Bringing Tanach and Jewish History to Life, in the Classroom and in the Museum:
Fostering a deeper connection to Torah through media, archaeology, museums, art and more.
Torah Intermedia LLC is about fostering a deeper connection to Torah through media, archaeology, museums, art and more.
Nachliel haCohen Selavan
Director, Torah InterMedia LLC
The Pesach Tour is On!
Sign up today for the Pre-Pesach / Chol ha-Mo’ed Egypt tour
Sunday, March 25 @ 12:15
Wednesday-Thursday, April 4-5 @ 12:30
Please text / email me at 929-233-0950 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Include number of people, and the date you prefer. Thank you!
Hope to see you there on Sunday 11, 18 and 25!
Price: $45 (includes required full admission)
Kids age 9-16: $25 (recommended for age 12 and up)
Length: 90-120 min
I’m in the news!
Such an amazing turn out on the tour, with such interesting back stories to each. The short story is that my friend Alana invited me to a community lunch at Prospect Heights Shul, where I met Debra Nussbaum Cohen, a reporter for Haaretz and the JTA. I invited her on the tour, and then this happened! The article is great and I am so happy and thankful to Alana and Debra for making it possible.
As the interview with me was lengthy, and there were many details which I suppose I wasn’t clear enough about, I would like to apologize for that and modify a few minor details that really only matter to me, but I’ll post them here so you know:
- Mechon Hadar split the group between myself and another great guide, Eitan Kastner, the co-history chair at Frisch. He lead half the students, and I lead half of them. Last year, when I was doing one of my first visits to the Egyptian galleries in preparation for this tour, I stumbled upon his annual pre-pesach Egypt tour which he does for Frisch, and asked to join. Was a wonderful experience. Eitan does (I think) four different annual tours for Frisch, at the Met.
- I started college at age 25, graduated in 2013 and immediately moved to the US.
- My visit to the Assyria to Iberia exhibition was the first time I visit the Met. Later, during the Egypt Middle Kingdom exhibit, was one of the reconnoissance visits I made before taking my seventh and eighth graders to the Met (I did teach 4th grade, but I didn’t take them to the Met).
- The taneen and the crocodile. This is purely in the realm of suggestion, as I am aware of the Hebrew distinction between land snakes (nahash) and water serpents (taneen). Suggesting a fun twist, I was pointing out the centrality of the crocodile to Egyptian mythology and the Pharaohs.
An amazing tour by Nachliel. Using his intellect, humor and vision he was able to bring the story of Pesach back to life. New insights to our slavery and journey to freedom were presented beautifully.
Thank you! I highly recommend and looking forward to future tours
Special Purim class in Kehillat Montessori, MD
Dear Nachliel Selavan:
It was such a treat to welcome you into the classroom last week and share some spectacular unearthed treasures.
You were so accommodating and creative, and we could not be more grateful.
It was truly remarkable to watch the students sit wide-eyed, trying to comprehend the history behind each magnificent ancient treasure to displayed.
Placing a concrete item on the Jewish history timeline brings the Tanach to life and, as we Montessorians love, does so in such a concrete manner.
We were so fortunate to have you share the insight and treasures with us and the feedback from the parents has been tremendous.
The fact that the time spent with these students will remain with them for a lifetime, makes me confident that these artifacts and the history they reveal will continue to be cherished for generations to come.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Please continue to do what you do, which is to bridge our rich and extensive past with the future survival of the Jewish people and our ancient land.
Liza Porat – Executive Director
Kemp Mill Montessori Elementary School (KMMS)
So what’s happening in 2018?
Museum tours. Lots of tours!
Mostly at the Met (other museums in the East Coast, including Toronto, are possible), and mostly privately. But wait – there will be occasionally public tours. Those will be announced with a few weeks’ notice.
Tours for schools, from middle school and high school to college students.
Professional development for Jewish Studies teachers in middle schools and high schools in the Tristate area – in the classroom and in the museum.
Bat/Bar Mitzvah / Confirmation – Take the lead! Prepare the tour for your family and friends, and lead it yourself!
Some of the tours that have been done, so far (or are coming soon):
- Age of Empires @ The Met
- Hellenism, Chanukah and the Jews @ The Met
- Pre-Pesach Ancient Egypt (sneak peak video) @ The Met
- Roaming the Roman Period @ The Met (coming soon)
- Tanach / Jewish History Highlights – customizable in many museums, see menu
- Roots of Idolatry @The Met
Highlights from Israel
Motzei Shabbat, February 3rd: Fundraiser tour and wine tasting in support of the lovely boys Benny and Josh Rosenblum – #SaveBennyandJosh. This is a very important cause and you can learn about it and contribute here on GoFundMe.
Sunday, Feb 3rd: Age of Empires Family Tour (in Hebrew!) for the Kidron (& Felbert) family bunch
Previous Tours and School Programs
The faculty of the Ramaz Upper School Bible Department really enjoyed our 3 hour session with Nachliel. We started in the classroom with an overview of reading materials and maps associated with the era and then accompanied Nachliel to view various artifacts from the Assyrian and Babylonian periods. He tailored the tour to specific areas of our Bible Curriculum as per our request and was interesting and entertaining throughout! I highly recommend the tour for both educators and non-educators alike, especially if you are interested in the context, both historically and philosophically, behind specific biblical texts.
Dean of Faculty, Tanakh Department Chair, The Ramaz Upper School
…Throughout the tour, my students made connections to many other units they covered in all of their studies, and delighted in that they were able to integrate their knowledge. After the tour, the students thanked me heavily and unanimously agreed that they felt they connected more with the story of Hanukkah after having done the tour. Nachliel, they agreed, was knowledgeable, passionate and brought this piece of history to life. Like one student said- “I never knew that these galleries in the museum had anything to do with the Jewish people-but now I see that we really were there”. The tour gave my students a feeling of relevance and belonging to the ancient world, and they walked out feeling uplifted and happy with their newfound understanding of this time period. I am very grateful that these tours exist and look forward to doing more in the future, in relation to Hanukkah and other periods in Jewish History. [for the full review, click here]
Barkai Yeshivah, Brooklyn
Professor Ian McGonnigle
This was an amazing experience! Our family really felt like our history was before our eyes and from now on Hanukkah will be much more meaningful and inspiring. Nachliel’s knowledge of the museum artifacts combined with his personal experience and his knowledge and warm fun personality make him a great choice for a fantastic tour experience! I suggest you read the materials beforehand if possible and read up on the subjects he will be touring about as It will enrich the experience that much more.
Nachliel is a talented tour guide; his engaging presentation style and his deep knowledge enabled us to learn so much when we toured the MET with him. If you’re looking to learn a lot and let the history come alive — I definitely recommend Nachliel!
Recent Highlights and Reviews from the Chanukah-Greek Tours @ The Met
Fun fact: I was recently watching a#MetKids video (click here to see it), with the museum guard David, who has been working there for 35 years. And then I met him today – so we asked him to join us in the picture with Alexander the Great. If you see him at the Met, say hello!
Success! First Boston MFA Tanach Highlights Tour
I want to recommend Mr. Nachliel Selavan who has developed an entertaining and informative program giving meaning to artifacts from the Ancient Near East in various museums in the North America. I have taken his guided tour at the Boston Museum for the Fine Arts and enjoyed every minute of it. He has the knowledge to place these artifacts within the scope of the Bible and Jewish tradition. This tour is particularly beneficial for Jewish groups, synagogues and day school students of all ages and background. Nachliel’s delivery is superb and his excitement for his subject is contagious. I am happy to recommend him to you.
Professor Aaron Demsky (retired)
History of Ancient Israel
Director, Project for the Study of Jewish Names
Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, Bar Ilan University
Barkai Parent Enrichment Tour at the Met! (Nov. 1, 2017)
My journey here in the US began at Barkai Yeshivah, almost five years ago. It gave be tremendous gratitude and pride to be able to give back, and to share my Tanach (for Barkai people: Tanakh) tour with people who are connected to where it all began.
Tanach at the Boston MFA!
On Sunday, November 19 at 10AM-12PM we will be touring the Boston MFA and exploring its galleries from a Tanach perspective.
To learn more about TOARCH, click on the video below.
It has been a long summer, with nearly 20 Tanach and Jewish History tours running at the Met. The summer Public Tanach Tour series is now complete, and we are gearing up for the year.
Follow Torah Intermedia to learn about upcoming tours, lectures and programs, as well as articles and reviews.
Highlights from Summer Tours:
Thank you so much for an amazing tour of the MET with my children! You were so engaging with my children and managed to still fill the rest of the tour for us adults with lots of meaningful content! I will recommend you to anyone looking for a great tour guide of the MET and specifically a Jewish tour. You were great!!!
“Our extended family, ranging in age from 7 to 65, enjoyed a wonderful tour of the Met with Nachliel. He planned scavenger hunts, decryption games, and more to keep the younger crowd interested while engaging the adults with his vast knowledge. The tour brought the museum to life. I highly recommend it!”
Thank you Nachliel providing us all a great understanding of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires and their connection to Tanach!
We so enjoyed having Nachliel as our guide at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Our group had been studying rabbinic materials about idolatry and Nachliel helped bring those issues to life through the Met’s collections. His comfort both with the ancient and classic sculpture we looked at as well as his fluency in Bible and rabbinic literature were terrific!
“Fascinating…Truly eye opening into the world we only hear about. The connection of Ancient Artifacts and the Tanach is explained and put into perspective, especially in this troubled time. This tour only reinforces our Historical connection to the Holy Land of Israel”
Jeff and Chery Klein from Monsey, NY. Participated July 23
This your is a great way to be introduced to the history of the Ancient Near East! It’s very comprehensive and spans a pretty good range of time. I also loved that it was grounded (corroborated) by passages of Tanakh. I loved seeing the intersection between the written record of history and Torah! Personally, I would have loved to spend more time on the text itself, but it’s hard to do it all in under two hours. I recommend this for anyone who’s interested in the A.N.E.!
Malka Rappaport from Crown Heights, NY. Participated Wednesday, July 12
Powerful presentation of the era of kings – Regional Kingdoms and Empires…the separation of Israel and Judea and eventual destruction of Jerusalem and the beginning of the Babylonian diaspora. Nachliel is a passionate guide and very informed and well traveled in order to present his material.
Notes were very well researched and presented. This tour was made even more powerful during the period of the three weeks between Tammuz and Tisha b’Av.
Aliyana Wasserman, Rosanne Koenigson from Edison, NJ. Participated Sunday, July 16
In the Assyrian gallery waiting room of Ashurnasirpal II, we met a large group of teenage girls holding up a strange flag. This flag had the picture of the god Aššur, patron god of the city of Aššur and of the Assyrian Empire.
The girls told us that they are “Assyrian” (=northern Iraq), and the flag is the flag of Assyria, including the two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. We could not resist taking a picture with the flag!
Nachliel does an incredible job bringing black and white text with all of the intricate details to form a clear picture of Jewish history. For all the names, cities, and time periods that are mentioned throughout Tanach, Nachliel organizes them in a clear way that allows any tour-goer to follow along and really understand a snapshot of the historical time period being discussed. I learned a lot from my visit to the MET with Nachliel and now have a new outlook on historical passages found in Tanach. Additionally, I was a big fan of Nachliel’s knowledge, Hebrew-English translations, humor, wit, and incredible fashion sense.
The tour at the MET with Nachliel is most definitely recommendable. It was specifically rewarding to go on a historical tour with my own rich Jewish history coloring the backdrop. Nachliel was a superb tour guide who was obviously passionate and extremely well versed in his material. He gave historical context and depth to the Navi by discussing the politics of the time period and how that related to the kings and prophets written about in the Navi. It was especially remarkable when he pointed out an idol that the Navi refers to as the Baal as well as Avodah Zara dated to the time of Avraham Avinu. Thank you Nachliel for a great tour!
I’ve lived in New York City my entire life and have been through the Metropolitan Museum of Art Assyrian, Babylonian and Egyptian wings many times. Nachliel made me feel like I was touring these wings for the first time. Nachliel’s energy, knowledge and love for his subject enabled me to see all the artifacts from an entirely new and welcome perspective. For me, the climax was at the end when Nachliel showed an piece of ash that was excavated from under his house, dating from the destruction of the Second Temple.
Nachliel is exceptionally knowledgeable and passionate about his twin loves – Torah and Archeology. He showed us the importance of contextualizing Melachim Bet and Yirmiyahu in its Ancient Near Eastern setting. He really knows his subject matter backwards and forwards. His drive for the material made it interesting and engaging to hear him speak. Additionally, he was quite prepared with source sheet and kids scavenger hunt worksheets…We moved at a rapid-fire pace…