Relative Relations - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Relative Relations

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Relative Relations

Dr. Bernard Heller Museum

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York

Published in conjunction with the exhibition

Relative Relations
September 12, 2019 – June 30, 2020

Dr. Bernard Heller Museum, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York
Jean Bloch Rosensaft, Director
Dr. Laura Kruger, Curator
Phyllis Freedman, Curatorial Assistant
Rose Starr, Curatorial Assistant
Nancy Mantell, Registrar/Director of Traveling Exhibitions
Susan Rosenstein, Archivist
Emily Baratz, Mounira Makar, Joanna Seifter, Museum Interns
huc.edu/museums/ny

Catalogue Design: TabakDesign.com

Exhibition Design/Installation: Klay-James Enos

ISBN: 1-884300-57-x

© 2019 Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Presented by the Irma L. and Abram S. Croll Center for Jewish Learning and Culture at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, with the generous support of George, z”l, and Mildred Weissman.

 

HUC-JIR ADMINISTRATION

Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D., President
Rabbi Andrea Weiss, Ph.D., Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Provost
Lissie Diringer, A.B., Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Elizabeth Squadron, M.S., Vice President for Program and Business Development
Barbara Telek, M.B.A., Chief Financial Officer
Rabbi David Adelson, D.Min., Dean, HUC-JIR, New York
Jean Bloch Rosensaft, B.A., Assistant Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs; Director, Dr. Bernard Heller Museum, New York

Front Cover:
Barbara Hines
Spotlight on Joseph, c. 2018
Multi-media on paper, 32" x 24"

Back Cover:
Estelle Yarinsky
Lucie, 2002
Quilted textile, 70" x 36"

 

UNITY AMID DIVERSITY

Rabbi David Adelson, D.Min., Dean, HUC-JIR/New York

Families are the basic groupings of humanity. Torah begins the human story with Adam and Eve, and then their offspring. Each of us is forever shaped by the family into which we are born or adopted. We learn to relate to all people we will encounter, and to the Divine, from our families of origin.

In “Relative Relations” we see a splendid array of families and moments in family life. We see families born, chosen, and imposed. We see a full range of emotional expression and, of course, of media and styles employed in these works. It is in this wonderful diversity that we may consider what is common among all families and individuals, even as each of us, and our families, are distinct. It is that connection amid difference that unites us all.

In Bavli Sanhedrin 38a, we read:

Our Rabbis taught: Adam, the first human being, was created as a single person to show forth the greatness of the Ruler Who is beyond all Rulers, the Blessed Holy One. For if a human ruler mints many coins from one mold, they all carry the same image, they all look the same. But the Blessed Holy One shaped all human beings in the Divine Image, as Adam was shaped in the Divine Image [Gen. 1: 27], “btzelem elohim,” “in the Image of God.” And yet not one of them resembles another.

In the works in this exhibition we see familial resemblances. But as each of us knows, even though we sometimes look like our family members, we are acutely aware of how we are also not like them. The unity amid diversity represented in “Relative Relations” is exactly the message we need to hear in this moment in our nation’s and our world’s history. When leaders seek political advantage by dehumanizing and separating groups of people, we must cling ever tighter to the essential truth of our commonality. As the images in this exhibition, our text from Sanhedrin, and all our lives attest, human diversity is our glory and bespeaks the glory of our Creator.

 

THE TIES THAT BIND

Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Ph.D., Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Provost

Brothers and lovers, sisters and in-laws, parents and grandparents, cousins, teammates, neighbors, and more – the Hebrew Bible offers one word that unifies the sundry relationships highlighted in this exhibition: chesed. While sometimes translated as “love,” “kindness,” or “mercy,” it proves challenging to capture in English the various nuances of this important biblical word. Chesed is a covenantal term, one that refers to the generous and compassionate things we do for others because we are connected to one another in some type of meaningful relationship.

The Bible contains a chorus of praise for the acts of chesed the One on High performs for us on earth. Psalm 118 starts with a fourfold refrain declaring that God’s “chesed is eternal.” Psalm 33:5 praises God as a lover of righteousness and justice whose chesed fills the universe. The familiar list of divine attributes in Exodus 34:6 testifies to a “compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in chesed” (also see Numbers 14:18; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2; Psalms 86:5, 15; 103:8; Nehemiah 9:17).

Created in the divine image, human beings possess the potential to mirror these same qualities. More than any other part of the Bible, the book of Ruth teaches what it means to treat people with chesed. Ruth tells the story of an Israelite family – Elimelech, Naomi, and their two sons – forced to leave their home in Bethlehem because of famine and resettle in neighboring Moab. There, the sons marry Moabite women, Ruth and Orpah; but tragedy soon strikes, leaving all three women as widows. When Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem, she urges her daughters-in-law to go back home. Orpah kisses Naomi farewell; yet Ruth refuses to leave her. Displaying the book’s first act of chesed, Ruth declares: “Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge;... where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried” (1:16-17).

Acts of chesed stem from our loyalty to others, as when Ruth takes the initiative to go out and gather grain for her mother-in-law Naomi (2:2-3). Acts of chesed stem from our compassion for others, as when Boaz, Naomi’s wealthy kinsman, protects and provides for Ruth, a foreigner (2:4-17). Acts of chesed stem from our concern for others, as when Naomi devises a plan that results in Ruth’s marriage to Boaz (3:1-4). In the book of Ruth, as in life, chesed brings about abundant, unanticipated blessings.

My paternal grandparents, Sam and Blanche Weiss, offer another way to understand chesed. Married for exactly eighty- one years and one month, people often asked Sam and Blanche the secret of their long and loving marriage. First, my grandmother would say: “Take it one day at a time. Have a sense of humor. Respect and appreciate each other.” Then, she would add: “But it’s not enough to love each other; you have to like each other.” That is not only what moves us to treat others with chesed, that is what connects all those brought together in this celebration of “Relative Relations.”

 

RELATIVE RELATIONS

Dr. Laura Kruger, Curator, Dr. Bernard Heller Museum

The Hebrew Bible is the great source and template of family connections. Biblical narratives reveal the connections of brothers, mothers, fathers, wives, and husbands that reflect and reform the ongoing pattern of human behavior. We stand in the long line of this inheritance.

Most of us are born into a known, pre- existing family and can acknowledge our relatives and ancestors, going back to generations before ours. Others are in families by choice, where the connections of relationships are newly forged. There are our extended families through marriage or partnership, and close friends whose constancy and presence blur the boundaries of genetic relationship. There are also the connections by circumstance: where we grow up, go to school, compete in sports, join an orchestra, work, fall in love. And there are relationships wrought by a cruel fate – whether during the Holocaust or during the current immigration crisis.

Relationships are about trust, commonality, and closely observed behavior and often shared habits. There is the impact of genetics, observed behavior, a shared environment, and a common destiny.

As a consequence of centuries of war, displacement, and injustice, there are severed connections that cannot be restored. Nevertheless, out of this chaos, humans connect and establish new relationships, new heritages, new genetic combinations. Memory, that powerful source of human continuity, notices, references, and includes the fragments of survival to continue humanity.

This exhibition highlights the connections that provide for the amazing melding of the human race, an ever-widening network of interests, talents, commitment, individual connections, and broadening diversity.

 

HEDDY ABRAMOWITZ

The Regulars, 2010 (printed 2019)
Digital inkjet, 17.7" x 23.6"

Photographed in a Jerusalem café, three men are engaged in warm conversation. Their informal body language and facial expressions contrast with French photographer Frederic Brenner’s composed, less intimate view of men in a teahouse in Azerbaijan on the back wall. The image of the all-seeing woman at the apex of Brenner’s photograph adds additional interest – a photo within a photo within a photo.

 

JACKIE ABRAMS and DEIDRE SCHERER

Couples on Magenta, 2018
Mixed media vessel, 9.5" x 11" x 11"

The creative collaboration between Abrams and Scherer demonstrates the deep bonds that exist between artists, couples, and friends. They combined their talents in painting, weaving, quilting, and basketry to produce this vessel, revealing the ways in which age, wisdom, and experience are imprinted on humans.

 

MARLENE D’ORAZIO ADLER

Torn Hearts, Reunited, 2018
Woodcut, 24" x 24"

Inspired by the artist’s concern about the detention of immigrants, including the frequent separation of children from their parents, this work expresses Adler’s fervent hope that these families will be safe and reunited in a new home.

 

DEBORAH AMERLING

Sharing the Ladder of Life, 2018
Mixed media, 23" x 19.5"

Amerling’s work expresses the relationships that blossom when people share a commitment to each other. The ladder represents the step-by-step progression in their relationship. Sharing changes over decades creates a strong bond that can withstand the storms of life.

 

MARCIA ANNENBERG

Wedding Party, 1992
Acrylic on canvas, 40" x 56"

At first glance, this poignant portrait of a Jewish family in Europe during the 1930s is reminiscent of photos that many of us have in our family albums. On further inspection, however, we realize that the children are wearing yellow stars mandated by the Nazis, signifying the onset of the Holocaust.

 

ANDI ARNOVITZ

Theresa Feldman: Food Is Life Is Love, 1998
Mixed media, 24" x 18"

Arnovitz remembers her grandmother’s unforgettable cooking and time spent together in the kitchen. Her grandmother’s portrait, the handwritten recipe and depiction of the kreplach, and the enumeration of other favorite traditional foods are juxtaposed with her grandmother’s memories of hunger and the message that “food is life is love” framing the painting.

 

WILL BARNET

Mother and Child, c.1930
Etching, 5.5" x 4"

During his long career, Barnet’s work was primarily representational. In this etching, his linear composition expresses the intimacy of the mother-child relationship.

Gift of Sigmund Balka

 

DORENE BELLER

Family Dinner, 2012
Acrylic, gouache, and collage, 14.5" x 22"  

For immigrant families like the artist’s, the parental generation and their first-generation American offspring generally live in proximity to each other and gather regularly. The featureless guests around the festive table, surrounded by collaged text in their native Russian, invite you to see yourself in this experience.

 

MARK BERGHASH

Mother and Daughter, 1986
Gelatin silver print, 35" x 21"

Berghash seeks to reveal the essence of a mother and daughter relationship by fragmenting and reworking the elements that make up the whole. Focusing on the warmth of clasped hands, the mother’s loving gaze, and the inseparable embrace of their arms, Berghash’s technique lends a spiritual and mystical aspect to the portrait.

 

SELMA BLUESTEIN

The El, 1937
Etching, 6.5" x 5.5"

This etching captures a middle-aged couple sitting close together in an elevated train. With crossed arms and stolid expressions, they exude a sense of psychological isolation and stoicism at the height of the Depression.

Gift of Sigmund Balka

 

DARE BOLES

Letters from Home, 2017
Collage on paper, 25" x 35"

Handwritten letters are highlighted as the means of communication used to maintain relationships amongst those living at great distances from each other. Letters enabled people to share the details of mundane daily occurrences that kept them in each other’s lives.

 

MAYA BRODSKY

Adriel, 2012
Oil on mylar mounted on panel, 9" x 12"

Brodsky depicts the three-generation relationship of grandmother, mother, and newborn child, each facing in a different direction. The name Adriel, meaning “God is the helper,” evokes the blessing represented by a new generation.

 

BERNARD BRUSSEL-SMITH

Breaking Bread, 1942
Wood engraving, 14.25" x 12.75"

Wood engravings are made from the end grain of blocks of wood because they allow for significantly greater detail. Brussel-Smith, a master of wood engraving, portrays a man and woman eating a meal in seemingly meager surroundings. Still in overcoats and hats, they huddle close to the radiator, where they and the coffee pot are kept warm.

Gift of Sigmund Balka

 

JOSEPH CAVALIERI

The Automobiles of Isaac Hayes, 2018
Stained glass and LED lights, 34" x 16.5"

Many people define themselves by their relationship with their collections. In this work, a ‘halo’ of 1960s and 1970s Cadillacs, Lincolns, and Mustangs surround the head of Isaac Hayes, a Grammy Award-winning musician who is known for his extensive automobile collection.

 

PAULINE CHERNICHAW

West 4th Street Station, 2012
Archival pigment print, 18" x 22"

The photographer explores individual relationships and communal identity within the framework of a public space. In this image of subway riders sitting on a shared bench, the riders are practicing the learned behavior that preserves their privacy.

 

ELAINE CLAYMAN

Raggedy Ann Is Away From Home, 2018
Oil on linen, mounted on a 1940s suitcase, 30" x 18" x 10"

This child, clutching her belongings and beloved doll, seeks comfort amidst her displacement. Evoking a girl being taken to the Nazi death camps, the artist inscribes her own name in a yellow star on the suitcase dating from the Holocaust era.

 

DOEprojekts

DEBORAH ADAMS DOERING and GLENN N. DOERING

Coreforms in Relationship – Deborah and Glenn, 2018
Photographic print on paper, 4" x 7"

Communication is one of humankind’s most challenging practices. What we believe our words or actions mean may be heard and received differently. In this work, the Doerings use Coreforms (defined by them as figures such as a zero, a one, a hyphen, a slash, and a period) tossed from one to the other to illustrate the potential for miscommunication.

 

NADINE EPSTEIN

Shadows After the Rain, 2019
Photograph, 22" x 17"

Nadine Epstein is fascinated by the way shadows interact with time and space, stating, “I have come to think of my ‘Shadow Project’ as a human geography with cultural, environmental, and even spiritual overtones.” This image, photographed in California, portrays a couple communicating without words.

 

MAX FERGUSON

Handball, 2002
Oil on canvas, 11" x 14"

Ferguson provides an insight to relationships among men playing handball, bonded through the love of the game. As they spend countless hours in practice and games, sharing intense common experiences on a team, people of diverse backgrounds learn to see one another as individuals as they connect through the pursuit of shared objectives.

 

TULLY FILMUS

Celebration, c. 1960
Charcoal on paper, 22" x 17"

A child immigrant to the United States, Filmus continued his family’s artistic traditions. In this work, he depicts Hasidic men celebrating through dance and conveys their strength, intensity, and expressions of pure joy.

Gift of Ruth and Herb Bregman

 

ROBERT FORMAN

Family, 2011
Yarn glued to board, 24" x 32"

Forman learned the technique of yarn painting from an indigenous Mexican tribal community. Utilizing this technique, he immerses his family within their environment. Whatemergesisa multi-dimensional, layered, and moving family portrait, puppies and all.

 

NORMAN GERSHMAN

The Hands of Atlin Qeleshi, c. 2000
Photograph, 8" x 10"

Over a five-year period, Gershman photographed and collected the stories of Albanian Muslims who sheltered Jews fleeing the Nazis. The Albanian honor code, Besa, demands that one take responsibility for the lives of others in their time of need. The hands of the rescuer hold a photo of the woman and child she saved.

 

KEN GOLDMAN

Tikkun, 2015
Digital photographic print, 27.5" x 21.6"

Before she died, the artist’s quintessentially Jewish mother impressed upon him the imperative to take care of his father. Her wish expressed both her love for her husband and her faith in her son. The traditional rending of the mourner’s shirt, symbolizing the sundering of the physical connection, evokes that loss and the hope for solace.

 

JANET GOLDNER

As Life Slips Away, 2017
Welded steel, 41" x 29"

This work is part of a series inspired by the last weeks the artist spent with her ailing mother. It is about memories of a life well spent, as well as the changes in the artist’s relationship to her mother from child to caregiver. The letters and words are formed by using a welding torch as a drawing tool on the steel, evoking the void that now exists between the artist and her deceased mother.

 

SUSAN GRABEL

Nursing Home, 1976
Clay, 12.5" x 16" x 17"

Grabel’s ceramic sculptures highlight key moments and cherished relationships in the cycle of life. The artist’s visit to her grandmother in a nursing home inspired this series. We see the aging woman on her deathbed together with her pregnant granddaughter, connoting the cycle beginning anew.

 

GRACE GRAUPE-PILLARD

Lightbulbs, 1989
Pastels, cutout canvas, 78" x 35"

The artist’s stunning realization – that her parents, the bedrock of her life, were fragile and would eventually disappear – is a universal experience. While physical presence vanishes, memories remain. She likens this experience to the lightbulbs floating from strings: the outer shells are brittle, but the light and energy from within continue to glow.

 

LAURIE GROSS

Hold Fast To It. And So He Did, 2018
Photograph, 14" x 22"

This powerful image was taken just before the artist’s father’s death. It shows his hands clutching a prayer book that he had since his yeshiva days in Brooklyn.

 

DEBBIE TEICHOLZ GUEDALIA

Portraits of a Lost Generation – Girl, 2017
Photo collage, 26" x 21" each

The original portrait of this child is a small oval glass photograph affixed to a gravestone in a Jewish cemetery outside Paris. For the artist, she represents the 1.5 million children murdered in the Holocaust. Burning and cutting the original portrait, the artist buries it under other images and surrounds it with pictures of barbed wire and the prayers from nearby gravestones. This visual vortex represents the overwhelming result of the forces of evil that severed her life and, at the same time, connects her to history and to each of us.

 

CAROL HAMOY

This is My Dad, 2014
Paper with transfer photo and acrylic ink, 12" x 12" x 6"

Hamoy examines the nature and connection of the artist with her father. The child’s dress forms a backdrop to her father’s image and references his work as a manufacturer of children’s dresses. Her poem suggests the different levels on which one may know another person, even a father.

 

BONNIE HELLER

Bless These Hands, 2017
Acrylic on canvas, 36" x 48"

Five generations of a family enjoy cooking, baking, and celebrating together. The tasks of everyday life and the memories they create are a poignant inheritance to be savored.

 

PHYLLIS HERFIELD

Family Portrait, 2005
Oil on wood panel, 27" x 21"

Inspired by the portraitists of the Northern Renaissance, Herfield painted this couple and their dachshund in their opulent apartment. Highlighting the subtleties of the human face, she reveals the harmony of their relationship and the pleasure of their shared lives.

 

MAXINE HESS

Typically a Saturday, 2012
Mixed media fabric collage, 19" x 23"

This charming textile, inspired by the artist’s memory of spending Saturdays with her maternal grandparents, tells a story of the enduring relationship across the generations. Hess’s grandfather entertained and delighted her by carving puppets out of apples and showing her how to do the same.

 

NATHAN HILU

Sephardic Jewish Wedding c. 2000
Crayon on paper, 22" x 30"

This happy image of a wedding in Damascus, Syria, was most likely inspired by a photograph of Hilu’s parents’ wedding around 1910. The bride is Hilu’s mother, the rabbi is his grandfather, whom he proudly labels as “The Chief Rabbi of Damascus.”

 

 

BARBARA HINES

Spotlight on Joseph, c. 2018 (front cover)
Multimedia on paper, 32" x 24"

In the Joseph story we find the full scope of dysfunctional family relationships: love, favoritism, envy, betrayal, and reconciliation. Joseph’s response to the intended fratracide by his brothers is remarkable: he forgives his brothers the unforgivable. Hines depicts a modern-day image of a family gathering, as Joseph takes a “selfie” with his brothers.

 

TAMAR HIRSCHL

Musicians, 2016
Acrylic on paper, 22.5" x 30"

Hirschl captures the energy of music that can only be felt at a live performance. Musicians playing together have a collaborative relationship that is essential to creating perfect harmony.

 

ELLEN HOLTZBLATT

Less Than Angels, 2012
Oil on panel, 22" x 22"

Less Than Angels is a portrait of the artist’s father holding his granddaughter. This painting caught her father, usually not an emotionally demonstrative person, in an unguarded moment.

 

MAJ KALFUS

White Shirts, 2008
Oil on canvas, 24" x 36"

The kinship of close friendship is depicted through the closely posed men’s body language and facial expressions.

 

RUTH LEAF

Orchard Street, c. 1945
Woodcut, 9.75" x 19"

This woodcut depicts the busy Lower East Side of New York City, with its street life and the diverse characters that enliven it. Through exaggerated, humorous postures and expressive hand gestures, Leaf portrays a range of relationships and interactions: adults gossiping, shopping, caring for children, and pushing carts, while pets frolic, all in close-knit, seeming harmony.

Gift of Sigmund Balka

 

IRIS LEVINSON

Quantum Entanglements and Aspirations, 2018
Mixed media on canvas, 25" x 46"

For Levinson, “a quantum entanglement is that bizarre phenomenon that occurs when two particles experience a shared state and exist as one.” In this complex work, the left two-thirds depict diverse relationships across time and space, including heartbreak, tenderness, affection, and team work. The right third highlights relationships that are new or yet to begin.

 

PEACHY LEVY

God and Me, 2018
Applique and embroidery, 26" x 24"

Levy, an accomplished textile artist, employs gold thread to enhance the commandment to love God, embroidered in both Hebrew and English, as an expression of her faith.

 

NEIL MacCORMICK

One Day at Rest, 2012
Acrylic on illustration board, 8" x 5.5"

The artist had cameras mounted in his condo to record images of a day in his life. He wanted to confront and contain the impermanence of an average day. He then spent four-and-a-half years painting and drawing, immersed in the minutia of that single day. The passing time underlines the fleeting nature of life.

 

NANCY MANTELL

US Military Cemetery at Margraten, 2019
Photograph, 20" x 16"

This is a photograph of one of the several cemeteries in Europe where soldiers who died in the Second World War are buried. The photographer traveled to the Netherlands to visit the grave of her father, who died as a prisoner of war captured by the Nazis when she was very young.

 

RICHARD McBEE

Jacob’s Blessing, 2000
Oil and collage on canvas, 30" x 40"

Jacob’s family is deeply divided and separated into three disparate groups, reflecting the dysfunctional family dynamics. Scholars question whether Jacob’s deathbed benediction was a blessing, curse, warning, or expression of hope.

 

MICHAEL MENDEL

Towards an Unknown Fate, 2013
Watercolor, 20" x 24"

Inspired by a snapshot and the artist’s father Julius Mendel’s memories, this work depicts his father and thirteen of his Jewish neighbors when they were rounded up in an open truck on a winter Berlin afternoon in 1937 for interrogation at Gestapo Headquarters. The inscription Arbeit macht frei (work will make you free) was meant to deceive and allay their fears. The family fled Berlin and found refuge in Cuba.

 

JUNGHWA PARK

While Grandpa Naps, 2019
Illustration for the children’s book by Naomi Danis, 11" x 16"

This charming children’s book describes the love between a boy and his grandfather through a series of vignettes, including this illustration of the rela- tionship of the boy’s cousins to each other and to grandpa, the patriarch of the family.

 

LIONEL PICKER

Joseph Reveals Himself, 2015
Oil on canvas, 29" x36"

As told in the Hebrew Bible, young Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, who sold him into slavery. Many years later, when they are starving because of famine, they have come to Egypt for food and do not recognize Joseph, who is now the second-in-command over Egypt. In this painting, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. While the older brothers reveal shock and fear, Joseph and young Benjamin express joy.

 

MARK PODWAL

Pharaoh’s Daughter, 2014
Acrylic, colored pencil on paper, 12" x 9"

As recounted in the story of Passover, Pharaoh declared that all male Hebrews were to be slain at birth. In a desperate attempt to save her child, the Hebrew mother Yocheved hid her infant boy in a basket amidst the rushes along the Nile. In this drawing, the Egyptian princess sees the baby for the first time. She adopts him and names him Moses, as he emerged from the water.

 

ARCHIE RAND

The Artists, 1986
Acrylic on canvas, 70" x 42"

These painters are friends. Although there is some rivalry, they see themselves as comrades, united by the knowledge that each of them invests energy and risk in their work. Rand explains, “There are three genders: men, women, and artists.”

 

KEN RATNER

Players, 2019
Gelatin silver print, 8" x 12"

Ratner finds inspiration is the streets of New York City and its people. He discovered these men in Columbus Park, Chinatown, intent on their game, as were the kibitzers watching.

In loving memory of the artist’s mother, Dorothy Ratner Scherzer

 

FLORA ROSEFSKY

Summer Calendar, 1995
Marker and pen drawing, 11" x 14"

For many years, Rosefsky and her extended family shared ownership of a large summer house in upstate New York. Because so many relatives and friends gathered there, she created a visual summer calendar to record their coming and going.

 

TRIX ROSEN

Bliss: I’d Rather Be a Dog, 2018
Photograph, 16.625" x 19.875"

This photograph shows the unadulterated joy radiating from this threesome. The depth of quiet emotion and trust between the two dogs and their human companion is unmistakable.

 

DEBORAH ROSENTHAL

Garland (The Young Family), 2014-2015
Oil and oil stick on linen, 30" x 40"

The birth of Rosenthal’s first grandchild inspired her awareness of the cyclical nature of life. She evokes her family as a chain of beautiful flowers, embedded with images of the grandchild and her parents.

 

REUVEN RUBIN

Mother and Child, 1966
Pastel and watercolor on rag paper, 15.5" x 13"

Celebrated as a pioneer in Israeli art, the Romanian-born Israeli painter Reuven Rubin employs radiant colors to depict biblical landscapes and folklore in a style reminiscent of the artist Chagall.

Gift of Ira Postel, in memory of Bonnie Postel

 

DEIDRE SCHERER

The Life of Painters, 2018
Printed, cut, torn, and woven paper, 31" x 35"

Scherer has constructed a vignette of her working artist parents. Although their relationship was not always harmonious, they were wholly supportive of each other’s art and independence. Here we see an idyllic representation of her parents’ lives, replete with pets, a comfortable home, and sun-lit green spaces.

 

JEFFREY SCHRIER

Black and White, Selma, 1965: Praying with Our Feet, 2013
Montage/inkjet edition print, 31" x 21"

Schrier’s work is a tribute to the relationship between Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel as they were photographed marching together from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Schrier explains, “Using legs and feet from two vintage photos of Dr. King, Rabbi Heschel, and other marchers, I moved or ‘marched’ the images across the plate of a scanner while scanning.”

 

BRIAN SHAPIRO

Girl Blessing the Torah, 1997
Oil on canvas, 50" x 38"

For much of history, women were forbidden to touch the Torah, let alone proudly carry it as did their male peers. This painting of a young woman holding a traditionally adorned Torah reveals the significant changes in religious customs and culture today. Women and girls have gained access to and leadership in societal institutions and many have become rabbis, cantors, and lay leaders in progressive Judaism.

 

LOUISE SILK

Bubbe and Zadie, 2003
Quilted, appliqued, and embroidered fabric, 10" x 14"

Through embroidery, French knots, and hand quilting, the artist honors and memorializes her paternal great- grandparents and reflects on their impact on her life.

 

SUSAN SINEK

My Sister and Brother-in-Law, 2017
Pencil, charcoal, paint on wood, 8" x 16"

Sinek portrays the personality and relationship of her sister and brother-in-law as independent individuals.

 

MAGGIE SINER

Tossed, 2012
Oil on linen, 24" x 32"

We sense the presence of the child who just left her much-loved teddy bear and warm, cozy bed. A child’s relationship with a special plaything reflects an extraordinary bond and source of endless comfort.

 

ROBIN TEWES

Fair Game, 2015
Oil on birch panel, 30" x 22"

Tewes explores the universal culture of childhood in which games and secret, intimate spaces promote friendships.

 

MORRIS TOPCHEVSKY

Lunch Hour, 1942
Etching, 17.5" x 21.5"

A muralist with the Works Progress Administration during the Depression, Topchevsky depicted the landscape of the places and people in the poorer neighborhoods of Chicago. This etching reflects life’s grittiness and scarcity during this era.

Gift of Sigmund Balka

 

PATRICIA VAN ARDOY

Brothers: The Miners, 2018
Photo etching on mylar, 9" x 6"

“My love for drawing brought me to etching, and then family images. My sisters are identical twins; I grew to be fascinated with their relationship. Later I researched images of twin children and tried to portray what I saw as a profound psychological connection.” These little boys are victims of child labor.

 

DAVID WANDER

Five Threads of Blue, 2015
Painting, 24" x 38"

The Torah prescribes a blue dye to be used as one of the threads on the tallit and for dyeing priestly garments. (Exodus 25:4 and Numbers 15:38) Wander evokes the kinship of a community in prayer.

 

JOYCE ELLEN WEINSTEIN

The Surrogate Family, 2018
Soft ground etching, 22" x 30"

For those who may not have a connection to a biological family, there are substitutes for familial support and association. Members of disparate communities may band together to form a peer group that, for a moment in time or lifelong, may become a surrogate family. The artist, a former school teacher, knows the young men in this work and has observed their close-knit relationship.

 

MARC WEINSTEIN

Friends, 2011
Photographic inkjet print, 16" x 20"

Weinstein’s photograph captures two middle-aged men sitting together with their arms around each other, joyful in their friendship.

 

TODD WEINSTEIN

Old Couple in Garden Cafeteria, NYC, 1980
Archival pigment inkjet print, 16" x 22"

The legendary Garden Cafeteria in New York City, which closed in 1983, served as a meeting-place for a group of well-known Jewish intellectuals, journalists, and the local crowd. While eating brunch there, the artist was struck by the humanity of this couple gazing out of the window at the morning light.

 

RUTH WEISBERG

Married, 2018
Oil painting, 38" x 48"

Weisberg depicts the comfortable relationship her California daughter Alicia and Israeli son-in-law Opher enjoy as a newly-married couple. Everything about its composition – the smiling gaze and embracing arms – reflects their connection.

 

PAUL WEISSMAN

Sum of Us, 2019
Lithograph, gold leaf, 28" x 18"

The work’s initial inspiration was finding this full- body x-ray of a woman naked but for her high heels. This gave the artist thoughts about “like mother, like daughter,” and how they were identical in bones, shoes, and all, but for size. The print layers the mother-daughter image with lists of the elements, the human genome, the most influential/thinkers over time, plus the news headlines since 1970.

 

LLOYD WOLF

Grandma’s Kiss, 2001
Photograph, 16" x 16"

Wolf has captured the essence of the loving relationship between grandmother and grandchild.

 

ESTELLE YARINSKY

Lucie, 2002 (back cover)
Quilted textile, 70" x 36"

In her collage, the artist tells the story of a remarkable, historic couple at the center of the Dreyfus Affair, an anti- Semitic cause Ćelèbre in the 1890’s. Captain Alfred Dreyfus, although innocent, was accused and convicted of treason. Lucie Dreyfus, his wife and the mother of their children, was a model of endurance, creativity, and loyalty during his incarceration. She wrote to him constantly and sent him books, all the while working for his release. Both Lucie and Alfred lived to see his conviction overturned. She survived World War II in a convent. Hers was a lifelong commitment to family, Judaism, and France, where her patriotic family had lived since the 18th century.

 

CHECKLIST

Heddy Abramowitz
The Regulars, 2010
Ink jet print, 17.7" x 23.6"

Jackie Abrams and Deidre Scherer
Gold Heads, 2017
Mixed media vessel, 11" x 8" x 8"

Couples on Magenta, 2018
Mixed media vessel, 9.5" x 11" x 11"

Marlene D’Orazio Adler
Torn Hearts, Reunited, 2018
Woodcut, 24" x 24"

Deborah Amerling
Sharing the Ladder of Life, 2018
Mixed media, 23" x 19.5"

Marcia Annenberg
Wedding Party, 1992
Acrylic on canvas, 40" x 56"

Andi Arnovitz
Theresa Feldman: Food Is Life Is Love, 1998
Mixed media, 24" x 18"

A Mother’s Early Morning Prayer, 2012
Book, 6" x 12.5”

A Quiet Row of Women, 2010
Nesting dolls, 7” x 4”

Will Barnet
Mother and Child, c. 1930
Etching, 5.5" x 4"
Gift of Sigmund Balka

Dorene Beller
Family Dinner, 2012
Acrylic, gouache, and collage, 14.5" x 22"

Mark Berghash
Mother and Daughter, 1986
Gelatin silver print, 35" x 21"

Selma Bluestein
The El, 1937
Etching, 6.5" x 5.5"
Gift of Sigmund Balka

Dare Boles
Letters from Home, 2017
Collage on paper, 25" x 35"

Maya Brodsky
Adriel, 2012
Oil on mylar mounted on panel, 9" x 12"

Bernard Brussel-Smith
Breaking Bread, 1942
Wood engraving, 14.25" x 12.75"
Gift of Sigmund Balka

Joseph Cavalieri
The Automobiles of Isaac Hayes, 2018
Stained glass and LED lights,
34" x 16.5"

Pauline Chernichaw
West 4th Street Station, 2012
Archival pigment print, 18" x 22"

Elaine Clayman
Raggedy Ann Is Away From Home, 2018
Oil on linen, mounted on a 1940s suitcase, 30" x 18" x 10”

DOEprojekts: Deborah Adams Doering and Glenn N. Doering
Coreforms in Relationship— Deborah and Glenn, 2018
Photographic print on paper, 4" x 7"

Coreforms, Aunt Jane May
Ink, graphite, embossing, 22" x 16”

Nadine Epstein
After the Rain, 2019
Photograph, 17" x 22"

Max Ferguson
Handball, 2002
Oil on canvas, 11" x 14"

Tully Filmus
Celebration, 1960
Charcoal on paper, 22" x 17"
Gift of Ruth and Herb Bregman

Robert Forman
Family, 2011
Yarn glued to board, 24" x 32"

Norman Gershman
The Hands of Atlin Qeleshi, c. 2000
Photograph, 8" x 10"

Ken Goldman
Tikkun, 2015
Digital photographic print, 27.5" x 21.5"

Take Care of Your Father
Men’s white shirt, embroidery, 35" x 25" x 5"

Janet Goldner
As Life Slips Away, 2017
Welded steel, 29" x 41"

Susan Grabel
Nursing Home, 1976
Clay, 12.5" x 16" x 17"

Father and Son, 1976
Clay, 10” x 11 x 7.5”

Pizza Parlor, 1976
Clay, 12.5" x 17.5" x 14.5"

Grace Graupe-Pillard
Lightbulbs, 1989
Pastels/cutout canvas, 78" x 35"

Laurie Gross
Hold Fast to It. And So He Did, 2018
Photograph, 14" x 22"

Debbie Teicholz Guedalia
Portraits of a Lost Generation- Girl and Boy, 2017
Photo collage, 26" x 21" each

Carol Hamoy
This Is My Dad, 2014
Paper with transfer photo and acrylic ink, 12" x 12" x 6"

Bonnie Heller
Bless These Hands, 2017
Acrylic on canvas, 36" x 48"

Phyllis Herfield
Family Portrait, 2005
Oil on wood panel, 28" x 22"

Maxine Hess
Typically a Saturday, 2012
Mixed media fabric collage, 19" x 23"

A Quiet Moment, 2012
Mixed media fabric collage, 14.75" x 17"

Nathan Hilu
Sephardic Jewish Wedding, c. 2000
Crayon on paper, 22" x 30"

Barbara Hines
Spotlight on Joseph, c. 2018
Multi-media on paper, 32" x 24"

Tamar Hirschl
Musicians, 2016
Acrylic on paper, 22.5" x 30"

Musicians, 2016
Acrylic on paper, 22.5" x 30"

Ellen Holtzblatt
Less Than Angels, 2012
Oil on panel, 22" x 22"

Maj Kalfus
White Shirts, 2008
Oil on canvas, 24" x 36"

Family Gathering, 2010
Oil on heavy paper, 31" x 24"

Ruth Leaf
Orchard Street, c. 1945
Wood cut, 9.75" x 19"
Gift of Sigmund Balka

Iris Levinson
Quantum Entanglements and Aspirations, 2018
Mixed media on canvas, 25" x 46"

Peachy Levy
God and Me, 2018
Applique and embroidery, 26" x 24"

Neil MacCormick
One Day at Rest, 2012-13
Acrylic on illustration board,
8" x 5.5” each

Nancy Mantell
US Military Cemetery at Margraten, 2019
Photograph, 20" x 16"

Richard McBee
Jacob’s Blessing, 2000
Oil and collage on canvas, 30" x 40"

Michael Mendel
Towards an Unknown Fate, 2013
Watercolor, 20" x 24"

And What of the Levy Twins?, 2016
Photographs, ink, watercolor, 13" x 16"

Junghwa Park
While Grandpa Naps, 2018
Illustration, 11" x 16"

Lionel Picker
Joseph Reveals Himself, 2015
Oil on canvas, 29" x 36"

Ruth and Naomi, 2014
Oil on canvas, 36" x 29"

Mark Podwal
Pharaoh’s Daughter, 2014
Acrylic and colored pencil on paper, 12" x 9"

Archie Rand
The Artists, 1986
Acrylic on canvas, 70" x 42"

Ken Ratner
Players, 2019
Gelatin silver print, 8" x 12"

Two Men Conversing on Forsyth Street, 2019
Gelatin silver print, 8" x 10"

In loving memory of the artist’s mother, Dorothy Ratner Scherzer

Flora Rosefsky
Summer Calendar, 1995
Marker and pen drawing, 11" x 14"

Trix Rosen
Bliss: I’d Rather Be a Dog, 2018
Photograph, 16.625" x 19.875"

Deborah Rosenthal
Garland (The Young Family), 2014-15
Oil and oil stick on linen, 30" x 40"

Reuven Rubin
Mother and Child, 1966
Pastel and watercolor on rag paper, 15.5" x 13"

Gift of Ira Postel, in memory of Bonnie Postel

Deidre Scherer
The Life of Painters, 2018
Printed, cut, torn, and woven paper, 31" x 21"

Jeffrey Schrier
Black and White, Selma 1965: Praying with Our Feet, 2013
Montage/inkjet edition print, 31" x 21"

Brian Shapiro
Girl Blessing the Torah, 1997
Oil on canvas, 50" x 38"

Louise Silk
Bubbe and Zadie, 2003
Quilted, appliqued, and embroidered fabric, 10" x 14"

Susan Sinek
My Sister and Brother-in-Law, 2017
Pencil, charcoal, paint on wood, 8" x 16"

Maggie Siner
Tossed, 2012
Oil on linen, 24" x 32"

Robin Tewes
Fair Game, 2015
Oil on birch panel, 30" x 22"

Morris Topchevsky
Lunch Hour, 1942
Etching, 17.5" x 21.5"
Gift of Sigmund Balka

Patricia Van Ardoy
Brothers: The Miners, 2018
Photo etching, 9" x 6"

David Wander
Five Threads of Blue, 2015
Painting, 24" x 38"

Andy and Me, 1998
Gouache on paper, 45" x 31"

Joyce Ellen Weinstein
The Surrogate Family, 2018
Soft ground etching, 22" x 30"

Kadish After Pittsburgh, 2018
Hand-pulled etching, aquatint, drypoint, 12" x 18"

Marc Weinstein
Friends, 2011
Photographic inkjet print, 16" x 20"

Todd Weinstein
Old Couple in Garden Cafeteria, NYC, 1980
Archival pigment inkjet print, 16" x 22"

Ruth Weisberg
Married, 2018
Oil painting, 37.5" x 48"

Paul Weissman
Sum of Us, 2019
Lithograph, gold leaf, 28" x 18"

Lloyd Wolf
Grandma’s Kiss, 2001
Black and white photograph, 16" x 16"

Irene and Azriel Awret, 2005
Photograph, 20" x 24"

Estelle Yarinsky
Lucie, 2002
Quilted textile, 70" x 36"