Last week I had a very special experience. I visited the Bialik Rogozin school in the south of Tel Aviv.
The school is 'home' to children who have their origins in 48 countries. Children of foreign workers, refuges from Darfur, immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Arab families and many more.
Many or even most students come from low socio-econominc status and live in the southern neighborhoods of Tel Aviv. Some are Israelli born and only speak hebrew (even if their look is different) while other are newcomers.
The school led by its amazing Principal Karen Tal is constantly battling various problems: parents (in the rare case they are both present) who are at work till the late hours of the day, pending court orders to expel kids from the country for illegal status of their parents and just plain language barriers are just some of their challenges.
The school has decided to have an educational responsibility for students throughout the whole day, and is open till 730PM every day. It is inspiring to see how dedicated the school staff is.
A wonderfully dedicated task-force of volunteers and private donors from the Israeli High Tech Industry and from Jewish Communities abroad has helped the school during the last years so that it could accommodate all its special needs. I'm proud to be now somehow a part of this task-force!
The school is a beautiful mosaic of people. Its multiculturalism very unusual and almost surreal in the Israeli landscape.
I have to say that the response of cheers from the kids when I showed my Obama portrait was specially meaningful in this place.
In a way this school is a litmus test for Israel and its vision of the future.
If you want to read more about the school, here's
an article from The Jewish Journal.
Thanks Yavin Dror and Dani Vardi for the great photos. I think they speak for themselves.
Scott Bakal November 29, 2009
Very nice post, Hanoch! Congrats on what looks like another successful workshop and kudos to the individuals at the Bialik Rogozin school that bring such wonderful things to children who really need inspiration in their lives.
Mark Fisher November 29, 2009
Hanoch, You my good man are the Goodwill Ambassador of Illustration!
heidi younger November 29, 2009
Wowza, those kids look so dam happy. Kudos Hanoch!
Drew Friedman November 29, 2009
Great post. So nice to see all those happy future Pivens!
Harry November 29, 2009
This is very special, and man do you get around. Being exposed to the "real world" is something I envy. Here in the U.S in relative safety and comfort I fear I have no clue of how some people must endure.
Zimm November 29, 2009
Hanoch infects the young with inspiration world-wide! It's an epidemic of creativity!
Brian Stauffer November 29, 2009
You're an inspiration.
The photo of the young artist with the dot stickers is amazing.
Kyle T Webster November 30, 2009
What you are doing for these children is important and special. Thanks for sharing.
Hanoch Piven November 30, 2009
Well, getting out of the studio and meeting kids like that is a great therapy. I certainly recommend it.
And there certainly is a lot to learn from the people in that school.
Heidi hi! Nice to see you in my Blog!
Cathie Bleck November 30, 2009
What beautiful faces and expression through art funneled by your goodness!
You are quite an inspiration Hanoch!
Alex Nabaum November 30, 2009
I wish you could come to my kids school. It's great what you are doing.
Nice art too! Although it get's outshone by those beautiful faces of those kids.
Victor Juhasz November 30, 2009
Hanoch, you've got a great generous heart. Wonderful work from all.
Leo Espinosa December 1, 2009
You are by far the best payed illustrator I know. Look at those faces, man!
Tim OBrien December 1, 2009
We are in the middle of trying to plan Cassius' birthday party. If we were rich we would fly you out to run one of your workshops. Cassius would want this more than anything.
If any of my fellow Drawgers ever have the chance to take one of these workshops, it's amazing. I love the way that it levels all and anyone who thinks can have success. Kids excel.
Hanoch Piven December 1, 2009
Hey Tim I don't 'do birthdays' but for Cassius I'd come if I were in NY.
Mary Jo Berger December 11, 2009
Ditto on the dot face boy!
Having taken one of your workshops and having taught art in a ghetto of NYC, I can say: WHOOPIE! to the school, the art, the kids and to their facilitator, El Gran Piven!
Raz December 17, 2009
It looks great! please come one day to Gedera! I'm sure the kids i work with would love it too!
Dan Dubno November 5, 2010
You continue to be an inspiration... the generousity of your talent and the sweetness of your soul... rewarded by the magic that children make!