Shimon Lev

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Shimon Lev (Low)

Shimon Lev (Low) (Hebrew: שמעון לב‎; born August 1, 1962) is an Israeli multidisciplinary artist, writer, photographer, curator and researcher in the fields of Indian Studies, art and literature, religion, and travel.

Lev is the author of "Soulmates", the story of Mahatma Gandhi and Hermann Kallenbach (Orient BlackSwan, 2012), the first comprehensive study analyzing the unique and enigmatic relationship between Gandhi and his closest intimate friend and supporter, Hermann Kallenbach, in the context of his developing in his formative years in South Africa, and in the understanding of his relationship to the Zionist movement.[1][2] The Hindu found it "insightful" and "a valuable addition to Gandhi studies for the historian".[3] In particular the book debunks the idea that Gandhi and Kallenbach had a homosexual relationship.[4]

Lev also wrote "Vesheyodea Lishol" (Hebrew for "And He who Knows how to Ask", Xargol Publisher, Israel 1998), which is a collection of life stories of people who abandoned the Jewish Orthodox religion, written in a form of monologues.


Shimon Lev studied Photography at the Hadassah College, Jerusalem (graduated 1988). He earned B.A. and M.A. Degree (Cum Laude), Faculty of Humanities (2010), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is now (2014) working on his Ph.D., about the cultural and political connections between the Jewish and Indian worlds.



  • "Soulmates – The Story of Mahatma Gandhi and Hermann Kallenbach," Gandhi Studies Serial, Black Swan Publishing House, India 2012
  • "Gideon in a Barral on Top of the World", in: "The Life I would Love to Live - Twenty Israeli Travel Stories" (Hebrew), Moshe Gilad (editor), Am Oved Publisher, 2003
  • "Vesheyodea Lishol" (Hebrew for "And He who Knows how to Ask"), Xargol Publishers, 1998 (in the list of Haaretz Daily best sellers, 1998)[5]


  • "More Derech" (Hebrew for "Travel Guide"), Menachem Markus (writer), Mapa Publishing, 2009
  • "Das Land der Bible," Wolfgang Sottil (writer), Styria, Gratz, Austria 1995

Academic Editor[edit]

  • "Satygraha in South Africa" autobiography by M. K Gandhi, Hebrew version, Babel 2014


Lev has produced more than 20 exhibitions worldwide, and took part in more than 50 others.[6] In addition, he contributed photographs for a number of art books. He also directed three television films.

In an exhibition summarizing one hundred years of photography in the Land of Israel, Lev was chosen to represent the 1990s.

In 2014 Lev created, together with the Austrian artist Friedemann Derschmidt, an exhibition of photographs, video clips and Performance art about his father's family, titled "Two Family Archives".[7] Derschmidt exhibited documents and photography works of his own family, some of whom have been Nazi party members. Following the exhibit, Lev reported, a few of them boycotted the artist and threatened to file charges against him. The exhibition received broad coverage.[8][9]


Among his published papers are:

  • "Melting Hitler's 'Heart of Stone' - Gandhi's Attitude to the Holocaust," The Journal of Judeo Indo Studies, Vol. 13, 2013 (German version in: SudAsien 33. Jahrgang, Nr. 3/2013)
  • "From a Failing Lawyer to A Mass Movement Leader," Article and academic editing of the Hebrew translation to "Gandhi's Satyagraha in South Africa," Babel, 2014.
  • "Changing a Tiger with another Tiger" (Hebrew), "Haokets", May 6, 2012
  • "Laga'at Baor" ("Hebrew for "Touching Skin"), a short story, "Massa Acher" Magazine, 1999


  • "The Heart of the Memory" (Director), Jewish Eye Festival, Tel Aviv Cinematheque, 2005
  • "Berliner City Tour" (Director), independent, 1999
  • "The Sons of David," co-director with Ido Glass, a Documentary (Israeli TV Channel 1, 1998)


Shimon Lev is the son of Ze’ev Lev (Low), a physicist, Torah scholar, and founder of the Jerusalem College of Technology. Shimon Lev has three children: Gideon, Tamar and Ilay, and he lives in Yafo (Jaffa), Israel.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ A review on the book at
  3. ^ "The Mahatma’s strange friend". The Hindu. December 3, 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Saks, David (April 18, 2013). "Gandhi, Kallenbach and the controversial ‘Vaseline’ reference". Thought Leader/Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Lev interviews about the book, on YouTube
  6. ^ A partial list of events (Hebrew)
  7. ^ Exhibition web site
  8. ^ A Die-Presse article
  9. ^ A Jeruselem Post article (in French)

External links[edit]