Well Versed

Humanitarian Images: Repairing the World: Frame by Frame

In an event that involved consciousness-raising, fund-raising and fine photography, the Ambassadors Council of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee raised $40,000 in an exhibition and auction of photographs taken in Jewish communities around the world.

Joan Roth. Abeba Abebe, Ethiopia, 1984. Courtesy

Last Chance: Russian-American Artists

The afternoon I visited the National Arts Club to see several galleries of Russian-American art, one of the galleries was set for an evening reception to honor local firemen who lost their lives.

Vagrich Bakhchanyan. Diary –7/28/95 to 7/27/96. Courtesy Irene Bakhchanyan

Friendship At Auschwitz

A birthday card made in the Third Reich’s most notorious concentration camp? Seems impossible, doesn’t it?

Courtesy Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster

Tracking Bezalel In Chelsea

Last Wednesday morning, seven well-heeled, middle-aged ladies ambled around Chelsea, making stops at art galleries. The group, which was organized by the American fundraising arm of Bezalel, sought to view pieces by graduates of the prestigious Jerusalem art school. Some of the women were collectors, others simply interested.

Guy Yannai. Light Bulb, 2015, Oil on linen. Courtesy Ameringer McEnery Yohe

Photography As Action

Tel Aviv-based photographer Miki Kratsman brings an activist and didactic philosophy to his work. He came of age during the period of the “Disappeareds” in Argentina and admired Vietnam War photography.

Miki Kratsman. Courtesy Emet Prize

A Serious And Soulful Artist

Eva Hesse was a passionate, resilient, haunted and prolific artist with a strong sense of her own calling. The 2016 bio pic is a portrait of the artist a young woman coming into her own. Visually rich, as unflinching as it is reverential, the documentary “Eva Hesse” offers satisfying insight into the life of a child refugee who ripened into one of the most influential artists of her time.

Eva Hesse in 1968. Herman Landshoff. Courtesy Zeitgeist Films

Berlin Stories

“Stolen Heart,” a small powerful exhibition at Leo Baeck Institute, shows how Jewish building owners in the center of Berlin were robbed during the time of Nazi rule.

Wallstrasse 16, 1908. Courtesy Historisches Archiv der BVG, Berlin

Passover Books For Young Readers

Anticipate the four questions and more, with these picture books for kids that use stories to share teachings and traditions, appreciation and celebration of the upcoming holidays

 “More than Enough: A Passover Story” by April Halprin Wayland, illustrated by Katie Kath. Courtesy of Dial Books

Between Davka And Awkward

Last Friday afternoon, a group of eight neon yellow-clad dancers wound their way around half of Bryant Park as part of Tamar Ettun’s “Mauve Bird with Yellow Teeth Red Feathers Green Feet and a Rose Belly: Part YELLOW.”

Tamar Ettun and The Moving Company in Bryant Park. Caroline Lagnado

Seventeen Versions Of Jerusalem

“Wrestling Jerusalem” is a no-frills, virtuosic 90-minute solo performance during which its author, Aaron Davidman plays 17 different characters. His astonishing skill at metamorphosing into men, women, Israelis, Americans, Palestinians, settlers on the right, rabbis on the left, allows us to learn from each of the well-drawn personae. In the play’s preface he cites the words from “Ethics of the Fathers,” “Who is wise? He who learns from all people.” But sadly and somewhat ironically, none of these posturing, polemicizing characters, with the exception of the narrator, is at all likely to learn from another. 

Aaron Davidman in “Wrestling Jerusalem.” Courtesy 59E59 Theaters
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