this Shabbat dinner."
A weekend to honor Israel
The museum and the Farahis have organized two dinners to celebrate Israel.
The first will be a special ticketed event and Shabbat dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. on April 13 at the museum. James S. Snyder, director emeritus of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, will present the history of art in Israel within the larger picture of how creativity has helped shape the country's identity. Snyder's talk will be followed by a Shabbat dinner featuring a menu by Mark Estee that was inspired by Israeli chef and James Beard Award-winner Michael Solomonov. Tickets to the event start at $150, and sponsorships start at $1,000. For details and to reserve a spot, call Loeb at the museum, 775-329-3333.
Then, at 7:30 p.m. on April 14, the Farahis and the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa will host an evening of Israeli food, music, and dancing. Tickets to the event are $36 per person and are available online at Atlantiscasino.com or at the gift shop in the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa.
"I think it's a lovely opportunity to bring a taste of Israel to Reno," Northrup says.
Annie Flanzraich is a Reno-based writer and editor who ate the best falafel of her life in Israel in 2012, somewhere on the Israeli-Lebanese border.