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Continuity: Defining Jewish Identities

Baltimore's vibrant Jewish community goes back to the mid-1800s. From early on, these women witnessed and participated in a century of momentous change within Judaism that has encompassed the Holocaust, the establishment of Israel, changing roles for women, and evolving frameworks for Jewish education and community leadership. Whether being Jewish was central or peripheral to their own identities, these Jewish women's lives reflect the broadest spectrum of tradition and change, transformation and continuity, that define contemporary Judaism and Jewishness.

Artist's Statement

Hariete Estel Berman
San Mateo, California

My work honors women's stories that have been overlooked throughout history. Each window represents an individual, but the piece is about an identity within a community. Windows frame our perspective on the outside world, yet connect us to our community. The windows, modeled after Baltimore photographs, are constructed from vintage steel dollhouses and recycled tin cans. Detailed images relate to the familiar; overlapping frames, shifting perspectives, shadows, and layers connote the complexities of women's lives, evoking a sense of time and spirit of renewal.The individual stories merge to construct the framework of our communities. Within the windows we can see ourselves and, perhaps, briefly extend that view to a global community. This neighborhood is a metaphor for all communities framing our perspective on the outside world.

"Windows of Memory," by Harriete Estel Berman
Full image
Windows of Memory, by Harriete Estel Berman. Seven windows of vintage steel dollhouses and post-consumer, recycled tin containers, aluminum rivets, 10k gold rivets, brass and stainless steel screws. Dimensions: 75" x 108" x 19"
Photographed by Philip Cohen.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Continuity: Defining Jewish Identities." (Viewed on January 20, 2018) <>.


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