Inaugural Event Links San Diego to Jerusalem in New Digital Humanities 'Co-Active' Connected Commemoration

San Diego, January 21, 2011 -- Scholars and cultural institutions in Israel and the United States are collaborating on a high-tech interactive platform linking audiences thousands of miles apart to mark the official United Nations commemoration in honor of the victims of the Holocaust.

Poster for the networked performances in front of audiences in Jerusalem and San Diego as a tribute to victims of the Holocaust.

On January 27 at 9:45AM Pacific time and 7:45PM Israel time, audiences in San Diego and Jerusalem will be part of 'Expressions', a musical program in what’s being dubbed as a ‘co-active’ cultural event, with simultaneous performers at both venues and audience members communicating with each other over the Internet and determining the sequence of musical tributes.

The Center for Research in Entertainment and Learning (CREL) at the University of California, San Diego and Beit Avi Chai in Jerusalem will host the venues. They are collaborating with Visual Exchange Network and to introduce the new digital humanities platform, joining scholarly communities in real time across the globe for the inauguration of an annual co-active commemorative event.

This new capability has been made possible by the support of the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), National LambdaRail, Pangaea Networks, and Bezeq International..

Date: January 27, 2011
Time: 9:45AM Pacific Time; 7:45PM Israel Time
Location: Calit2 Room 4004, Atkinson Hall, UCSD & Beit Avi Chai, Jerusalem

Producer Ella Belzberg, in conjunction with UC San Diego music professor Shlomo Dubnov and Co-Active Director Benjamin Stuart Thompson of Visual Exchange Network, together with Executive Producer Eitan Eliram of and Beit Avi Chai, are presenting the venue-to-venue event. The project aims to kick off a series of community events that would allow audiences to experience a new form of interactive and international engagement.

The program will include a keynote address by the scholar Dr. Yehuda Bauer. He is a Professor of Holocaust Studies at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble will play two pieces: A string trio as well as a duet for violin and cello, composed by Gideon Klein, a  Czech pianist, composer of classical music and organizer of cultural life in the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

Soloist Natanel Baram will sing from San Diego with the accomplished Kol Rina choir performing in Jerusalem.

During a special co-active segment, entitled Expressions—as live music is performed by the jazz group HaLev v’ HaMayaan—audiences in both cities will be able to use their handheld devices or laptops to participate, as artwork created by victims of the Holocaust, provided by Yad Vashem will be shared venue-to-venue.

The program will be broadcast live on Jewish Life Television (JLTV), the only 24-hour, full-time TV network in the U.S. delivering Jewish-themed programming. Launched in 2007, JLTV is carried by DirecTV, ComCast and TimeWarner in 25 million homes across the United States.

Special thanks for the program go to Larry Smarr, Ramesh Rao, Tom DeFanti, Eitan Eliram, Danny Danieli, Michal Nakar, and Yael Boim Fein.

About CREL
The Center for Research in Entertainment and Learning (CREL) focuses on grassroots creativity and learning, while promoting research that combines artificial intelligence with interactive and participatory media to allow people to be more creative, informed and make better decisions in educational as well as entertainment environments. Launched in February 2010, the new center uses advanced IT technologies to help people deal with meaning in complex situations, such as questions that arise during story narratives, from films to business situations. CREL is housed within the University of California, San Diego Division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2).

About Calit2 at UC San Diego
The UC San Diego Division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), together with Calit2’s division at UC Irvine, house over 1,000 researchers across the two campuses, organized around more than 50 projects on the future of telecommunications and information technology and how these technologies will transform a range of applications important to the California economy and its citizens’ quality of life. Calit2 will celebrate its 10th anniversary in December 2010.

About VEN
Visual Exchange Network (VEN) reaches across the network to draw groups dispersed across multiple locations together into close collaboration on an eye-opening scale. As an inter-professional media development and production group, VEN has expertise in the advanced network technologies required for venue-to-venue media models built on long-term education research. It is bolstered by strategic alliances with the most advanced education research networks, as well as trend-leading schools, universities and cultural institutions in the U.S. and internationally.

About is among the leading video services in Israel, providing real-time learning with large audiences at each location, video conferencing and streaming solutions. The company is well known in Israel for its expertise in the fields of eLearning, video streaming and video conferencing, as well as in comprehensive integration solutions.

About Beit Avi Chai
Beit AVI CHAI, established by the AVI CHAI Foundation, is a cultural and social center located in the heart of Jerusalem that seeks to express and refine the voices heard in Israeli Jewish cultural discourse. The programming at Beit AVI CHAI centers on the story of the Jewish people in Israel and abroad, with its myriad trends and variations. A wide spectrum of activities and events are held weekly at Beit AVI CHAI, including symposia, lectures, workshops, performances, and other cultural events. Beit AVI CHAI targets a broad range of audiences in an effort to create a fruitful, challenging encounter, and to foster a setting in which people can come together to listen and learn, to be challenged and stimulated. Beit AVI CHAI opened in February 2007; during 2008, over 49,000 people attended BAC programs, up from 34,500 in 2007.

About Bezeq International
Bezeq is Israel's largest and leading telecommunications group. The companies that make up the Bezeq Group offer the full range of telecom services – domestic and international, fixed and mobile, high-speed Internet, transmission, and more. The Group has a strong balance sheet and operating cash flow of NIS 3.9 billion (as of 2009), which is used to create a sophisticated telecom network, to provide advanced services for its clients and to generate value for its shareholders.

About Pangaea Networks
Pangaea Networks is a pioneer in the deployment of Managed Ethernet services to off-net and commercial “LEC only” type buildings in the Northeast U.S. Pangaea utilizes a combination of Ethernet Network to Network Interfaces, leading-edge CPE that converts TDM/SONET signaling to Ethernet, and proprietary dark-fiber networks to rapidly provision transport solutions from the Enterprise market to select carrier hotels and data centers. As a leading wholesale Metro Ethernet connectivity provider, Pangaea Networks utilizes only MEF Certified network elements and aggregation platforms, backed by Pangaea’s carrier-class standard SLA’s.

About NLR
Owned and operated by the U.S. research and education community, National LambdaRail (NLR) is one of the world's most advanced networks: 12,000 miles of high-performance optical fiber coast to coast, capable of speeds up to 100 Gigabits per second. Over 280 universities and federal laboratories use NLR as their network for leading-edge research. With no restrictions on usage or bandwidth, very high availability, a choice of next-generation network services and applications, and customized support for individual researchers and projects, NLR creates opportunities for collaboration, innovation and commercialization among the global research community and between private and public partners.

Related Links

Visual Exchange Network
Beit Avi Chai
Bezeq International
Pangaea Networks
National LambdaRail

Media Contacts

 Doug Ramsey/Calit2, 858-822-5825,