Yankel Ginzburg was born Yuri Zhukov on March 23, 1945 in the Soviet Republic of Khazakhstan. His mother was Russian Orthodox. His father, a Polish Jew, was an officer in the Red Army and was imprisoned in 1951 for underground Zionistic activities.
In 1954 at 9 years of age, Ginzburg first learned of his Jewish heritage and, at the same time, experienced the prejudice and persecution of Jewish people in post war Russia. In 1957, his family immigrated to Israel where he underwent a full conversion to Judaism. He began to paint and soon became the youngest student ever accepted to the Institute of Art in Israel. Ginzburg began winning awards for his art at the age of 17 and had his first museum show at the Museum Beit Zvi at the age of 20.
Mr. Ginzburg is a respected authority on Middle East politics. As early as 1971, he was called upon to discuss the peace process with world leaders, including Israel Prime Minister Golda Meir and U.S. President Richard Nixon. His worldwide political endeavors continued in meetings with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin, US President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Queen Sofia and Juan Carlos of Spain, President Bill Clinton and P.L.O. Chairman Yassar Arafat. As a result of some of these political and humanitarian efforts, Ginzburg helped establish the Fund for Democracy and Development in 1991. He was nominated for the Horatio Alger Award in 1992 and was honored by President Boris Yeltsin and the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation with the Humanitarian Honor First Class that same year. While involved in politics and humanitarian causes, Ginzburg continued with his career in fine arts. In 1979, he was the first Israeli artist to exhibit in Cairo, Egypt. He has published several books including The Art of Yankel Ginzburg and Ginzburg: The Russian Collection. His work has been shown worldwide from Israel to Hong Kong, New York to San Francisco, and many cities in between. He has been commissioned to produce works for the American Bicentennial, President Ronald Reagan, President George Bush and many other museums and institutions throughout the United States and in Hong Kong.
Yankel Ginzburg has been married to Pamela Ginzburg since 1983. They have one child, Aviel, and live in Washington, D.C.
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