Israel's Most Beautiful — and Unforgettable — Redheads

Nurit Benchetrit's Photos Showcase the 'Ginger 6%'

Nurit Benchetrit

By Tal Niv

Published November 09, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

Photographs of adolescent girls are always also bound up with relations of power, arousal and awareness ‏(both in the subject and in the photographer-gazer‏). This is because they are objects of a certain desire, represented in the way they are looked at − they are women, they are young and they are fiery red. But Benchetrit’s gaze sidesteps this.

She is 25. She does not look at them like a man would, because for her they are not objects of satisfaction. Nor does she look at them like a woman who wants to investigate herself, or investigate an aspect of suffering.

Nothing in Benchetrit’s gaze bespeaks either pleasure-taking in oddness or circus-like exploitation. True, she is taking an interest precisely in those who cannot protect themselves against the sun here, whose protein production is different and are therefore prone to burns. But the photographs do not reflect an approach that takes pleasure in rarity or seem to be uneasy about the way in which a person’s being marked as “rare” impacts doubly on him: first as pursued, and then as exceptional.

Nurit Benchetrit

Still, buds of something harder are discernible in the way Benchetrit looks at the young men: the flaming face of Zvi Malman relates that he is not only an object of admiration.

In other photographs, young men remove their shirts and show more and more skin and then more skin. Not surprisingly, it turns out that Benchetrit is not a redhead, but that her mother is. In the texts that accompany the project, she relates that almost all the girls and women she photographed told her that people who tell them, “I have a fetish for ‘gingers,’” repel them with their vulgarity.

Though only the children are smiling in her portraits, a sense of optimism and joy, of humility, pervades the whole series. Indeed, there are humble artists and there is beauty in humility, and in nonsuffering.

Red hair, overt or private on the body, impacts on me.


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!
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • 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.