A Vase of Memory

19.02.24

Welcome to the State Museum of the History of Religion in St. Petersburg, Russia. This museum was originally founded in 1932 under Communism, when religion was meant to be a thing of the past. But now that Soviet Communism is a thing of the past, the museum celebrates different religious traditions, housing artifacts from many times and cultures – including that of the Jews.

 

Join award-winning author Matti Friedman as he takes us on a rare tour and a glimpse of Jewish history and culture as they appear in the treasures of the State Museum of the History of Religion.

 

After attaining the status of a merchant within the First Guild, Moisei Ginsburg established numerous Jewish charitable organizations in St. Petersburg. Among them was the Jewish almshouse on the 6th line of Vasilyevsky Island, which commenced operations in 1913. In gratitude, elderly beneficiaries presented him with a vase that, despite its fragile nature, remains intact to this day. Surrounding this vase is an intriguing detective story. What makes it particularly unusual?

 

Script: Julia Idlis

English Script: Matti Friedman

Director: Nina Guseva

Producer: Daria Shtyrkova

Videographer: Maria Falileeva

Academic expert: Alla Sokolova

Voice-over: Matti Friedman

Music: Maria Logofet

Sound Mix: Alexander Nadezhdin

Animation: Vadim Tugeev, Galina Palchik

Editor: Evgeniy Todich

 

Beit Avi Chai is grateful to the State Museum of the History of Religion in St. Petersburg for permission to film the artifacts.

 

Beit Avi Chai: Dr. David Rozenson, CEO; Dr. Simon Parizhsky, Educational Director of Ideas Without Borders; Svetlana Busygina, Administrative Director of Ideas Without Borders.

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