MICHAL MINSKY

My name is Michal Minsky. I was born and raised in Tel Aviv and I have been guiding in the city for over a decade.

I have a bachelor's degree in art history from Tel Aviv University, worked in local iconic cultural institutions such as the Bauhaus Center, Eretz Israel Museum and The PhotoHouse, where I'm still engaged in historical research on the city. 

 


TALKS:

The lectures are also delivered in English. 
The length of all lectures is about an hour.

BLACK AND WHITE MYSTERIES TALKS

A series of detective lectures based on fascinating research that I conducted as part of my work as an archivist of the Photo Archive and as a researcher in other historical photography collections. How to decode a photo location? Who are the people in the pictures? What do you do with a physical archive in the digital age and how can one photograph tell us a world and its fullness.


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The PhotoHouse
From a family business to a national Landmark

The PhotoHouse began as one of the small photography shops scattered along Allenby Street in Tel Aviv, and over the years became one of the most well-known photography shops in the country, through which tens of thousands of photographers passed and milestones in local history were burned in the negatives and archive binders.

On this talk we will get to know the founders of the place, Rudi and Miriam Wiessenstein, and will discover how Rudi managed to become from an anonymous photographer to the documentor of the declaration of independence of the state of Israel,  and the  photographer  of the most famous Israeli politicians, actors and artists.

We will talk about famous photographs, anecdotes behind pictures, the challenges of maintaining a private collection of photographs of national importance, and will be moved by the amazing survival story of the small family shop of more than 80 years.

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Changing streets and a mysterious shop
Solving historical photographs

In recent years, many historical photography collections have undergone a processes of digitization and exposure to the general public. In this process we come across countless photographs about which much information is missing, such as the location, date and identity of the people being photographed. In this lecture we will understand what are the tools available to us when we want to findthe location of a historical photograph and how can we try and understand where it was photographed and gather as much information as possible about it.

What is the significance of this process? Why is it important? And are there enough resources to allocate to the matter?

We will use as a test case for the first Hebrew city, Tel Aviv, watch various historical photographs of it, embrace the nostalgia, and together try to solve their locations.

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Israel's declaration and the couple on the roof 
Left behind photo series

Familiar and beloved historical photographs are often part of a wide series that was taken and was left behind.

On this talk, we will get to know a number of historical photo series and try to understand why the image we know from the series was selected, what we can learn from its selection about the client, the photographer and the message they tried to convey us.

What leaves a stronger impression on us, a series of images or a single image? And who determines what is chosen: the client, the photographer or the public?

All this and more in a nostalgic lecture full of black-and-white photographs and exciting discoveries.

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'THOSE WERE THE DAYS' TALKS

A nostalgic, exciting and funny journey into daily life in young Israel, through original photographs, rare videos and old advertisements.

 

A long road to liberty
The story of the Israeli housewife

Until the 1970s, being a housewife in Israel was a genuine profession for many women, who even studied it in an orderly manner, specialized, invested a lot of thought in caring for their home and family, and gained great respect due to educating the future generation of Israel.

In the lecture, we will rediscover the local housewife: What subjects were taught at a young Mizrahi home? Who was the singing housewife? What were the criteria for winning the title of Queen of the Kitchen? And how do you make gefiltefish from tuna?

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A photographic journey through old Tel Aviv

From the day of its establishment, the city of Tel Aviv has been an important part of the life of the Jewish community in Eretz Israel, a modern and Jewish city in which great events took place alongside everyday ones.

In this lecture, we will embark on a photographed journey to early daysTel Aviv through photos of the best photographers in the early years of the city. We will see what everyday life looked like in the first Hebrew city: Who were the leading cinemas? What did people eat and drink in the cafes? What did the lifeguards' swimwear look like in the 1940s and what happened to the famouse hotdog seller from Mugrabi Square?

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Motherhood of yesteryear

Today's young mothers can not imagine parenting without WhatsApp support groups, various activities in development centers and posts of professional counselors and mentors on social media. But what did the mothers of yesteryear do? What did their parenting look like? Where did they get their inspiration and support from? Where did they go to spend time with the kids? In this lecture we will take a look at the lives of the urban mothers of yesteryear through old advertisements, videos and historicall photographs. We will get to know the mythological institutions they visited, the information they consumed and the daily routine. How did the mothers in the city differ from the mothers in the village? Which baby carriages were popular? What is the benefit of fish oil and how to avoid washing endless cloth diapers?

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A JOURNEY TO THE OLD HOLIDAYS CELEBRATIONS LECTURES

A nostalgic, exciting and funny journey to the customs of holidays and celebrations in young Israel, through original photographs, rare videos and old advertisements.

 

 

The history of Shana Tova cards

Nowadays, with the deployment of the New Year we send a generic Happy New Year message via WhatsApp or email, but for decades it was customary in Israel and the Diaspora to send Happy New Year letters that were an integral part of popular culture. The New Year Letters were a platform that reflected what was happening at that time and dealt with issues that were an integral part of the daily life of the Jewish people.

In this lecture we will embark on a visual journey saturated with kitsch and glitter and review the history of New Year's letters from their birth in Europe in the mid-19th century to the 90s of the previous century: where was the custom born? What were the prevailing images? What did the Israel Post do in order not to collapse during the new year and how did the singer Madonna fit into the custom?

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A journey to 1940's-1960's Hanukkah of yesteryear

What does Hanukkah look like in an age where there is one type of donut and spinning tops do not have an electric motor? Feel free to join me on a nostalgic and entertaining journey of surprising stories about the customs of the holiday, anecdotes about light and darkness and an outing to the Hanukkah celebrations in little Tel Aviv. When and how was the spinning top born? Where was the pancake ball held? On what roof has a menorah building stood since the 1920s, and how has life in the city changed following the establishment of the Electric Company? The lecture will also reveal the secret recipe from the 60s for "donuts from yesterday" and orange pancakes!

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Purim of yesteryear
From the days of Little Tel Aviv to the 1960s

Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv have always been characterized by large parties, Adlaide processions, colorful costumes and the first Hebrew city was washed away with celebrations for several days.

In this lecture we will review the Purim celebrations in the city from the 1920s to the 1960s: What have been the popular costumes over the years? Who was crowned Queen Esther the First Yemenite and what happened to her? Who is the gang that found itself on the defendants' benches of the British court due to an attempt to sabotage the Adlaideh processions and how the pair of monkeys and puppies from the municipal zoo are associated with the holiday? Together we will embark on an entertaining Purim journey through the city streets.

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From the Feast of the Giving of the Torah to the Feast of Dairy
Shavuot of yesteryear

During the Mandate and in young Israel, Shavuot became one of the marginal Jewish holidays, an important and central holiday, symbolizing the return of the Jewish people to their land and the work of the homeland.

The Shavuot celebrations were held nationwide, in rural and urban localities and were characterized by masses of children and youth dressed in white, adorned with wreaths and bearers, who flooded the country with processions, mass dances and firstfruits ceremonies. Who initiated the tradition of firstfruits? How did the agricultural holiday become the milk holiday? How did the festivities in the city differ from the rural festivities, and what did those who did not know how to dance folk dances do? All this and more in a nostalgic and entertaining lecture accompanied by photos, videos and other treasures from the archive.

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TOURS:

IN THE PHOTOHOUSE'S FOOTSTEPS

I've been working at The PhotoHouse for over 8 years, and on this tour I'll tell you all about this wonderful time capsule. It is the oldest photography shop in Tel Aviv, and has long since become a renowned institution.

It started out in 1940 as one of the small photography shops scattered along Allenby Street, but over the years has became the most famous photography shop in Tel Aviv, through which tens of thousands of photographers passed, many of them famous.
To this day, this small family store keeps the largest private photo archive in the country, which contains many significant moments in the history of the State of Israel,  of the Zionist enterprise and the development of the Jewish settlement in Israel.
On the tour we will discover the founders of the place,  Rudi and Miriam Wiesenstein.

How did they make their little shop so well known? Were the famous photographs spontaneous or commissioned ? How are negatives being preserved ? And what is the future of a physical collection in the digital era?

Join me on a fascinating tour that is a photographed and nostalgic historical journey.

 

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DESIGN AND ART TOURS

Come meet The most fascinating designers and creators in the city!

In the design and art tours we will get to know the people who make the city what it is, and have chosen a slightly less routine way to fulfill themselves. Designers, creators, owners of unique concept stores and artists who will open their studio for us and give a glimpse into their unique world. Between visits we will also learn about the fascinating history of each area, the architecture, the street art and the contemporary changes they are going through.

Each tour can be changed and tailored to your requests, depending on the audience and the nature of the event.

Length of all tour: about 3 hours

  • Not only an arts fair Street: Nahalat Binyamin
  • Secret Jaffa -  Noga neighborhood and the American Colony
  • Electric Tour: The Electricity Garden district
  • Not only an arts fair Street: Nahalat Binyamin

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THE URBAN TOURS

Tel Aviv is without a doubt the most interesting city in the country, diverse and full of contrasts: buildings for preservation alongside new towers, luxury restaurants alongside falafel stands, local and international, modest and pretentious.

On the urban tours we will wander the city streets and hear extraordinary anecdotes, get to know the fascinating history, architecture, street art and contemporary changes that the city is constantly undergoing.

Each tour can be changed and tailored to your requests, depending on the audience and the nature of the event.

Length of tours: 1.5-2 hours

  • From Bauhaus to Penthouse:  White City tour
  • From rags to riches- Neve Tzedek and Hamsila Park
  • Dizengoff is back!
  • Between Bialik and Nahalat Binyamin