Ruth Weisberg Unfurled looks back through 30 years of paintings and drawings by the Los Angeles artist, with its centerpiece her 94-foot long “Scroll.” Her works synthesize personal experiences, lifecycle events, biblical motifs, Jewish history and rabbinic legends. “Scroll” includes portraits of a female rabbi and a girl’s bat mitzvah ceremony. Through July 29, at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. 310-440-4500. skirball.org
How a legend happens See self-portraits, small-scale wood objects, and room-size installations by Ukrainian-born artist Louise Nevelson (1899 – 1988), plus video interviews with artists influenced by this towering figure, recognized during her lifetime as one of America’s most innovative sculptors. “Louise Nevelson: Constructing a Legend” is at The Jewish Museum in New York through September 16, and from October 27 thru January 13, 2008 at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Curated by Brooke Kamin Rapaport, the exhibit has a full color catalog from Yale University Press and the Jewish Museum. thejewishmuseum.org
Ita Aber. Flexible bra wires used in “Underwires are a Pain” and a T-shirt made of teabags express the philosophy of life and humor of this Montreal-born artist, a textile conservator and historian. A retrospective exhibit of 75 of Aber’s fiber art works celebrates 60 years of creativity and include a woman’s tallit, ark curtains, a Torah mantle, a Simchat Torah flag and decorative textiles that depict Biblical scenes, Hebrew letters, and ancient Jewish and Chinese symbols. Through October 14 at Yeshiva University Museum. yumuseum.org
Persimmon Tree is a new independent online magazine featuring women over 60. Nan Fink is the editor, and the first issue, March 2007, has fiction by Esther Broner, Marilyn French, and Jane Lazarre; nonfiction by Sandy Boucher and Daphne Muse; Ruth Stone’s poetry; and photography by Melanie Manchot. You can submit your own previously unpublished short fiction, novel excerpts, performance pieces, and nonfiction under 5,000 words. persimmontree.org.
The Coretta Scott King Forest. 10,000 trees will be planted in Israel’s northern Galilee as a living memorial to King’s legacy of peace and justice. This Jewish National Fund project includes among its partners African-American churches in the United States, and aims to strengthen ties between African-Americans and Jews forged during the early Civil Rights Movement. jnf.org/king
Lamentation and lyricism; a dialectic of “impudence and finger-pointing” are some of the associations evoked by the term Yiddishkayt. Poetry in English, translations from Yiddish and Hebrew, and prose by writers Susan Aizenberg, Karen Alkalay-Gut, Celia Dropkin, Marcia Falk, Marilyn Hacker, Kathryn Hellerstein, Nany Himel, Lisa Katz, Berta Kling, Maxine Kumin, Erika Meitner, Alicia Ostriker, Marge Piercy, Sharon Pomerantz, Enid Shomer, and others are included in “Yiddishkayt: Poetry and Prose” a special issue of Prairie Schooner, Spring 2007, $9 from University of Nebraska Press, nebraskapress.unl.edu.
Jewish women and postwar social movements, 1945 – 1982, a new initiative of the online journal Women and Social Movements in the U.S., 1600 – 2000, will build upon the website’s current offerings, which include projects on women who are Protestant, Native American, African-American, Jewish and Catholic. Do you have information on the ways Jewish women’s experiences shaped how they participated in both the Jewish community and the larger American society? Potential topics could include: civil rights; second wave feminism; radical feminism; the Red scare; the wars (Korea, Vietnam, etc.); the “Feminine Mystique”; comparative collaborations with non-Jewish women; voluntary organizations; religious life; suburbia; Zionism; education; lesbian rights. In other words, everything. View examples of document projects at womhist.alexanderstreet.com Send proposals to the editors of the project, Shira Kohn, firstname.lastname@example.org; Rachel Kranson, rachel@ honksandsirens.com; or Kathleen Laughlin, Kathleen.Laughlin@metrostate.edu.
Beste Aller Frauen, Best of All Women: The Female Dimension in Judaism, an exhibit, offers little known details about interesting and resourceful European Jewish women such as Emilie Bach, one of the early businesswomen of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Bertha Pappenheim, feminist and welfare activist who offered shelter in her home to Jewish girls from Eastern Europe who were the victims of trafficking, as well as Regina Jonas, in 1936, the first woman rabbi in Germany. Included are photos and artifacts — such as a Torah curtain (parokhet) donated by Zwi Hirsch Todesco to the Vienna City Temple in 1833, made from his daughter Nina’s wedding dress — that reflect the role of Jewish women in a religious, economic social and cultural context. Through November 18 at the Jewish Museum Vienna. jmw.at
Remembering old Bukhara As the Jews of this vibrant, colorful stronghold along the Silk Road prepared to emigrate to Israel and America (to Queens) in the 1980s, photographer Joan Roth, known for capturing the rich variety of Jewish women’s experience, culture and search for identity throughout the world, documented their daily life and traditions, as lived during their last days there. An exhibition of her photographs (some of which appeared in her book Jewish Women: A New World of Tradition and Change) is presented by the American Sephardi Federation with Sephardic House, at the Center for Jewish History, New York City, through October 2007. Video footage of the legendary folksinger Tofahon, shot by Roth, will play continuously as part of the exhibition. cjh.org
Gateway To Heaven by Anat Vovnoboy is a portrait in film of the city of Hebron, seen through two artists and some children who live there as part of the small enclave of Jewish settlers among the city’s 150,000 Palestinians. Vovnoboy, 25, who emigrated from Russia to Israel in 1991, made the short documentary, which won a “Dusty” award as her thesis at New York’s School of Visual Arts BFA program. email@example.com
Secular Culture and Ideas A new online journal funded by the Posen foundation and hosted at the Jewish book website jbooks.com takes a sharp look at secular Jewish life, culture, and ideas. In a recent issue you can read Rebecca Phillips interview with Lilith’s editor in chief, Susan Weidman Schneider, “Three Decades of Feminism.” jbooks.com/secularculture/Phillips.htm
Spots of Light: To Be a Woman in The Holocaust a new exhibit at Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem, gives voice to particular experiences of the millions of women who were targeted, pursued, abused and murdered by the Nazis in their attempt to thwart the rise of future generations of Jews. At that time Jewish women in Europe inhabited a largely conservative and patriarchal society. In place of external leadership roles, Jewish women assumed roles calling for the “affirmation of life”: the attempt to survive and keep others alive, in whatever situation they found themselves. Torn between dual commitments — to their families (husbands and children) and their elderly parents — they often also assumed responsibility for other needy groups, looking out for themselves in only the most extreme cases. According to curator Yehudit Inbar, the goal of this exhibit is to show the broad and diverse range of actions and responses of Jewish women to their devastatingly extreme circumstances. A new video art work , “To Be a Human Being,” was created specifically for the exhibit by artist Michal Rovner. The work is based on a group interview conducted with 10 Holocaust survivors during one day of filming at Yad Vashem. On view through 2007 and possibly longer. yadvashem.org.il
Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom (SYRF) led by young people, educates, organizes and empowers youth and young adults (ages 16 – 30) to put their faith into action and advocate for pro-choice social justice. A program of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, SYRF tries to empower youth-oriented organizations of various denominations to work with campus clergy, and provides young people with tools to advocate for choice on campuses and in high schools, congregations and communities. syrf.org
Are you a mother? A daughter? Women between the ages of 18 and 100 are invited to explore their struggles and celebrations as daughters. Fill out a questionnaire with confidentiality and anonymity protected, and consider an optional personal conversation after. Clinicians at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, including Judith Friedman, Ella Lasky, Judi Rice, Sydney Ratner, Jaqueline Schatz and LouAnn Smith, aim to use what they learn to develop and conduct workshops and groups for daughters and mothers of daughters. Contact Roberta Estar, beltara@ eathlink.com or 212-213-2635