They are reading from prayer books, applying makeup in front of mirrors, blowing out birthday candles and standing in army uniforms, guns hanging from their shoulders. They are daughters, mothers and grandmothers, and their images are captured on film and included in Through a Jewish Woman’s Lens, an exhibition featuring the works of both established and emerging Jewish female photographers. Presented by the JCC in Manhattan as part of the Upper West Fest, a collaborative arts festival on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the show offers viewers a glimpse into the lives of Jewish women. A wide range of photographs reflect the diversity and complexity of the women they represent.
“I don’t want Jewish life to be defined by religion, per se,” said Karen Haberberg, curator of the show. “Yes, Jewish women are religious leaders. But Jewish women are also soldiers… mothers, daughters, artists and teachers.” Through this exhibit, Haberberg explains, “we want to show the community that Jewish women can encompass [many] different roles in our society.” Haberberg’s own work is featured in the exhibit, along with the work of such known photographers as Lauren Greenfield, Janice Rubin and Gay Block. Ten artists in all, the women span a wide age range — from their late 20s to their 60s.
“They bring with them a variety of artistic [and] life perspectives,” Haberberg said. “I hope that people can realize the breadth and extent of these Jewish women photographers, and their diverse views on Jewish life.”
A series of lectures, film screenings and readings will be presented in conjunction with the exhibition.
JCC in Manhattan, Laurie M. Tisch Gallery, 334 Amsterdam Ave. (at 76th St.), March 8-May 8, Mon.-Thu. 5:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri. 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat. 1 p.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; free. (646-606-5708 or jccarts.org)