posterstanfordHello my  dear readers. Today I would like to tell you about marvelous  event that took  place on December 2  at Stanford University. Me and my friends were lucky to  listen a lecture from Mr. Natan Sharansky and Mr. Michael Douglass. This venue were under the sponsorship of Genesis Prize Foundation,Hillel International, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and Hillel@Stanford.

Michael Douglas started his speech from the explanation to the auditory of his  Russian Jewish roots. His parents immigrated from Russia to the USA. The name of the actor’s father is Kirk, but his original full name is Issur Danielovich-Demsky. Kirk Douglas’s father, Hershel Danielovich, was born in 1884. He left Russia in 1910 to dodge the draft. His wife Brina stayed in Russia for awhile. She was the daughter of Ukrainian farmers. She moved for the United States two years later after Hershel settled down a little bit. The Danieloviches decided to rehash their name so that they would look and sound more American. Hershel became Harri, Brina became Bertha. Their next of kin Americanized their names too. Issur’s parents gave him a new name – Isador.

Mr. Douglas told that even his is not Jewish, he was not raised in the faith. Douglas embraced his Jewish identity later in life.  He told that his son Dylan have been participating in many  of his Jewish friends bar mitzvah. One day he came to Micheael and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones and talk them that he want to be a Jew and having bar mitzvah too. Mr. Douglas asked him if it`s only because he want to have a big party or be Jewish for real. The family traveled to Jerusalem in 2014 to celebrate Dylan`s bar mitzvah.

When Michael`s Douglas father was 83 he reaffirmed of his Jewish lineage and his second bar mitzvah after the helicopter crush.

Michael Douglas been honored by the Genesis Prize Foundation and have  received a $1-million prize  that  was him donated to the charity.

Natan Sharansky was born in 1948 in Donetzk, Ukraine. He told that his family were facing many issues because of his origine. Those times in Soviet Union you had to had be a very great at school,mathematics, physics, science and  chess. This was the one of the ways to be Jewish.   The religion in all forms  were prohibited and  his family didn’t know that the words like Bar mitzvah, Hanukah are were even exists.

Mr. Sharansky spent 9 years in Siberian Prison “Gulag”. Famed for his resistance in the Gulag, he was told upon his release to walk straight towards his freedom; Sharansky instead walked in a zigzag in a final act of defiance. Sharansky then emigrated to Israel, adopting a Hebrew given name, Natan. Following his release, Sharansky receives the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Natan Sharansky  opened a very serious  topics  during the conversation with Mr Douglas about anti semitism in world and  anti Israel propaganda.  He is very concerned about enemies dedicated to destroying the Jewish state with  weapons and a terrorist network with 100,000 missiles, while the main concern in the West Bank is whether it is Hamas, Hezbollah or ISIS that will take control.

Natan Sharansky mentioned that anti-Semitism in the world appears in different forms and ways and this is extremely sad. The history is repeating and previous mistakes should not be forgotten.

When asked whether there is a future for Jews in France, Sharansky replied by asking  “Is there a future for France in France? There is always a future for France in Israel.” He told that next Jewish young generation from Europe are probably will be migrating.

Both men were opened for the questions from auditory and had a very good sense of humor.


Thanks to the all sponsors for the free of cost tickets that was giving for all who were interested participating at this event.

“Jewish Journeys: A Conversation with Michael Douglas and Natan Sharansky”

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