Evening Includes Art-making, Tours of the MFA’s Judaica Collection and an Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Device

BOSTON, MA (November 5, 2014)—The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), celebrates Hanukkah with a slate of free activities on Wednesday evening, December 17, 2014, from 6 to 9:45 pm (when Museum admission is by voluntary contribution). To mark this special event, the MFA will welcome Rabbi Zecher of Boston’s Temple Israel and Ronit Nudelman-Pearl, Deputy Consul General of Israel to New England for a symbolic menorah lighting (electric), followed by tours of the Museum’s collection of Judaica, film screenings, musical performances and dreidel making. A special art installation based on themes related to the menorah will allow visitors to interact with Oculus Rifta motion-controlled virtual reality headset. This is the first time Oculus Rift has been installed in a major museum. In addition to festive holiday menu items at Taste Café and Wine Bar, Boston Olive Oil Company will offer a tasting to commemorate the tale of Hanukkah the oil that was meant to last one day that lasted eight. Visitors can follow the hashtag #MFAHanukkah on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates on the evening’s activities at the MFA. Hanukkah at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is presented in partnership with New Center Now and CJP, Boston’s Jewish Federation. Support provided by the Consulate General of Israel to New England.

Tours of the galleries will explore the Museum’s collection of Judaica, including the recently acquired Charles and Lynn Schusterman Collection, which represents one of the largest and most varied Judaica collections in a major American museum. Three 30-minute highlight tours in the Museum’s European galleries will examine a selection of decorative and ritual objects from the transformational gift, demonstrating the continuity of Jewish traditions over hundreds of years.  Marietta Cambareri, Jetskalina H. Phillips Curator of Judaica, will also lead a one-hour Gallery Talk on the Museum’s collection of Hanukkah Lamps, which includes works from the Schusterman Collection, as well as other recent acquisitions.

Throughout the evening, the MFA will screen “Fresh Flix,” a selection of films from the Boston Jewish Film Festival. Played on a continuous loop, the short films are curated around the themes of miracle, illumination and innovation.  Additionally, visitors can hear an acoustic performance previewing the opera, The Seekers of Light

Hanukkah is one of a series of cultural celebrations held at the MFA annually, along with Lunar New Year (the start of a new calendar year in parts of Asia), Nowruz (Persian New Year), Juneteenth (commemorating the end of slavery in the United States) and Diwali (the Southeast Asian ‘Festival of Lights’).

SCHEDULE OF HANUKKAH ACTIVITIES

All activities are free (Museum admission is by voluntary contribution Wednesdays after 4 pm)

SPECIAL EVENTS

Welcome Remarks and Menorah Lighting

6 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard

A community candle lighting on the second night of Hanukkah, led by Rabbi Zecher of Boston’s Temple Israel. To mark this special event, the MFA will welcome Rabbi Zecher of Boston’s Temple Israel and Ronit Nudelman-Pearl, Deputy Consul General of Israel to New England for a symbolic menorah lighting (electric), followed by tours of the Museum’s collection of Judaica, film screenings, musical performances and dreidel making. and Rabbi Zecher will also give welcome remarks.

Installation: 8 Nights, 8 Windows Preview

6-9:45 pm, Druker Family Pavilion 

This Oculus Rift motion-controlled, virtual reality art installation by local digital artists Jeff Hesser, Mike Mandel and musician Guy Mendilow is a preview of the forthcoming public art project in 2015 that will be seen in windows around Boston for the 8 nights of Hanukkah (December 6-14, 2015).

The Seekers of Light: An Opera Preview

6:15-9 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard 

This acoustic performance, inspired by the “Miracle of Light,” is the first preview of excerpts from Matti Kovler and Theodor Tezhik’s opera-in-progress. The work is written in Hebrew, Ladino, Yiddish, Polish and Farsi, and features a Boston-based international cast of musicians. Produced by the New Center NOW in collaboration with Jewish Music Theater, supported in part by the Natan Fund for ROI Entrepreneurs.

Film: Fresh Flix

6-9:30 pm, Riley Seminar Room

A screening of a selection of short films from the Boston Jewish Film Festival, including Shadow Puppets (19 minutes) and Nyosha (12 minutes) is curated around the themes of miracle, illumination and innovation (played on continuous loop.)

ART MAKING

Art Making: Stained Glass Windows

6–9 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard

Colorful, art-inspired stained glass windows can be created and brought home for the holidays.

Art Making: Dreidels

6–9 pm, Druker Family Pavilion

Visitors can create a dreidel out of clay with local artist Tova Speter, founder of The Mem Project, a community art program. 

Drawing in the Galleries

6–9 pm, Eunice and Julian Cohen Galleria

Visitors can get drawing tips and ideas from an artist as they sketch in the galleries.

TOURS AND TALKS

Gallery Talk: Hanukkah Lamps

6:30-7:30 pm, Sharf Visitor Center

Marietta Cambareri, Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture and Jetskalina H. Phillips Curator of Judaica, Art of Europe, gives a one-hour tour focusing on the MFA’s collection of Hanukkah lamps.

Highlights Tours: Judaica

Tours at 7, 7:30 and 8:30 pm, Sharf Visitor Center

A 30-minute tour highlights works from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Collection, a transformational gift of Jewish decorative arts and ritual objects.

FOOD

Olive Oil Tasting

6-9 pm, Druker Family Pavilion

Visitors can sample an array of flavors with the Boston Olive Oil Company.

Taste Café and Wine Bar

Open until 9 pm, Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art 

Festive coffee and hot cocoa are available for purchase, or visitors can toast the holidays with a glass of wine.

Gallery Talks Made Possible by the Lowell Institute

Drawing in the Galleries Made Possible by the Lowell Institute

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is recognized for the quality and scope of its collection, which includes an estimated 500,000 objects. The Museum has more than 140 galleries displaying its encyclopedic collection, which includes Art of the Americas; Art of Europe; Contemporary Art; Art of Asia, Oceania, and Africa; Art of the Ancient World; Prints, Drawings, and Photographs; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments. Open seven days a week, the MFA’s hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 am–4:45 pm; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 am–9:45 pm Admission (which includes one repeat visit within 10 days) is $25 for adults and $23 for seniors and students age 18 and older, and includes entry to all galleries and special exhibitions. Admission is free for University Members and youths age 17 and younger on weekdays after 3 pm, weekends, and Boston Public Schools holidays; otherwise $10. Wednesday nights after 4 pm admission is by voluntary contribution (suggested donation $25). MFA Members are always admitted for free. The Museum’s mobile MFA Guide is available at ticket desks and the Sharf Visitor Center for $5, members; $6, non-members; and $4, youths. The Museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Patriots’ Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For more information, visit mfa.org or call 617.267.9300. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

CJP

CJP, Greater Boston’s Jewish Federation, brings together the people, partners and resources to fulfill the most important needs and aspirations of our community.  Rooted in compassion and justice and driven by innovation, we care for the vulnerable, forge strong connections with Israel and above all, inspire the next generation to embrace Jewish life and learning. For more information please visit www.cjp.org.

New Center NOW 

New Center NOW explores the Jewish imagination through interaction. Through the shared experience of cooking and concerts, reading and exhibits, films and online conversation, NOW aims to inspire dialogue, and welcome participants from all backgrounds to enjoy a meaningful, relevant, and dynamic Jewish cultural experience. For more information visit www.NewCenterNOW.org

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