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Persian Jews at Yeshiva University Museum Light and Shadows: The Story of Iranian Jews at the Yeshiva University Museum in New York reviews 2500 years of Jewish cultural history and survival in one Middle Eastern diaspora.  
At the Bialystoker Home A quiet monument to the courage and determination of hundreds of thousands of Jews sits vulnerable on the Lower East Side at 228 East Broadway.  This location was the former of home of the Bialystoker Center, built in 1931.  For many…
Hagar and Rosh Hashanah “After these things, God tested Abraham…" (Genesis 22:1).  What things? The midrash demands that the wording, “after these things” means something immediately after. We, on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, mentally experience these words immediately after the first day’s reading.…
Mourning, Memory & Art David Roberts (1796-1864) was a Scottish painter who in the late 1830’s traveled extensively in the Levant and Egypt documenting “Orientalist” sites in drawings and watercolors. Together with the lithographer Louis Haghe, he marketed his work to a public eager for…
The Art of Matrimony Ketubot are the magical crystal ball into the life, concerns and joys of the Jewish community.  Perhaps no other Jewish artifact is so openly expressive of the dreams, desires and fears of the everyday world of Jewish life throughout the ages. …
Menorahs in Jewish Art Why is the menorah such a powerful and long-lasting symbol of the Jewish people?  After all, its lure ostensibly originates in a relatively minor rabbinic festival, Hanukah.  No disrespect intended, but how can Hanukah compare to the great pilgrimage festivals, Passover,…
Noah, the Dove and the Raven “Hashem saw that the wickedness of man was great upon the earth…”  It was as if His Divine patience had run out and as a result His attribute of strict Judgment overtook His attribute of Mercy (Akedias Yitzchak).  God…
The Problem with God The problem with God is His holiness. After thousands of years of countless trials and many too many unmentionable “sufferings of love” (Berachos 5a) the Jewish people continue to love Him even as many flee His embrace. From the Binding of…
Harbinger of the Future Had Gadya, the playful, threatening and ultimately reassuring song that ends many Seder evenings among Ashkenazi Jews, has a long history in the Haggada. It emerged from German folk songs to be first printed in the Prague Haggada of 1595. The…
Sotheby's Judaica Jewish Art has always been burdened by Jewish history. Unlike most other cultural traditions, the vicissitudes of fate have been particularly harsh and have frustrated any attempt to establish a long-standing cultural tradition for the Jewish people in their far-flung habitations. Frequently just…
At The Brooklyn Museum The Holocaust was the largest mass murder in human history. It casts an indelible shadow over everything that follows, twisting morality and normative values in unfathomable ways. The vast complicity of Western Civilization in the pre-meditated murder of six million Jews…
The Inner View of Isidor Kaufmann The Portrait of a Young Boy by Isidor Kaufmann, offered at auction on November 12, 2002 by Kestenbaum & Company, is one of many singular paintings by this unappreciated master of Jewish art. This modest little portrait, only nine…

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