Scholarship 2019 “SCHAPIRA”- Cristiana Sandeva & Ben Schapira

Among the main activities which AIMIG operates to promote Art and Culture, every year a Scholarship allows Italian university students to attend a summer internship program (3 months) at the Israel Museum. This year the project continued and took its name from the person who kindly donated the funds, our Vice-President Manuela Schapira, to whom we extend our heartfelt thanks: an example to emulate for future donors of these special and valuable scholarships.

As documented to us by the Museum staff, in particular by Dr. Allison Kupietzky – Collections Database Manager and Coordinator of the Internship programs at Israel Museum – our two Italian interns – Cristiana Sandeva and Ben Schapira, who departed this year in June – had the opportunity to work with a wide range of Museum departments, both curatorial and service. The work they have done in assisting with the collections management process has been beneficial to the students’ professional and personal backgrounds. In addition to the work experience they gained, they were also able to enjoy other aspects of working in the Israel Museum, such as the opportunity to take “behind-the-scenes” tours with curators, attending exhibition openings and other events.
An experience which always arouses wonder and enthusiasm, as well as a springboard for a promising future in museology and curatorial work.

We send best congratulations to our Italian interns. Below are some photos and notes we received from them during their internship.

“Dear Italian Friends of the Israel Museum,
I am writing to you with pleasure from Holland during this sunny but cold afternoon of Saturday, October 5th, 2019.
I landed in the land of milk and honey on the 7th of June. I had never been to Israel before, and I would have never imagined to find myself living there for a whole summer at the age of twenty.
Born and raised in Brianza (Italy) by Bulgarian parents, I moved to Amsterdam when I was just 18 to study journalism and ended up specializing in the Middle East (initially to follow some mystical vocation found in the music of mystical vocation found in the music of Battiato), nothing would have led me to imagine that I would have the opportunity not only to visit this sunny, fragrant and complicated country that is Eretz-Israel, but to live and work there
to live and work there; immersing myself in one of the most relevant and vibrant locales that Israel and Jerusalem have to offer, namely the Israel Museum.
Dr. Kupietzky, who soon became Allison to everyone, welcomed us into her department and always tried to find arrangements and collaborations with all of the curatorial sections of the Museum that would be most suited to everyone’s skills and interests. Right from the start, she made us feel part of the “family,” . She invited all of us interns for a Shabbat dinner in the house she had just moved into and organized a group outing to Caesarea, where we
we went to visit the Port Museum and then had a picnic on the beach of the old aqueduct.
I had the opportunity to work with the departments of Modern Art, African Art, and Traveling Exhibitions, working closely with the fantastic curators leading the sections and having the opportunity to actively participate in proposals for new projects and exhibitions, offering my insights and
helping in the process of conceptualization and exhibition design.
Knowing that my main interest is journalism, Allison has also ensured that both Ben and I (my colleague and roommate, like me a Journalism student) the opportunity to attend lectures and events outside of the Museum on which we then wrote, both individually and collaboratively, articles and reports that will be published on the Museum’s online platforms.
Everyone in the office has been kind to me from the start and it was natural to feel part of this project that is Israel Museum: a project which is not necessarily organized with perfect timing, but works efficiently and that manages to provide both employees and visitors with a stimulating experience without being intrusive, and which bases its essence on a calm and productive daily routine.
Working with all of the interns was such a learning experience, as much as the internship itself was.
We all became very good friends right away, as if we had known each other our whole lives. From the very first day there was a friendly, international and open family atmosphere with all colleagues. Ben and I, Italian interns from Holland and America, another Italian girl from Milan who had moved to Israel for a period of time, another Italian girl from Milan who had moved to Israel for a period of study, a girl from South Africa and a girl from Zimbabwe
sent by the South African Friends of the Israel Museum (SAFIM), an American boy from Philadelphia and another American girl from Toledo. We soon built a small family with whom we often organized dinner outings and weekend trips to discover all the places Israel has to offer.

I would like to thank AIMIG again for making possible this summer that not even in my boldest dreams would I have imagined to experience. I will remain
I greet you affectionately and hope to hear from you soon and to collaborate again in the future.
Just to close with coherence, I press the “Enter” key on my computer and open the Hebrew textbook, that I started studying at the University this semester after returning from Israel.
Best Regards from Amsterdam,

Cristiana Sandeva
Italian Intern at Israel Museum June 7th, 2019 – August 23rd, 2019″