Home > Archive > December 2009/January 2010 Vol. 91 No. 3

December 2009/January 2010 Vol. 91 No. 3

Guide to the Arts



The Sylvia Plotkin Judaica Museum, Phoenix (480-951-0323; www.spjm.org)
On permanent view is a composite synagogue sanctuary from Djerba, Tunisia, with ornate floral-motif tiles and wooden Torah casings, and a life-cycle exhibit.
The Evanne Copeland Kofman Biblical Garden, accessible yearround, is the museum's newest exhibit, featuring plants mentioned in the Bible—grape, flax, terebinth, papyrus, fig, date, ebony and olive.

Skirball Cultural Center
, Los Angeles (310-440-4500; www.skirball.org)
Images for Human Rights: Student Voices
An exhibit of over a dozen posters by graphic-arts students celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and images highlight human-rights violations around the world today. October 13 to March 14, 2010.

Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956-1968
About 170 photos by more than 35 photographers track the 12 years between Rosa Parks’s act of resistance against racial segregation aboard a Montgomery, Alabama, bus in 1956 and Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968. November 19 to March 7, 2010.
An Idea Called Tomorrow
Twelve contemporary artists present their ideas of how to play an active role to bring about a just, equitable and peaceful future. November 19 to March 7, 2010.

The San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego (619-232-7931; www.sdmart.org)

American Artists from the Russian Empire The exhibition features nearly 70 paintings and sculptures by many of the best-known artists working in America in the postwar period. Specifically featured are Jewish artists who escaped Russia between 1890 and 1950, among them Max Weber, Louise Nevelson, Jules Olitsky, Mark Rothko, Ben Shahn, Jacques Lipshitz and Joseph Solman.

Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco (www.thecjm.org)
Being Jewish: A Bay Area Portrait This ongoing exhibit is a mural of community photos and objects that reflect the flavor of Jewish life in the Bay Area, past and present.
As It Is Written: Project 304,805 Scibe Julie Seltzer sits with parchment, ink and a hand-sharpened feather quill, writing a Torah scroll. In public view, she will complete the entire text of the Torah over the course of a full year. in public view. Through Fall 2010.
There’s a Mystery There: Sendak on Sendak This major retrospective sheds light on the writer-illustrator’s life and art through his words, insights and stories. Through January 19, 2010.

Mizel Museum, Denver (303-394-9993; www.mizelmuseum.org)
Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World The art of Christy Honigman is on display through December 31 at the Brighton Library, Brighton, Colorado.
Risa Aqua Exhibit At Congre­gation Kohelet through December 31. By appointment only.
Toby Meyer: Interpretations
Meyer’s art brings together abstraction and realism with the use of vibrant colors and strong design that weave through the exciting shapes and forms in subtle rhythm. Through March 2, 2010.

Jewish Museum of Florida, Miami Beach (305-672-5044; www.jewishmuseum.com)
Mosaic: Jewish Life in Florida
The core exhibition depicts Jewish life in Florida from 1763, when Jews were first allowed to settle there, to the present.

Judy Chicago: Jewish Identity
The retrospective of work that illuminates the impact Chicago’s East European roots and Jewish cultural and politically activist upbringing on her identity. Chicago evokes the quest for human freedom and tolerance Through February 7, 2010.
48 JEWS: What it Means to be Jewish
Absalom Jac Lahav’s series of painted Warhol-esque portraits of famous Jews celebrates and questions our notions of what it means to be Jewish. Some of those included are: Anne Frank, Elie Wiesel, Bob Dylan, Gertrude Stein, Alan Greenspan and Leonard Nimoy. October 20 to April 4, 2010.

The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, Atlanta (678-222-3700; www.thebreman.org)
Creating Community: The Jews of Atlanta from 1845 to the Present
This permanent display begins with the story of two young peddlers, Jacob Haas and Henry Levi, who settled in Atlanta and opened a dry goods store, and continues to the present day when more than 100,000 Jews call metro Atlanta home.
Absence of Humanity: The Holocaust Years
This permanent exhibit describes the systematic murder of six million European Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators through historical photographs and documents, personal memorabilia and family pictures, and in the voices of those who survived and made new lives in Atlanta. Permanent exhibit.
The Legacy Project: Coming to America
View portions of video interviews of Atlanta residents who are Holocaust survivors, explore family photograph albums and peruse relevant documents. Interactive maps of Europe provide historical information about the home countries of local survivors and the fate of Jewish populations during World War II. Permanent exhibit.

The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (678-812-4078; http://www.atlantajcc.org)
Excellent Hostess: Paintings and Works on Paper Lorraine Peltz’s most recent series of paintings include chandeliers and serve as homage to her mother's survival of the Nazi invasion of Eastern Europe. Through December 28.

Reflection: Impressions in Watermedia
Works by watercolorist Judy Greenberg will be displayed from November 4 through January 30, 2010.

Spertus Museum, Chicago (312-322-1700; www.spertus.edu)
Open Depot Collection Display
This ingenious storage and display area houses and presents more than 1,500 objects. Ongoing.
What Does It Say to You?
Conceived to deepen the conversation between Spertus and its audiences, the exhibit presents more than 60 objects from the museum’s collection—including a silkscreen print by Yaacov Agam, a white leather football, humorist Allen Sherman’s Camp Granada game and a silver Sabbath oil lamp—along with videos of viewers’ reactions. Through November 22.
Jason Lazarus: The Top of Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree, Amsterdam 2008
Recorded at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, this video is a contemporary consideration of an iconic figure in Jewish history, while also representing the artist himself. October 28 to January 17, 2010.

Josef Glimer Gallery, Chicago (312-787-4640; www.josefglimegallery.com)
Layers... Israeli artist Mira Hermoni-Levine, child of Holocaust survivors, paints shimmering works—oil on canvas—that seek to uncover the hope and life that can be found after isolation. Through December 31.

The Jewish Museum of Maryland, Baltimore (410-732-6400; www.jewishmuseummd.org)
Voice of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore
This long-term exhibit chronicles the area that was once the center of Jewish life in Baltimore in the early 1900s.

National Yiddish Book Center, Amherst (413-256-4900; www.yiddishbookcenter.org)
In the Beginning Was the Kheyder… In small rooms, every Jewish boy—and sometimes girls—learned how to read the Bible by laboriously translating each Hebrew word into Yiddish. The spaces, people and practices of kheyder are explored through text, literature and images. Open-ended.

Harold and Mickey Smith Gallery of Jewish Arts and Culture at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts,
Minneapolis (888-642-2787; www.artsmia.org)
Dear Dr. Fisch: Children’s Letters to a Holocaust Survivor
A poignant exhibition of drawings is a tribute to the relationship between Minneapolis Dr. Robert O. Fisch, a Holocaust survivor from Budapest, and the American and European students who have heard him talk about his experiences. Through May 15, 2010. .

Derfner Judaica Museum at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale
(718-581-1596; www.hebrewhome.org/art.asp).
Tradition and Remembrance:
Treasures of the Judaica Museum
On display are objects by Jerusalem and European artisans at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, the Baum Legacy collection, Modernist interpretations of traditional objects and ritual art from a diverse range of Jewish communities. Open-ended
Shana: My Muse/Assemblage
Works by Alexandra Zizmor

features Zizmor’s mixed media (paint, ink, collage, and found objects) works. Her whimsical collages depict a naively rendered Great Dane. Through January 10, 2010.

Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion Museum, New York (212-824-2293; www.huc.edu/museum/ny)
Mirta Kupferminc: Wanderings 1999-2009 The Buenos Aires-born artist employs Magic Realism to illustrate loss and dislocation and fills her paintings with surprising juxtapositions of color, light and perspective. Through July 2, 2010.
Isaac Bashevis Singer and His Artists On display are the work of 17 artists who illustrated 25 of Singer’s novels and short stories, including Larry River, Maurice Sendak, Raphael Soyer, Roman Vishniac, and William Pene Du Bois. Through June 25, 2010.

Susan Silas: Helmsbrechts Walk, 1998-2003
A visual retracing of a Nazi forced death march is a testament to the forced march of 580 female Jewish prisoners at the end of World War II. Through June 30, 2010.

The Jewish Museum, New York (212-423-3337; www.thejewishmuseum.org)
Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey
The acclaimed exhibition tells the unfolding story of Jewish culture and identity. Permanent exhibit.
Reinventing Ritual: Contemporary Art and Design for Jewish Life
The first international exhibition to survey Jewish ritual as a vital means of experimentation in contemporary art and design since the 1990s. Nearly 60 groundbreaking works in diverse media, from jewelry to video to architecture reveal the intersections of creative freedom and ethical practice. Through February 7, 2010.
Rite Now: Sacred and Secular in Video
This grouping of videos produced between 2001 and 2009 focuses on explorations of secular and sacred ceremonies in a new framework. Through February 7, 2010.
Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention
A fresh look at the diversity of Man Ray’s body of work, examining it in the context of his lifelong cover-up of his Russian-Jewish immigrant past and his suppression of his background. November 15 to March 14, 2010.

Museum of Jewish Heritage–A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, New York (646-437-4200; www.mjhnyc.org)
Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges
When German Jewish professors were forced out of their native country in the 1930s, many found positions at black colleges in the Jim Crow South. This exhibit shows how these teachers and students shared the early years of struggle in the Civil Rights movement. Through January 4, 2010.
The Morgenthaus: A Legacy of Service
This exhibition tells the story of three generations of the Morgenthau family and explores the fascinating ways in which their service to others changed world events, American politics and Jewish history. Long-running.

MOBIA (Museum of Biblical Art), New York (212-408-1500; www.mobia.org)
Tobi Kahn: Sacred Spaces for the 21st Century Anchored by eight magnificent six-foot-high abstract murals in tones of gold and white, the visually cohesive synagogue interior creates a place of worship that both departs from and is informed by tradition. From October 16 to January 24, 2010.

Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum, New York (212-431-1619; www.kkjsm.org)
Janina Project: Celestial Structures Hanging crystal structures by Judy Moonelis. Permanent display.

Yeshiva University Museum (212-294-8330; www.yumuseum.org)
Creation and the Ten Commandments: A Visual Journey by Rudi Wolff
Digital serigraphs inspired by two cornerstone biblical texts: Genesis and the Ten Commandments. An award-winning New York graphic artist, Rudi Wolff creates an abstract language that evokes the primacy and beauty of Creation and suggests the power and moral nuance of the Ten Commandments.Through December 27.
Hyman Bloom: A Spiritual Embrace
Hyman Bloom began his career by painting rabbis, cantors and Torah covers, using them as a metaphor for his own spiritual questioning. This exhibition of nearly 50 paintings and drawings reveals his recurring interest in these motifs and his exploration of Jewish spirituality and mysticism through a distinctly personal modernist style. Through January 24, 2010.
Letters of Conscience: Raphael Lemkin and the Quest to Stop Genocide
Original correspondence and documents examine Lemkin’s legacy as an advocate of international efforts to prevent genocide.

American Jewish Historical Society (212-294-6160; www.ajhs.org)
Pages from a Performing Life: The Scrapbooks of Molly Picon
Molly Picon, the darling of the Yiddish theater, and her husband and collaborator Jacob (Yankel) Kalish kept 22 scrapbooks chronicling their extraordinary 50-year career. Through December 31.

Storefront Exhibit
(212-593-6400; www.nolongerempty.com)
Cartoons in Conflict: Editorial Cartoons Explore the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
This exhibit showcases cartoons that promote peace in the Middle East. The 40 artists Include award-winners Pat Oliphant and Jeff Danziger. Cosponsored by No Longer Empty and The Parents Circle. December 10 to 23.

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (212-246-6080; www.yivo.org)
From Dream to Reality: Zionism and the Birth of Israel
In honour of Israel's 60th anniversary, the exhibition chronicling the Zionist movement in Eastern Europe.
Stars, Strikes, and the Yiddish Stage:
The Story of the Hebrew Actors' Union, 1899-2005

Posters, programs, photographs, correspondence and records of the Hebrew Actors' Union, now a collection in the YIVO Archives. Through December 31.

The American Sephardi Federation (212-294-8350; www.americansephardifederation.org)
Jerusalem and the Jews of Spain: Longing and Reality
Artistically designed textual displays, poetry, lithographs, engravings and historic photos reveal the longing for and arrival of Spanish Jewry in Jerusalem. Through May 2010.

JCC in Manhattan, New York (646-505-4444; www.jccmanhattan.org)
Eighteen: Natan Dvir
In conjuction with the JCC's Other Israel Festival, Israeli photographer Natan Dvir’s photo exhibition is a series of portraits of 18-year-old Israeli Arabs—a critical age in Israel when all Jewish Israeli citizens are required to begin Army service. November 12 through January 28, 2010.

Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust and Resource Center at Queensborough Comunity College, Bayside, Queens (718-281-5770; www.qcc.cuny.edu/KHRCA)
The Art of Samuel Bak through February 22, 2010.

Museum of Contemporary Art
, Cleveland (www.mocacleveland.org)
Hugging and Wrestling: Contemporary Israeli Photography and Video
Through photographs and videos,. a vivid portrait of Israel emerges through the perspectives of nine artists—Yael Bartana, Rina Castelnuovo, Natan Dvir, Barry Frydlender, Ori Gersht, Dana Levy, Adi Nes, Michal Rovner, Rona Yefman. Through January 10, 2010.

Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, Tulsa (918-492-1818; www.jewishmuseum.net)
Moshe Fruman: Ancient Instruments
Israeli artist Moshe Fruman’s reproductions of ancient musical instruments will be on display. October 15 through the end of January 2010.

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia (215-236-3300; www.easternstate.org)
Alfred W. Fleisher Memorial Synagogue
Completed around 1924 and used continuously until the Eastern State Penitentiary closed in 1970, the synagogue has been faithfully restored with dark wooden benches, a beautiful Ark, reader’s table, ornate plaster Star of David and an eternal flame. An exhibit describes Jewish life in the 180-year-old institution. Permanent exhibit.

National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia (215-923-3811; www.nmajh.org)
Shaping Space, Making Meaning
Visitors can learn how a museum creates a major exhibition and at the same time have input into developing a show prior to opening in 2010.

South Carolina State Museum, Columbia (803-898-4921; www.museum.state.sc.us)
Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race
Nazi Germany merged racism and pseudoscience in its attempts to rid German society of individuals viewed as threats to the nation’s “health.” Nazi eugenicsare used as a springboard to reflect on humanity’s continuing drive toward perfection. (Available online on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Web site, www.ushmm.org.) Through February 10, 2010.

Holocaust Museum Houston, Houston (713-942-8000; www.hmh.org)
Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers Film footage, artifacts, photographs and documents show life in prewar Europe, the Nazi move toward the Final Solution and life after the Holocaust. The exhibit includes a rare collection of children’s shoes recovered from the Majdanek concentration camp near Lublin, Poland.
Besa: Muslims Who Saved Jews
During the Holocaust Almost all Jews living within Albanian borders during the German occupation were saved. In a five-year project, Colorado-based photographer Norman Gershman set out to collect the names of those righteous non-Jews and photographed the Albanian rescuers or their descendents. Through February 7, 2010.

A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People
In the course of his papacy, John Paul II shattered the chain of 2,000 years of painful history between Catholics and Jews. The exhibit reflects on the extraordinary contributions of this pope to relations between the Catholic and Jewish faiths. Through January 3, 2010.

Beth El Hebrew Congregation
, Alexandria, Virginia (703-370-9400; www.bethelhebrew.org)
Jewish Life in Mr. Lincoln’s City In honor of the 2009 bicentennial celebration of Lincoln’s birth, the exhibition tells stories of Jewish life in Civil War Washington and Alexandria, Virginia. Fridays. Through December.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (866-998-7466; www.ushmm.org)
State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda This long-term exhibit reveals how the Nazi Party used modern techniques as well as new technologies to carefully craft messages to sway millions with its vision for a new Germany.

The Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery at the Washington, D.C. JCC (202-518-9400 ext. 3208; www.washingtondcjcc.org)
Blue Like Me: The Work of Siona Benjamin Siona Benjamin’s works reflect the artist’s Jewish upbringing in predominantly Hindu and Muslim India. Her paintings combine the imagery of her past with the role she plays in America today. Through January 29, 2010.



Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (416-586-8000; www.rom.on.ca)
Dead Sea Scrolls: Words That Changed the World
This exhibit showcases 17 of the Dead Sea Scrolls, 4 of which have never before been displayed. Through January 3, 2010.



The Jewish Theatre San Francisco (415-292-1233; www.tjt-sf.org)
Stateless: A Hip Hop Vaudeville Experience
This premiere of a play by Dan Wolf and Tommy Shepherd tells stories from the American Jewish and African-American experiences usng hip-hop, beat-box vocal rhythms and vaudeville music. Through December 6.


Cherry Lane Theatre, New York (212-947-8844; www.cherrylanetheatre.org)
The Lady With All the Answers Judith Ivey stars as Ann Landers, the advice lady, in a show by David Rambo. Through December 20.
National Yiddish Theater-Folksbiene (646-312-5073; www.folksbiene.org)
Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears
Theodore Bikel stars in a new musical (in English and some Yiddish) that brings to life the characters and observations of Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem.
November 8 to December 13.

The Bleecker Street Theater, New York (www.yisraelcampbell.com).
Circumcise Me Comedian Yisrael Campbell, born Catholic, tells a personal journey through his struggles with drugs and alcohol and his eventual salvation in the Jewish faith. Open run.

The Midtown Theater, New York (212-239-6200; www.telecharge.com)
The Boychick Affair—The Bar Mitzvah of Harry Boychick The audience are the “guests” at a bar mitzva. Includes meal and dessert. Created by Amy Lord former star of Tony & Tina’s Wedding. Open run.

The New Yiddish Repertory Theater at The Workmen’s Circle, New York (917 670-1631; www.newyiddishrep.org)
The Big Bupkis! A Complete Gentile’s Guide to Yiddish Vaudeville Shane Bertram Baker stars in an evening of “cheap jokes, magic, ukule music, hypnotism and a Yiddish bullfight poem.” Directed by Allen Lewis Rickman, the open-run show is performed twice a week (Saturdays and Sundays) beginning November 7.

Theatre at St. Clement’s, New York (212-239-6200; www.zerohourshow.com)
Zero Hour A new play by Jim Brocu as Zero Mostel is directed by Piper Laurie. Through January 31, 2010.

Theater J at the DC Jewish Community Center (202-777-3210; www.theaterj.org)
Judy Gold Is Mommy Queerest The kosher, gay, award-winning comic and mother is candid in her new play running from December 16 through January 3.



Mary and Max This clayography feature film by award-winning filmmaker Adam Elliott tells the story of two lonely pen-pals—an 8-year-old girl in Australia and a 66-year-old Jewish man with Asperberger’s in New York with humor, edginess and compassion. Available on Sundance on-demand.


Scholem Aleichem: Yiddish Classics by the Creator of Tevye from
“Fiddler on the Roof”

John Siciliano, Penguin Classics editor, interviews Aliza Shevrin, translator of Tevye the Dairyman and Motl the Cantor’s Son as well as Wandering Stars, about the life and works of Sholem Aleichem, and Yiddish humor, life and culture. Available at us.penguingroup.com.



Sonoma County
14th Annual Sonoma County Jewish Film Festival
Jewish Community Center
September 30 to December 3
(707-528-4222; www.jccsoco.org)

Israel Film Festival
December 3 to 13
323-966-4166; www.israelfilmfestival.com

Miami Jewish Film Festival
January 16 to 24, 2010
305-573-7304; www.cajemiami.org/mjff

Palm Beach
Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival
December 2 to 13
561-362-0003; www.pbifilmfest.org


Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
January 13 to 24, 2010
404-806-9913; www.ajff.org

Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival
January 20 to 24, 2010
866-451-2787; http://brjff.com


Jackson Jewish Film Festival
January 21, 23 and 24, 2010
601-956-6215; http://ms001.urj.net/jjff.htm

Las Vegas

8th Annual Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival
January 17 to February 1, 2010
702-898-0511; www.desertspace.org/film_festival

New York

The New York Jewish Film Festival
January 13 to January 28, 2010
212-423-3200; www.thejewishmuseum.org/exhibitions/nyjff2010

Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival
January 11 to 25, 2010; February 1 to 15, 2010; May 1 to 18, 2010
(215-446-3019; www.gershmany.org)

20th Washington Jewish Film Festival
December 3 to 13
202-518-9400; washingtondcjcc.org

Books: Hanukka Is Also For Reading

Brief Reviews: Imagination, Sacred and Scary

Commentary: Firm Against the Current

Editor’s Wrapup: What’s New?

Family Matters: Anorexia: It's Not About Food

Guide to the Arts

Inside Hadassah: A Therapy of Salt; a Peppering of Yiddish

Interview: Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Life: The Carpetbagger Who Did Good

Letter from Jerusalem: Learning Curve

Letter from Modi'in: Hanukka With Two Genders

Letters to the Editor: A Debate on Settlements; Toronto for Jews

Medicine: Where the Wild Things Are Healed

Night and Day in Jewish Time

President's Column: Extraordinary as Normal

Profile: Milton Glaser

Songs for the Butcher's Daughter

The Arts: Timeless and Fresh Rituals

The Jewish Traveler: Phoenix

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