During the first wave of the corona pandemic, when Israeli were still coming to terms with social isolation and long-distance learning and working, OTS’ Yachad Program for Jewish Identity announced a nation-wide contest challenging youth to create comics on any subject from the Hagaddah of Pesach, the holiday that at the time was just around the corner.
“Yachad aims to connect between Israeli Jews and their heritage in a meaningful way,” says the program’s northern coordinator, Racheli Houminer. “The comics challenge was designed to motivate them to explore the Hagaddah and other Passover themes in a fun and exciting environment that they can relate to, and which kept their minds off being stuck at home.”
Hundreds of entries poured in from talented kids from all over the country – from Eilat to the Golan Heights and everywhere in between. Entries were judged by celebrated Israeli caricaturist Uri Fink, on whose “Zbeng” comics hundreds of thousands of Israeli kids have grown up, and five winners were chosen: Yuval Rubin, 12, from Misgav; Tamar Tzchor, 10.5, from Yovalim; Sarah Kamissa, 12, from Natua; Raveh Levi, 9, from Pardes Chana; and Hadar Nachum, 13, from Ashdod.
After months of lockdown, renewed schooling, and an oncoming second wave of COVID-19, this week the “fabulous five” collected their prize: a personal meeting with Uri Funk in his Hod Hasharon studio, featuring a special class in illustration just for them.
Fink also gave a special parting gift to the indefatiguable Houminer: an original caricature depicting the Jewish star-sparks that fly when secular and religious Jews fuse in unity.