Shana Tova, Caricature, Israel, 1991
A caricature drawn by Ze'ev, a well-known Israeli caricaturist and illustrator, for the New Year of (תשנ"ב (1991-1992.
The caricature shows Ze'ev's typical character leaving a smashed car with the registration plate (תשנ"א (1990-1991. The character has a broken arm, an empty briefcase, and is barefoot. He has a smile on his face and is looking at a brand new car with the registration plate (תשנ"ב (1991-1992. On top of the new car is a flag with greetings for a Happy New Year!
The damaged car, representing the previous year, shows the problems Israel and the world faced in the previous year. The car has been hit by missiles, and it is surrounded by words such as employment, absorption (of new immigrants), economy and Yugoslavia, representing the hardships of the past year. Next to the car is a punctured wheel in the shape of the hammer and sickle – the symbol of communism. A can of leaking petrol represents the economy. The new shiny car, however, represents a fresh and optimistic start!
Israel faced many security problems in 1991, including the Gulf War when missiles attacked many cities. In the same year, Operation Solomon commenced, bringing almost 15,000 Jews from Ethiopia to Israel. The 1990s also saw large waves of immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel. These waves of immigration were very joyful events, but the absorption of such large numbers of new immigrants posed many complex challenges. 1990-1 was also a year of economic adversity due to the security situation and the cost of the absorption of the new immigrants, together with pre-existing economic problems. These were the years when the communist regimes fell and Yugoslavia collapsed.
This caricature gives a humoristic view of the events that occurred in Israel and the world in 1990-1. History teachers could use this caricature when teaching modern history. Students could be requested to create a similar caricature representing events of the current year.
Jewish History teachers could focus on the events that happened in Israel at that time. This caricature also shows the complexity of aliya. While Israel is open to aliya and aims to absorb olim from different places throughout the Jewish world, their absorption is a challenge not only for the immigrants but also for the State of Israel. This topic could be presented when dealing with current news from Israel concerning Ethiopian, Russian and other groups of olim and their integration in Israeli society.
Jewish Studies and Art teachers could present this caricature before Rosh Hashanah and ask students to create drawings which represent the transition from the old to the new year.
Describe what you see in the caricature?
When was the caricature published and what year does it relate to?
Reading Between the Lines
What do the character, the smashed car, and the new car represent?
According to the caricature, what important events happened during this year?
According to the caricature, what difficulties did Israel face during this year?
How is the future portrayed in this caricature?
What message is the artist trying to convey? Is it optimistic or pessimistic?
If this caricature was drawn a year later, what would the "new car" look like? Look for information on the internet.
Find another caricature that summarizes a year in history.
Give a title to this caricature.
Draw a caricature representing the transition between this year and the next.