Jane Trigere on Switching Gears

By Karen Loew

Published May 21, 2013, issue of May 31, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Jane Trigere, 64
South Deerfield, Mass.

Jane Trigere
Ken Schoen
Jane Trigere

Job: Textile artist and community volunteer

Previously: Director of the Hatikvah Holocaust Education and Resource Center in Springfield, Mass., now closed.

After leading the Hatikvah Center from 1997 to 2000, Trigere earned a master’s degree but was unable to find another job in the museum/arts administration field. She has been making art and doing volunteer work instead, including establishing the Jewish Historical Society of Western Massachusetts.

Why change? “It had to do with a sense of doing the right thing, which tripped me up. It was a mistake to leave the Hatikvah Center. I told the people who hired me, I’m really not trained in Holocaust education. But I had a wonderful time doing it and it was very successful. I was not clever enough about how to negotiate better circumstances for myself. Instead I thought, ‘somebody else who has the proper training should do this.’”

Proper training: “After leaving my job at Hatikvah, I entered the master’s program in Jewish art and visual culture at the Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan. It was exhilarating. At the end, I thought, ‘I’m going to find a job and repay the loan in no time flat.’ I applied for a bunch of jobs. I only got two interviews.”

Financial effects: “We live a very simple, happy life. We live off the income of my husband, a Jewish book dealer, in an old firehouse. We live upstairs and the books are downstairs.”

Seeking an outlet: “It’s hard to swallow that nobody wants the skill sets that I have. My husband says, ‘You’re one of the most creative people I’ve ever known. I’m so sorry you don’t have a place to put it.’ I have to make a decision about whether to be happy with my lot. I am. But there is a wistfulness. It used to be a resentment. Now it’s just like, I wish I could have done a little more.”

Becoming an artist: “During all of this, I started making art. Suddenly people asked to borrow my art for exhibitions. There was one at Hebrew Union College that got a lot of press. Recently I had a show at a synagogue in Amherst. All without, frankly, too much effort. It was like, whoa, suddenly I’m an artist. But it hasn’t resulted in any income yet.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.