Robert Rosenberg

From Kazakhstan to Tzfat

The Jewish community of Kazakhstan is not an ancient one, but Kazakhstanian Jews have a close and patriotic tie to their country. Before Stalin, few Jews lived in Kazakhstan, although there were small pockets of Bukharian Jews and Juhuros, whose roots are believed to go back many hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The vast majority of Kazakhstanian Jews, however, are descendents of Jews who were forcibly relocated from Western Russia by Stalin, or Jews who fled East ahead of the Nazis during WWII.

Through time, the Jews of Kazakhstan have created an organized Jewish community with institutions and associations for their own communal and religious needs. They feel connected to the land which provided a home to their parents and grandparents and have been accepted by the native Kazakhstanis as friends and neighbors.

This is the homeland of artist Robert Rosenberg, who was born in Alma-Ata to Eastern-European "Ashkenazi" Russian parents. His talents as an artist were noticed when he was quite young, and he was sent to study at the Alma-Ata Art College, and then at the prestigious Art Institute in Alma Ata. He was a successful artist when he decided, together with his wife and mother-in-law, to immigrate to Israel in 1994, settling almost immediately in Tzfat. He was accepted into the Israel Painters and Sculptors Association, and opened a gallery in Tzfat shortly after his arrival.

Rosenberg quickly became known as an "Israeli Artist", as opposed to a Russian artist who had been transported to Israel. This is because his paintings are so Israeli in nature - his paintings thrive in Israel's light, and he searches out Israeli scenes to paint, both those of nature - mountains and valleys, groves and orchards, fields and gardens - and scenes of Israelis' towns and cities.

Soaring Imagination Amidst Realism

His brush strokes allow the viewer to feel the heat of the summer or the cool of the winter. His vivid colors are particularly suited to paintings of his adopted town, Tzfat, with its stone walls, cobbled lanes and tiled roofs. The subjects, themes and compositions of Rosenberg's paintings may change, but the sweeping expanse of the horizon is frequently visible, as Rosenberg encourages the imagination of the viewer to soar while taking in the details of the painting. Though his works include many paintings of Jerusalem, the desert, the sea, and the Greek islands (in addition, of course, to Kazakhstan) Rosenberg is particularly intrigued by the landscape of Israel's North, and is the most frequent subject of his paintings as he brings to life the nature of the Galilee.

Rosenberg's gallery is located on Yosef Caro Street in the Old City of Tzfat. He can be contacted at (052)345-0421 or [email protected]