Studying Jewish Women Artists
Nashim, an academic journal, has a lively take on Jewish women in the visual arts. Yael Samuel analyzes Meredith Monk’s film “Book of Days” as “a Jewish narrative simultaneously inside and outside time”; Susan Chevlove explicates Hana Iverson’s installation “View from the Balcony” and Melissa Shiff’s “Postmodern Wedding”; Gail Levin discusses censorship, politics and sexual imagery in the works of feminist activists Judith Bernstein, Judy Chicago and others; and Gloria Orenstein discusses women artists who engage with Jewish texts: Helene Aylon, Bruria Finkel, Gilah Yelin Hirsch, Ruth Weisberg and Cheselyn Amato. Judith Margolis edited this special issue and writes about the work of Annette Kleinfeld Lissaüer. A detail from Lissaüer’s “Letter to Mother,” a multimedia sculpture appears above. muse.jhu.edu/journals/nashim/toc/nsh14.1.html
Want to know more about contemporary Israeli artists ? Since 2004, Artis, a non-profit organization based in New York and Tel Aviv, spotlights the best Israeli exhibitions, performances, and projects throughout the world. It hosts events, awards grants and even organizes semi-annual curatorial trips to Israel. A recent publication featured works by Sigalit Landau, Michal Rovner, Yael Bartana, Mika Rottenberg, Miri Segal, Ruti Sela, Keren Cytter, Miriam Cabessa, Anat Litwin, Zipora Fried, Ofri Cnaani, Alona Harpaz, Nelly Agassi, Yael Kanerek, Michal Chelbin, Yehudit Sasportas, Tamar Hirschl, and others. Sign up to be informed of upcoming events at artisrael.org.
From Pioneer to Polished
Israeli Women: A Portrait in Photographs is an exhibit capturing the diversity of Israeli women and girls from early icons of pioneer women and the dramatic Zionist break with traditional Western views of femininity to the later emergence of more conventional images of women as objects of beauty and desire. Through August 10 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. skirball.org
The Deronda Review
This poetry magazine has a special interest in Israel. Co-editors Esther Cameron and Mindy Aber Barad intend it to bridge “Israel and the West… the present and at least the vision of a hopeful future.” They publish poems and prose pieces up to 500 words. Pointandcircumference.com
New Mothers’ Plight
Nearly 15% of all mothers experience postpartum depression. Postpartum Support International operates on the premise that when the mental health of a new mother is compromised, the emotional changes affect the entire family. This organization, founded in 1987 by Jane Honikman, has a volunteer coordinator in each of the 50 U.S. states and for 26 countries, providing current information, and advocating for women’s perinatal mental health. postpartum. net (The site links, in Israel, to Emotional First Aid by Telephone. eran.org.il)
Domestic Violence. Recognizing It in Co-Workers.
Women make up 46% of the U.S. workforce, and 26% of women at Fortune 500 companies identify as survivors or victims of domestic violence. A campaign to address domestic violence teaches companies how to recognize signs that an employee might be a victim of such violence, to respond appropriately within the boundaries of the work environment and to refer victims to local resources. Turns out domestic violence policies can often be modeled on policies already in place, such as those targeting sexual harassment and workplace violence. safehorizon.org/safework/index.html
First Wives World
is a community “for women whose marriages may have ended, but whose lives have only just begun.” Created by and for divorced women, it aims to redefine the divorce experience by providing new ways for women facing similar circumstances to connect. Check out resources, information and even relevant entertainment, such as the “Hot Flashes” webisodes written by Mimi Schmir. firstwivesworld.com
Did You Adopt an Asian Child ?
An exhibition wants your memorabilia! Do you have a birth announcement, invitation to a naming ceremony, bar/bat mitzvah with the child’s Asian, English and Hebrew names? Photos? Posters or pamphlets reflecting the Jewish community response to Asian Jews? If you are willing to donate your material to a permanent collection, contact curator Esther Brumberg at Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York, 646-437-4248; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phat Girls in a Pretty World
For a collection of original pieces exploring the private and public journeys of plus-size women, send fiction, nonfiction, essays, memoirs, poetry/spoken work, comic strips, visual arts or photos, by September 1, (mail only, with SASE) to the editor. Phat Girls Anthology, c/o Jill Andrew, 2620 Eglinton Ave East, PO Box 42503, Toronto, ON Canada M1K 2S0, Canada. jillandrewmedia.com or curvycatwalk.com
Holocaust Memoirs Wanted
Unpublished or previously unavailable memoirs by holocaust survivors are sought for a worldwide electronic memoirs collection being established in cooperation with Yad Vashem, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Memorial de la Shoah/Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine and other holocaust organizations. Documents in any language accepted into this collection will be made available to organizations and individuals documenting or researching the Shoah. Authors, their families, or rights-holders can submit manuscripts to Stella Breckenridge, Memoirs Outreach Coordinator, 646-485- 2130, Stella.Breckenridge@claimscon.org, memoirs.claimscon.org.
Rutka’s Notebook. Another young girl’s holocaust diary found.
Fourteen-year-old Rutka Laskier, a talented young writer, recorded three months of her life in the Jewish ghetto in the Polish town of Bedzin in 1943. After the war, her diary was retrieved from under the stairs of their apartment, as per her instructions, by her non-Jewish neighbor and friend, Stanislawa Sapinska, who told no one about it for more than 60 years. In 2006 Stanislawa’s son-in-law shared it with local historians who brought it to the attention of Yad Vashem. It is now published, along with photos, a selected bibliography of adolescent holocaust diaries by Havi Ben Sasson Dreifuss and a family history written by Rutka’s Israeli half-sister, Zahava Laskier Scherz, who only learned their father had had another family before the war when she herself was 14. The book is published by Yad Vashem and Time Books.
Beyle Schaechter Gottesman
Now 88, she has played a central role in reviving Yiddish song and poetry for the next generation of artists. In a new film she talks about the Yiddish cultural milieu of Czernowitz (then Rumania), where she was the daughter of a traditional folk singer and a passionate Yiddishist, the war years and her development as a modern Yiddish poet and songwriter in New York, and shares her strong views about Yiddish literature and creativity. “Beyle Schaechter Gottesman Harbstlid” (Autumn Song) is a 72-minute interview by her son, folklorist/journalist Itsik Gottesman. They speak in Yiddish (of course), and there are English subtitles, plus photo stills and Schaechter-Gottesman’s music. This is the second production of “Worlds Within a World: Conversations with Yiddish Writers” leagueforyiddish.org or 212 889-0380.