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Photography

Wrestling with God and Jewish Tradition

The biblical figure of Jacob is also called Israel, the one who wrestled with God (Genesis 35:10). As the "Children of Israel," the Jewish community has carried on this legacy of wrestling with God and tradition in our attempts to create meaning in our lives. This Go & Learn guide uses the artwork of the Jewish feminist artist Helène Aylon to explore how we—as individuals and as a community—grapple with ideas about God and Jewish tradition.

Meet Diane Arbus - A Journey into the Surreal

At first glance Diane Arbus might seem like an odd role model.  To many she is simply a photographer of freaks. Her name is usually associated with the marginal and with what some call the “deviant.” Author Norman Mailer once said “giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child.” She struggled with depression for most her life and committed suicide in 1971 at the age of 48. She might not be the best example of a nice Jewish girl, but she is my choice for Women’s History Month.

Meet Sophie Rabinoff as the Camera Saw Her

Sometimes at JWA a story insists on coming to life. 

The article on Sophie Rabinoff  in our online Encyclopedia was a good scholarly representation of the pioneering physician's life and work. But no photos accompanied it; nothing helped lift it off the page. A few weeks ago, her great niece Jennifer Arnold contacted us to say that she had some photos of her aunt and wondered if we could add them to the article.  I told her that we would be happy to, and she kindly scanned and sent them to me.

95 Lives: A Film You Should Know About

Ever wanted to learn more about an amazing, captivating, female pioneer only to find the story undocumented, or worse, simply buried? That's what happened to me when I discovered the work of Jewish American photographer Helen Levitt. I am making a film to fill that gaping hole. 95 Lives uncovers Helen Levitt's legendary career documenting NYC streets for 70 years and transforming American street photography forever. Born in 1913 in Brooklyn to Jewish Russian parents, Levitt died at aged 95 with an outpouring of obituaries celebrating her art while noting her disdain for fame.

Super Mamika

French photographer Sacha Goldberger found his 91 year-old grandmother Frederika feeling depressed. To cheer her up, he convinced her to appear in a photoshoot as a superhero. The result is outrageous, brilliant, and bold. 

Miriam Goodman, 1938 - 2008

One of Miriam Goodman’s greatest pleasures was bringing people together. Often, she did so by inviting them for a meal. “My ritual is the dinner party;” she writes in her prose-poem “Dinner on the Mowing,” “... my church the chicken, my guests my minyan.”

Sally Cherniavsky Fox, 1929 - 2006

I last saw Sally three weeks ago today. It was a crisp, clear day, like today. I had traveled up from Connecticut with a heavy heart because I knew she was in the last stages of a terminal illness. But I found Sally looking so good, feeling so good; she was spirited and still completely engaged with the world. In fact, we even went on line together and for an hour or so researched images connected to a recent controversy. But mainly we talked. She took me on a tour of the art she and Maury had collected over the years.

Diana Mara Henry's photographs of the Women's Pentagon Action protest march

November 17, 1980

Photographer Diana Mara Henry documented historic women’s march on the Pentagon.

Women reading Torah: Empowerment in Photos

Earlier this week, a post on The Sisterhood blog (with whom JWA regularly cross-posts) publicized a call from Women of the Wall for photographs of women with Torahs as part of a solidarity movement with WOW, who have been subject to harassment and arrest over the past several months in their attempts to hold egalitarian Rosh Chodesh services at Robinson’s Arch in Jerusalem.

Birth of photographer Annie Leibovitz

October 2, 1949

Annie Leibovitz, known for her photographic portraits of celebrities, was born.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Photography." (Viewed on March 5, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/photography>.

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