Protest! 70 Years of American Resistance from Magnum Photos

January - April, 2019

"Everything good about America begins with a protest." So declares a handmade poster photographed at the Women's March on Washington, DC, on January 21, 2017. Indeed, America itself was born of protest when in 1773 the Boston Tea Party galvanized colonial resistance to the British policy of "taxation without representation," leading to the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution. Over more than two centuries since, protest has defined and reshaped the landscape of American rights and justice. In partnership with Magnum Photos, this exhibition features photographs of protest from the 1940's to the present day. From street marches and consumer boycotts to civil disobedience and hashtag activism--this exhibit emphasizes protest as a powerful form of civic engagement.

Magnum Photos represents some of the world's most renowned photographers who share a vision to chronicle world events, people, places and culture with a powerful narrative that defies convention, shatters the status quo, redefines history and transforms lives.

Cosponsored with The Joseph Stern Center for Social Responsibility.

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Brenda Zlamany: 100/100 - Portraits from the Hebrew Home at Riverdale

Sep 4–Dec 16, 2018

The Laurie M. Tisch Gallery is honored to present Brenda Zlamany: 100/100, an exhibit of 100 watercolor portraits of residents of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale.

The exhibit, which features 100 portraits of residents of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, honors overlooked members of society. Zlamany involved her subjects in an artistic process that upholds their value and displays the beauty and wisdom that come with age.

As she painted, Zlamany asked herself questions about the end of life that are conveyed in the energy of the portraits. “In the face of loss—loss of loved ones, mobility, taste, hearing, sight—can there still be joy? What is the role of memory? How do past experiences fuel happiness in the present?”

100/100 is the most recent chapter in Zlamany’s ongoing project, “The Itinerant Portraitist,” in which she explores the constructive effects of portraiture in communities around the globe. Previous chapters involved Aboriginal people in Taiwan, girls in an orphanage in the United Arab Emirates, artists in Brooklyn, and taxicab drivers in Cuba.

Zlamany is a painter who lives in Brooklyn. Since 1982 her work has appeared in many solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. She has received a Fulbright Fellowship, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts Artists’ Fellowship in painting, and a Jerome Foundation Fellowship. Yale University recently commissioned two large-scale group portraits by her for permanent public display on campus.

Brenda Zlamany: 100/100 is part of Reimagine End of Life ( The exhibit originated during an artist’s residency at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale by RiverSpring Health in 2017 and was first presented at Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection from Sep 10, 2017, to Jan 7, 2018.

For more information, please visit

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Jerusalem 950m2 (Quarter acre) Alternate Topographies

September 23 - October 8, 2018

The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan is honored to present renowned Israeli artist Avner Sher’s Jerusalem 950m2 (Quarter acre) Alternate Topographies.

For this project, Sher looked at the intercultural encounters taking place in Jerusalem’s Old City as a crossroads between geography and history, art and reality, truth and fantasy. The area of reference, less than a quarter of an acre, contains sites holy to the three major monotheistic religions, causing century-long battles. The city bows under conflicting ideologies and beliefs, attracting passions and fears, becoming a focus of faith and hope.

For Sher, as for many generations of artists, Jerusalem is simultaneously a concrete and symbolic locale, in which the tension between the eternal and the transitory dominate. Avner Sher’s installation is not about Jerusalem as it is today, but as it could have been, presenting it as a concept and not a specific place. The sukkah and the artworks inside of it are made mostly of cork, the external bark of the cork tree, peeled off the trunk once every nine years. Cork’s renewal process is integral to the spirit of Sher’s proposed concept of Jerusalem.

About the Artist: Avner Sher is one of Israel’s most successful commercial architects. He earned his degrees from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and Haifa University. An encounter with graffiti and vandalism encouraged Sher to embrace the raw and violent nature of the vandalistic act. His work is the result of a physically demanding process of injuring, scratching, etching, engraving, and scorching large cork and wood panels. Sher’s work has been exhibited around the world.

This project was introduced as part of the Jerusalem Biennale 2017. A large-scale sukkah, designed by Avner Sher, was built on the western porch of the Tower of David Museum, just below the iconic Minaret, and functioned for seven weeks as Avner Sher's pavilion.

Installation courtesy of E3 {a small gallery}.

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Curating The Past, Creating The Future: Selections from the National Library of Israel

April 18 - July 31, 2018

Highlighting the four central collections at the impressive National Library of Israel this exhibit will focus on the spiritual realm – with sacred books, sacred places and mysticism as well as the ethnographic and secular realm – with Israeli culture, Hebrew/Jewish language. An array of facsimiles of illustrated manuscripts, ancient maps, posters, photographs, this exhibit will introduce our community to the amazing treasures of the Library.

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REDEFINING: 10 Fountain House Gallery Artists Living and Working with Mental Illness

March 8 - April 5, 2018

Redefining showcases an array of works by Fountain House Gallery artists. In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the ReelAbilities Film Festival, which spotlights the diversity of abilities in our world, pieces by 10 Gallery artists working in a variety of mediums were selected for inclusion in this exhibit. Fountain House Gallery and Studio is a non-profit art program that provides an environment in which artists living with mental illness can express their creative visions, exhibit their work, and challenge the stigma that often surrounds mental illness.

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Oded Balilty: Glass Mountains + Sabra Traces

Jan 3 - Mar 1, 2018

The Laurie M. Tisch Gallery is thrilled to present the work of Oded Balilty for his first New York exhibit. Balilty is the first and only Israeli photographer to win the Pulitzer Prize which he was awarded for work he did for the The Associated Press in 2007. His photojournalism has taken him all over the world and his fine art photography has been exhibited widely in Israel and Europe. This exhibition features two of Balilty's ongoing series: Glass Mountains and Sabra Traces.

Glass Mountains focuses on the circular journey that takes places at Phoenicia Glass Works, a glass manufacturer outside the small town, Yeruham, in the Negev. With great beauty, and a contemporary aesthetic, Balilty captures the massive amounts of defected and discarded glass that create stunning mountains of color and texture in an otherwise arid environment.

Sabra Traces documents the prickly pear bush which grows all over the country and symbolically represents the native-born Israeli. However the plant, which has become synonymous with Israeli-rootedness, was in fact introduced to the region in the fifteenth century. Balilty's images capture the plant's beauty and draw attention to how the plant has become nearly invisible due to it's pervasiveness in both the symbolic and tangible landscape of the country.

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Muslim in New York:
Photographs from​ ​the Museum of the City of New York

Sep 1-Dec 10, 2017

The Laurie M. Tisch Gallery is honored to exhibit over 30 images from the collection​ ​of the Museum of the City of New York documenting Muslim New Yorkers from the ​1940s to the current decade. These photographs make visible the long history of​ ​Muslims in New York, and the diversity of cultures and experiences within the Muslim community of this city.

The exhibit includes the work of four photographers. Alexander Alland's images date to the 1940s, a time when New York’s Muslim community included Arabs, Turks, Afghans, East Indians, Albanians, Malayans, and African Americans. Photographs by Ed Grazda come from his 1990s project entitled ​​New York Masjid: The Mosques of New York City , and cover both immigrant populations and native New Yorkers, including converts to Islam, the long-standing African-American Muslim community, and a growing Latino Muslim community. Mel Rosenthal’s photographs of Arab Muslims in New York from the early 2000s were commissioned for the Museum of the City of New​ ​York’s exhibition ​​A Community of Many Worlds: Arab Americans in New York​​ (2002)​. Robert Gerhardt's images, a recent gift to the museum’s collections, document Muslim New Yorkers in the early part of this decade. Together these photographs create a group portrait of New Yorkers who have greatly enriched the life of the city.

Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan is committed to building an inclusive community that fosters interfaith dialogue. We believe this exhibit provides our community an opportunity to learn about our fellow New Yorkers as we work together toward a shared future in this great city.

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Cutting Edges:​Israeli Fashion & Design

April 20 - July​ 30, 2017

On View April-July​


C​urated by Keren Ben-Horin

Cutting Edges is a showcase of contemporary Israeli clothing, textiles, jewelry, and accessories by multiple designers who examine questions of identity and use materials in inventive ways. The exhibition highlights the unique fabrication of Israeli design today. In addition it offers an inclusive approach reflecting the diverse communities, backgrounds, religions, and roots that make Israel a fertile ground for creative design.

Lead sponsorship generously contributed by NILI LOTAN.

This exhibit is made possible with the support of Lia Kes
and the Consulate General of Israel in New York.


Amir Marc
Assaf Reeb
Dori Csengeri
Elina Gleizer
Eliran Nargassi
Ella Levy
For Those Who Pray
Hirut Yosef
Lia Kes
Liat Greenberg
Liora Taragan
Maskit Design House

Meirav Ohayon
Muslin Brothers
Oded Arama & Keren Shpilsher
Pauline Nahara
Pnina Ben-Meir
Reason To Be Pretty by Nophar Haimowitz & Elad Barouch
Ruta Reifen
Sara Bacsh
Tamar Korn
Yael Keila Sagi
Yaron Minkowski

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ON DISPLAY: A Movement Installation by Heidi Latsky Dance

March 4-8, 2017

ON DISPLAY is a deconstructed art exhibit/fashion installation, a commentary on society's obsession with body image by Heidi Latsky Dance. Members of the disability, fashion and performance worlds are often stared at and objectified in their daily lives. ON DISPLAY is a structured improvisation movement piece designed to be performed by diverse people. Presented in the open and free space of the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan lobby, the installation allows performers and the public alike to fully witness each other. Here the viewer is as much on display as the viewed. This is a platform to experience and broadcast difference; to elevate and celebrate it within a clear context.

Presented as part of Reelabilities Film Festival

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Ganze Megillah

January 9 - March 29, 2017

In celebration of Purim, The Laurie M. Tisch Gallery is pleased to exhibit the stunning, large-scale illuminated Scroll of Esther created by the well-known Israeli painter Avner Moriah. The ancient story of Esther is told by mixing Persian, Indian, and Islamic art miniature style paintings with Italian Renaissance styling and contemporary humor, politics and sensibilities.

Ganze Megillah (Yiddish for "The Whole Story") features 18 framed illuminated manuscripts on parchment, measuring over 54 feet and containing over one million brushstrokes.

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"In the Place Where We Stand" Musrara, Identity and Transience

December 1-8, 2016

Situated at the divide between West and East Jerusalem, Musrara, the Naggar Multidisciplinary School of Art and Society is dedicated to teaching creativity in the fields of Visual Arts, New Media and Music, and fostering arts initiatives that contribute to the community via special programs for underrepresented segments of Israeli society, creating a space for authentic exploration of the complicated Israeli identity. On exhibit is an array of work from students and alumni in celebration of the school's 30th anniversary.

Presented by the 10th Anniversary Other Israel Film Festival.

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October 16 - 23, 2016

In collaboration with the Laurie M. Tisch Gallery's exhibit Intersections: Selected Works from The Jerusalem Biennale, JCC Manhattan is honored to have renowned Israeli artist David Gerstein's site specific sukkah, ALEF-BET, on our sidewalk.

The sukkah is a temporary dwelling built for the fall harvest festival of Sukkot. It is intended to mimic the temporary shelters that were built near the fields at harvest time in ancient Israel, and to replicate the experience of the biblical Israelites who built fragile shelters in the wilderness. Sitting in a sukkah is intended to shake up our sense of what is temporary and what is permanent.

For the duration of the holiday Jews are told to make their home temporary and the sukkah their permanent dwelling. Traditionally all meals are eaten in the sukkah and some even sleep in the sukkah. The festival of Sukkot and the practice of sitting in the sukkah is intended to encourage the practice of gratitude--to be aware of the bounty of the harvest and the solidity and security of our homes while awakening the awareness that nothing is permanent and cultivating empathy and generosity towards those who do not enjoy such abundance.

About the Artist:
David Gerstein is widely considered to be one of the most creative and innovative artists in Israel. He has exhibited extensively at international venues in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, Rome, Singapore, New York, and Tel Aviv. His monumental statues adorn Israeli cities; a playground of his invention continues to delight the children of Jerusalem; the Hebrew University commissioned the design of many statues and now the Upper West Side of Manhattan will feature his first sukkah.

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Intersections: Selected Works from The Jerusalem Biennale

September 1 - November 21, 2016

Founded in 2013, The Jerusalem Biennale is dedicated to exploring the places of intersection between contemporary art and the Jewish world. Following the success of the first two Biennales which included over 250 artists from all over the world, The Laurie M. Tisch Gallery is honored to host the first New York exhibition highlighting the innovative work that is defining contemporary Jewish art.

For more information on The Jerusalem Biennale please visit:

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BaMakom: The Photography of Nino Herman

May 11 - August 12, 2016

BaMakom: The Photography of Nino Herman

For over 40 years, Nino Herman has been documenting the human face of Israel. Herman began his career as a press photographer in the Israeli government's media bureau; later he became the photography editor for the Israeli newspaper Maariv. These early photographs show the beginning of Herman's steady dedication to his subjects: whether immigrant children or the prime minister, all of Herman's subjects are presented as people of equal importance, with stories to tell. This exhibit also includes some of Herman's more recent work, which focuses on the street life of Tel Aviv.

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Laura Swanson: Resistance

March 10 - April 17, 2016

Laura Swanson: Resistance

Resistance is a solo exhibition of recent work by New York–based artist Laura Swanson. Over the past decade, Swanson has become known for her examination of the behavior of looking at physical difference and dwarfism, working across various media including drawing, installation, photography, and sculpture. Four feet tall in stature, the artist often depicts herself in both inviting and disrupting portraits, where she attempts to conceal herself in order to simultaneously resist and call attention to the viewer's gaze. Rather than acting as a validation of identity, Swanson's work confronts and twists the relationship between subject and viewer to question bias toward the sameness and size of bodies, expectations of portraiture, histories of looking at difference, and assumptions when encountering people with disabilities in everyday life.

Curated by Amanda L Cachia

Part of the Eight Annual Reelabilities Film Festival, the leading arts festival on disabilities in the country.​

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Know From Where You Came and Where You Are Going: The Work of Aithan Shapira

January 6-March 2, 2016

Know From Where You Came and Where You Are Going:
The Work of Aithan Shapira

Israeli-American international artist Aithan Shapira’s life has always encompassed multiple viewpoints that translate into his paintings, prints, and concrete works. In his first New York exhibit, Shapira asks: what does hope look like today? And he answers by inverting a universal symbol of hope: a life preserver cast in concrete. For Shapira hope anchors current political, economic, and environmental campaigns; hope is simultaneously the aspiration to end wars and the catalyst to begin them—a measure of human life. Presented alongside these cement sculptures will be a suite of paintings that further meditate on hope with themes of migration, and made of paint Shapira made himself by mixing soil from the Judean Desert, olive tree ash, and oil.

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Labscapes: Views Through the Microscope

September 8, 2015 - December 16, 2015

Where Art Meets Science
Images from Technion—Israel Institute of Technology

Technion—Israel Institute of Technology is among the world's leading science and technology universities. Researchers at Technion help solve our world's greatest challenges, focusing on innovation in areas ranging from biotechnology and aerospace to nanotechnology and computer science. In LABSCAPES, we are offered a unique look through the microscopes of top Technion scientists, reminding us that the world's complexity is far greater than our eyes can detect. The images on exhibit are taken by researchers with a range of microscopes used in the fields of exact sciences (chemistry and physics), life sciences, engineering, and medicine. The images are beautiful reminders that human perception is a feeble means by which to comprehend the large and layered world we inhabit.

Curated by Anat Hargil.

This exhibit is made possible thanks to Technion–Israel Institute of Technology and the American Technion Society.

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What’s Under Your Pareo? Unravelling the Work of Lea Gottlieb

Apr 20, 2015–Aug 2, 2015

Go on a journey through the fantastical world of fashion designer Lea Gottlieb (1918-2012). Her artistic approach and unique creative process revolutionized swimwear design and placed her company Gottex at the pinnacle of the international luxury market.

The exhibition features extant garments and bathing suits, textiles, original sketches, and archival prints which showcase the dazzlingly rich visual vocabulary that became her hallmark in a career spanning over half a century.

This exhibit has been made possible thanks to a generous loan from Design Museum Holon.

We are grateful to the Town Shop for its generous support in making this exhibit possible.

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Growing Inclusively: The Jack and Shirley Silver Center for Special Needs

Mar 6, 2015–Apr 13, 2015

The Jack and Shirley Silver Center for Special Needs builds and nurtures an inclusive and accepting community where individuals with varying special needs and their families can participate and succeed in innovative social, recreational, and educational activities.

This multimedia exhibit explores the stories and celebrates the diversity of our community as we work to meet the changing needs of individuals with disabilities in the 21st century.

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Ruth Gruber: Photojournalist

Dec 9, 2014–Feb 25, 2015

Ruth Gruber: Photojournalist celebrates the remarkable life, vision, and heroic tenacity of a twentieth-century pioneer and trailblazing photojournalist. Now over 103 years old, Gruber became the youngest PhD in the world at age twenty. Photography was a component of her earliest reportage; her work as a photojournalist now spans more than five decades on four continents, from her groundbreaking reportage of the Soviet Arctic in the 1930s and iconic images of Jewish refugees from the ship Exodus 1947, to her later photographs of Ethiopian Jews in the midst of civil war in the 1980s. A selection of Gruber's vintage prints will be presented alongside contemporary prints made from original negatives, early film footage, and personal ephemera from her archive.

Ruth Gruber: Photojournalist is made possible by Friends of Ruther Gruber and International Center of Photography

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Incubating Ideas and Cultivating Connections: The Greenhouse of Ein Shemer

September 1–November 1, 2014

Fall 2014 is the beginning of the shmita (Sabbatical) year, when according to biblical law the land of Israel must lie fallow. Shmita reminds us that it is incumbent upon us to treat the earth with care, reverence, and humility. If we honor those practices and translate them into the ways we live our lives and interact with those at the margins, we can truly transform our community.

Incubating Ideas and Cultivating Connections: The Greenhouse of Ein Shemer helps us examine the agricultural themes of shmita, and serves as an introduction to The Greenhouse of Ein Shemer, Israel, a remarkable place of learning, growth, and innovation. Through the recreation of many of the Greenhouse's living walls alongside photographs by the renowned photographer Frédéric Brenner, Incubating Ideas and Cultivating Connections strives to remind us of a core lesson of shmita: The earth does not belong to us; we are merely its stewards.

To learn more about Shmita at the JCC, please visit To learn more about The Greenhouse of Ein Shemer, please visit

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Off Label: Ceremonial Objects Imagined

April–July 2014

Off Label is an examination of boundaries between the sacred and the mundane, between tradition and innovation. The work of Dov Abramson and Ken Goldman reside within the often uncomfortable, sometime humorous place, of contradiction. This exhibit features sculpture, photography, and video.

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Casual Conversations: Alina and Jeff Bliumis

December 4–February 26, 2014

Alina and Jeff Bliumis are New York-based conceptual artists who use artistic initiatives to start public dialogues about the politics of community, cultural displacement, migration, and national identity. Casual Conversations is a two-part project that the couple started on July 7, 2007, in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. In the early morning hours, the couple asked 45 beachgoers in this predominantly Russian neighborhood to define their identity. Each participant could pose with any of three signs (with the words "Russian," "Jewish," and "American") or come up with their own self-definition by creating a unique sign. This event was photographed. What resulted is an anthropological inquiry into this Brooklyn immigrant community.

The second part of Casual Conversations is an interactive station that allows our community to answer questions about our own cultural identity. Alina and Jeff ask that each participant think about their identity and write descriptive words of their choosing on the white boards and then take their own photograph.

Casual Conversations is exhibited in partnership with Generation R at Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan and is made possible in part by a gift from Genesis Philanthropy Group.

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Sol Lewitt: Shaping Ideas

August 15–November 12, 2013

Sol LeWitt: Shaping Ideas is a consideration of the artist's deep understanding of surface and depth, color and form. It aims to contextualize Wall Drawing #599: Circles 18" (45 cm) wide, from the center of the wall, with alternating white, yellow; white, red; and white, blue bands, installed in the lightwell at the JCC's lobby entry. The exhibition represents a variety of media with works dating from 1975 to 2005. Highlights include preparatory drawings for a synagogue in Chester, Connecticut, and for his Lost Voices project (2005), in Stommeln, Germany, both on public view for the first time. The exhibition's works on paper, including the artist's seminal Lincoln Center poster, reflect LeWitt's continued use of drawings and prints to work out ideas through his career.

LeWitt was also a steadfast advocate for expanded access to art, committed to bringing art beyond museums and galleries and into public space. In addition to sculptures in public plazas in many cities across the globe, New York is home to a large number of public artworks. Shaping Ideas features an interactive map designed in conjunction with cultureNOW that highlights the many LeWitt wall drawings in Manhattan public spaces.

The JCC is grateful to The LeWitt Estate, which has loaned a large number of works in the exhibition, and has provided Wall Drawing #599 to us on long-term loan.

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Your Fortunate Eyes: Photography by Rudi Weissenstein

June 1–August 1, 2013

In 1936, Rudi Weissenstein, a 26-year-old photographer, emigrated from Czechoslovakia to Palestine with little more than 10 lire and his camera. In his adopted home Weissenstein documented everything from the settlers' way of life to the incredible landscapes of the Negev. In 1940, he and his wife, Miriam, opened Pri-Or Photohouse, a photo studio at 30 Allenby Street in Tel-Aviv. Weissenstein's work in documenting the development of Tel Aviv is unparalleled. After a struggle to preserve this incredible archive of Israeli history, the shop is still open today, managed by Rudi and Miriam's grandson, Ben Peter, and located at 5 Tchernichovsky Street.

This exhibit, which features 42 of Weissenstein's images, takes its name, Your Fortunate Eyes, from a Goethe quote that Weissenstein’s widow, Miriam, selected for his tombstone: You, fortunate eyes, All you’ve seen, there, Let it be as it may, Yet it was so fair!

Exhibit Credits: Curated by Ben Peter, Michal Amram & Andreas Grau-Fuchs, Pri-Or Photohouse Tel Aviv

Exhibit idea and concept, overall design as well as texts and selection of photographs are by Ben Peter, Michal Amram & Andreas Grau-Fuchs. The photos are archival pigment prints (2013), printed on Hahnemühle fine art paper.

Your Fortunate Eyes was made possible with the generous help of the Consulate General of Israel in New York, Office of Cultural Affairs in the US.

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Positive Exposure: The Spirit of Difference-Photographs by Rick Guidotti

April–May 2013

As a fashion photographer in NYC, Milan and Paris, Positive Exposure's Rick Guidotti worked for a variety of clients including Yves St Laurent, Revlon, L’Oreal, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and GQ. But a chance encounter on a Manhattan street in 1997 changed everything. Rick explains: "I was always told who was beautiful, who the ‘model of the moment’ was and who I had to photograph. It was so frustrating to follow someone else’s idea of beauty. As an artist, I saw beauty everywhere. One afternoon I spotted a young woman waiting for a bus on Park Avenue. She was stunning. She didn’t have pigmentation in her eyes, hair or skin. She had ALBINISM. I had just come from this huge casting for a client where I saw every model in town but not one of them looked like this gorgeous kid. I had never met a model like this before. I knew that she was definitely not included in the parameters of the beauty standard. I ran to a local bookstore to understand more about albinism, but found only negative images full of sadness, despair, loneliness, isolation and disease. I then found images of many other genetic conditions where kids in their underwear were up against walls in doctors’ offices, looking sick and scared with black bars across their eyes. Where was the humanity in any of these images? Where was this beautiful girl’s photograph?”

This exhibition celebrates 15 years of Positive Exposure. Founded by Rick Guidotti and Diane McLean, MD, PhD, MPH, Positive Exposure is a highly innovative arts organization working with individuals living with genetic, physical, cognitive and behavioral differences. Through vigorous cross-sector partnerships with health advocacy organizations, governmental agencies and educational institutions, Positive Exposure utilizes the visual arts to significantly impact the fields of genetics, mental health and human rights. To learn more, visit

Through the faces and stories captured in Rick’s photographs, beauty is redefined, science is coupled with smiles and we can celebrate individuals whose uniqueness strengthens our community.

Positive Exposure: The Spirit of Difference is part of the ReelAbilities NY Disabilities Film Festival. Visit

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Reinventing the Wheel: Stories of Life after Spinal Cord Injury

March 5–25, 2013

21 photographers were paired with 21 people with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI).

The participants for the project live across the country and have a range of abilities, interests, ages, and backgrounds.

This collection of visual storytelling highlights the real lives of people with SCI and aims to start conversations, change attitudes, and empower people to work on goals like increasing access to housing, employment, education, and recreation for people with disabilities.

Reinventing the Wheel is a project of BACKBONES, an organization that provides one-on-one peer support for people with spinal cord injuries and their families nationwide through phone, in-person, or web-based connections. The organization was founded in Chicago in 2009 by Reveca Torres, who suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident at the age of 13 in 1995.

Reinventing the Wheel tells stories about family, like that of a mother who has SCI whose child is 5 years old, and stories about strength, like that of a young man who is returning to college after his SCI. Reinventing the Wheel is about ability.

Reinventing the Wheel is part of the ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival.

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Exteriors: Michael Kovner

January 9–February 28, 2013

Michael Kovner is an Israeli painter renowned for his depictions of the raw landscape of his home country. The son of Abba Kovner—a resistance fighter, partisan, and poet—Michael was born in 1948 and raised on Kibbutz Ein Hachoresh. Kovner's affection for landscape runs deep; he writes, "As a young boy I was deeply attracted to the physical beauty of the world and wanted to give expression to that love through painting."

In the early 1970's, Kovner came to the US to study at the New York Studio School with Philip Guston, Jack Tworkow, and Mercedes Matte, and was heavily influenced by Abstract Expressionism. Upon his return to Israel in 1975, Kovner began his now long-celebrated career as a landscape painter. His works have been included in numerous exhibitions in museums and galleries all over the world.

Exteriors presents a selection of the artist's works made during prolonged stays at a studio he keeps in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood. Both Brooklyn and the Upper West Side play leading roles in Kovner's New York life. Though man-made structures have sometimes appeared in the horizons of his desert landscapes, the works exhibited in Exteriors fully demonstrate Kovner's understanding of urban terrain. As gallerist Gabi Bineth notes, "Michael Kovner's New York is not readily visible, and does not include the city's most famous icons.

Kovner's New York is much more intimate[…]it entices the viewer to seek out the city’s genuine heirlooms. From a barge crossing the river to tenement housing and an intimate visit to the artist's studio, Kovner shows us the view from his window into the bustling world of this magnificent city, with its skyline and its red brick buildings amid the changing seasons, from scorching summer to the cold, gray winter."

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November 2012–January 2013

Danny Goldfield’s NYChildren is a growing exhibit of 169 portraits reflecting the acclaimed photographer’s quest to photograph one child from every country on earth, finding each child living in New York City. Each photograph tells its own uniquely compelling story; the exhibit, in total, encourages a communal effort to live more inclusive lives. A LIFE magazine cover story describes, "From Goldfield’s many images, a single, rich, complex—and beautiful—portrait emerges."

Goldfield believes that "we live in a world with far too much fear and misunderstanding," and his project aims to inspire the courage needed for strangers "to meet and get to know one another in order to build trust and friendship." As urban populations grow increasingly multinational, NYChildren is not only reflective of the city’s current community, but it also helps us envision a more harmonious future. Through snapshots of childhood moments and expressions, NYChildren offers a uniquely hopeful perspective on our ever-increasingly interconnected world.

Genesis of the Project

In 2003, while driving across the United States, Danny Goldfield stopped at a gas station in Mesa, Arizona and met Rana Sodhi, a Sikh whose brother was shot and killed in a hate crime on September 15, 2001. Days after the 9/11 attacks, a neighbor shot Balbir because of his turban and beard. In 2002, Sukhpal, Rana’s second brother was killed under mysterious circumstances in San Francisco, California. Rana’s response to these violent acts against his brothers was to encourage understanding and peace. Rana said, "It is important for me to get out of my house and meet my neighbors." Inspired by Rana’s simple prescription to make the world safer, Goldfield started the NYChildren project. What started as a grassroots effort on the streets of New York has grown enormously, reaching a global audience of over 250 million people.

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Jacqueline Nicholls: New Work

September 1–November 1, 2012

Jacqueline Nicholls is a visual artist and Jewish educator based in London, England. She uses her art to explore and challenge traditional Jewish ideas in untraditional ways. Using a variety of different media and craft techniques she engages and responds to traditional Torah and Talmudic texts in her work, using her art process as a bringing together of the art studio and the beit midrash (traditional Jewish place of study and learning).

In her first solo show in New York, at The Laurie M Tisch Gallery, with the curatorial guidance of Tobi Kahn, presents three of Nicholls’ projects—The Kittel Collection, an exploration of clothing in Jewish Tradition; Ghosts & Shadows: The Women Who Haunt the Talmud; and Gather the Broken, a series of drawings corresponding to the Omer (the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot). Jacqueline would like to thank Tobi Kahn, Megan Whitman, Laura Kruger, Gabrielle Birkner, and Amichai Lau-Lavie for their support. She also thanks all her chavrutahs, past and present, for opening her mind to the infinite possibilities within the text.

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Viewfinding: TLV-NYC Adam Cohen & Gil Lavi

May 30–August 10, 2012

Viewfinding exhibits the work of two Israeli-born, New York-based photographers, Adam Cohen and Gil Lavi. The show is a portrait of two cities—Tel Aviv and New York—that explores the desire to find similarities in differing terrains. It reveals the unique character of both locales while also exploring the role of the artist to find his own perspective in an ever-shifting, increasingly globalized existence. Both Cohen and Lavi have worked extensively in Israel and the United States, developing their aesthetics within these cultural landscapes. This show aims to introduce the individual talents of Cohen and Lavi, allowing us to see the stylistic differences of these two biographically similar photographers. But Viewfinding also strives to create aesthetic moments in which we cease to compare and contrast cities and photographers, and instead embrace the ambiguity of our perception.

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Collaborative Creations

May 1–25, 2012

Over a year ago, a challenge was presented to the teachers of the nursery school: What could our school do to honor and celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the JCC and our school, while simultaneously making the remarkable work of our children visible to a larger audience' The answer seemed simple: create an art show to be held in The Laurie M. Tisch Gallery. The actual process of planning and implementing this show proved to be complex and arduous, but the work that you see before you is truly a labor of love, reflecting our strongly held belief in the capabilities and potential of all children.

The work that we have chosen to include in this show celebrates the creative energy and inspired imagination of every child in our program. Each piece is collaborative in nature, reflecting the unique voice of each child within the larger context of our classroom communities. They are small pieces of larger studies which evolved over a period of time, and were the outgrowth of the children’s interests and investigations. While listening to the children, and encouraging them to listen to each other, the teachers were able to scaffold their interests and support their process of discovery and creation. In addition, by providing interesting and thought-provoking materials, and allowing the children extended periods of time to explore them, the children were able to develop specific skills and competencies. The children also developed many problem solving skills and social strategies, as they fused their individual ideas into a joint artistic vision.

The works in this show represent a diverse mosaic. When you stand close to them you can see the unique gifts of each child. When you step a little further back you can see that each small part contributes to a greater whole. It is only by looking at each work from both perspectives that one can fully understand and appreciate our school community.

It is with great pride and respect that we present the work of the children of The Saul and Carole Zabar Nursery School.

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Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age

March 6–April 27, 2012

Presented by Moving Traditions and the National Museum of American Jewish History, this exhibition shows how in 90 years, bat mitzvah evolved from a radical innovation into a nearly universal American tradition. A fascinating story of how individuals shape and change ritual, Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age offers a unique lens into the dynamism of Jewish life.

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Community Portrait: An Installation by Gabriel Specter

January–March 2012

The Laurie M. Tisch Gallery invited street artist Gabriel Specter to create a portrait of Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. In order to do this, Gabriel spent countless hours within our 14 floors, going to programs, watching, listening and talking with staff and members of all ages. From the stories Gabriel heard and the people he met and photographed, a portrait of our community came into focus.

Gabriel Specter is an artist whose work has appeared on city streets all over the world. He approaches his subject with an anthropological mindset, paying as much attention to environment and movement as he does to facial expressions and texture.

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Distant Relations: A Collaboration between Lori and Richard Grinker

November 18, 2011–January 5, 2012

An exploration of the dispersal of a single family—originally from western Lithuania—throughout the world, Distant Relations tells the story of diaspora through the stunning works of acclaimed photographer Lori Grinker. Combined with interviews, archival material, and text written by cultural anthropologist Roy Richard Grinker, this very intimate, yet ultimately universal work reflects the key aspects of diaspora as experienced by many families of differing origins and histories, the complex relationship between immigrants and their homelands, religious change, and multiculturalism.

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From Origin to Originality: Contemporary Israeli Art

Presented by Alma—Home for Hebrew culture
September 19–November 8, 2011

From Origin to Originality presents eighteen prominent, contemporary Israeli artists who have participated in or are associated with Alma’s Beit Midrash Yotzrim: a convening of the country’s top artists to study classic Jewish texts. Founded in 1996 by Talmud scholar Dr. Ruth Calderon, Beit Alma in Tel Aviv is an educational center for adults that offers a novel approach to the study of Jewish sources and the exploration of ideas and dilemmas that impact Israeli and Jewish identity. Alma engages this community of artists in a pluralistic and dialogue-based approach to classic Jewish sources, such as the Torah and the Talmud, while also incorporating literature, poetry, and philosophy.

The artworks in this exhibit, created across genres and mediums, address an array of themes such as social and political identity, nature vs. technology, the banal and the poetic. Included in this exhibit are Israel’s most highly regarded artists; some are on the verge of international recognition, while others, like Larry Abramson, have enjoyed long-established careers in the global art scene. For all the artists, the ancient sources examined at Alma inform the creative process and become inspiration for artistic innovation.

Participating artists: Larry Abramson, Elad Armon, Tirzah Bassel, Anat Betzer, Ben Bezerano, Yuval Caspi, Shoshana’h Ciechanowski, Ofri Cnaani, Tsibi Geva, Leor Grady, Yehudit Gueta, Liz Hagag, Michal Heiman, Elad Kopler, Aviv Naveh, Hillah Nevo, Khen Shish, Tal Shochat.

Exhibit Curator: Tsibi Geva; Gallery Director: Megan Whitman; Coordinators for Alma: Dana Abta and Elad Armon.

For more information on Alma, please visit

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Finding Home: The Art of Siona Benjamin

May 18–July 29, 2011

In the vibrant world created by Indian Jewish artist Siona Benjamin (originally from Bombay, now living in the US), Biblical characters appear as blue angels faced with problems and dilemmas of the contemporary world. Her artwork embodies the many cultural and artistic influences embedded in her biography, such as Indian miniature paintings and Sephardic icons, as well as the contemporary styles of pop art and multi-media installations. Find out more about Siona Benjamin.

The themes and energy in Finding Home have inspired a wide array of programs here at the JCC, and we're thrilled to have you get to know Siona and her multi-faceted work.

We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of The Flomenhaft Gallery

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Navigating Disability: An Exploration by 4 Artists

February 3–April 28, 2011

Fountain Gallery, the premier venue for artists with mental illness, and VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, present four artists who are navigating the relationship between disability and their own creative expressions. Jacks Ashley McNamara and Martin Cohen use their mental illness as a source of inspiration. Emily Eifler examines biological forms to exert control over a complex neurological disorder, and in his digital art, Scott Ligon investigates the connection between Attention Deficit Disorder and creativity. Their personal approaches provide a multi-faceted perspective on disability and the creative process.

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Growing Up at the Movies: Israeli Cinema 1930s-2000s

November 4, 2010–January 27, 2011

See the exciting development of the Israel's film industry with movie posters from the pre-state era up through contemporary blockbusters! These images from the early days of emerging Israeli cinema, up through the growth of the 1970s and the boom of the last decade create a vibrant visual display of one of Israel's most popular cultural exports.

Growing Up at the Movies: Israeli Cinema 1930s–2000s is co-sponsored by The Israel Film Center, The Other Israel Film Festival and The Farkash Gallery, Israel.

Sarah’s Trials: Richard McBee

August 25–October 28, 2010

In sixteen massive paintings accompanied by his own text, New York artist Richard McBee explores the Biblical narrative of Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael and Isaac from the perspective of Sarah, the Jewish Matriarch. His eight diptychs frame this story of complex family dynamics and female interactions within a modern landscape punctuated with architectural details and filled with vibrant blues and oranges. McBee is a painter and a writer on Jewish Art whose work has been exhibited across the New York Metropolitan area.

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All the Rest is Commentary: Beth Grossman

May–July 2010

A graphic artwork series, All the Rest Is Commentary, celebrates the universality of the Golden Rule, "Love Your Neighbor as Yourself," in world religions. This site-specific project created for The Laurie M. Tisch Gallery by San Francisco-based artist Beth Grossman examines how this test plays out in Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Sikhism, Jainism, Native American Spirituality, Yoruba African traditional religion, Unitarianism and the Baha'i Faith, using tablecloths as the motif—since all religions have rituals where they break bread together. At this critical moment in history, it seems opportune to explore this time-honored universal tenet through this visually striking exhibition.

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Imagination: Young Photographers Engage the World

February–April, 2010

What unites Jewish communities from Marrakesh to Mumbai has been the unique interplay between cultures, religions, and histories that has been at the heart of the Jewish diaspora experience for thousands of years. This stunning photographic journey through the fresh eyes of college students from the Kivunim program brings to light what it means to be a 'world-conscious' Jew. Curated by Tobi Kahn.

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Eighteen: Natan Dvir

November 2009–January 2010

In conjunction with the JCC's Other Israel Festival, Israeli photographer Natan Dvir has created a photo exhibition, Eighteen, a series of portraits featuring Israeli Arabs at the age of eighteen. Eighteen is a critical age in Israel because it signifies the time when all Israeli Jewish citizens are required to report to the army to begin their service. This exhibition will offer insight into the experience of Arab teens in Israel who are entering adulthood and confronting their own unique sets of challenges living in the Jewish state. Dvir is the recipient of Les Recontres d'Arles 2007 Prix de l'Edition, Best Documentary Project by Photo District News in 2006, and the Santa Fe Image Award, Honorable Mention, in 2008. More information can be found on the artist’s website at

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Eliyahu’s Gleanings: Selected Works of Eliyahu Sidi

September–November 2009

Bernard Eliyahu Sidi, a French-born Israeli artist, works in the tradition of the pre-Bezalel painters in Jerusalem, creating narrative paintings and interpretive illustrations of Jewish texts. This exhibition presents Mr. Sidi's fresh colorful images—flat, primitive, linear, and full of humor. He was awarded the prestigious Jesselson Prize by the Israel Museum in 1996.

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Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Jewish Writers by Robert Giard

June–August 2009

This exhibition shows selected portraits from Giard's two-decade long projects of photographing over 600 gay and lesbian writers. Including images of Allen Ginsberg, Tony Kushner, Adrienne Rich and many others, Giard set about documenting a wide survey of significant literary figures as well as brash new writers on the scene in straightforward, unadorned, yet sometimes witty portraits. Some of the writers pictured in the show regard their Jewish identity as central to their lives; for others it is wholly incidental. In all these stunning portraits, the images often tell more than the sitter intended.

Co-sponsored with the Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, with the cooperation of the Robert Giard Foundation.

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Seven Generations: Photos and Video by Avishai Mekonen

February–April 2009

These stunning works explore the past and future of Ethiopians in Israel. The exhibition juxtaposes what is being lost with the passing of older generations, and what new twists the younger generations are bringing to Ethiopian Jews from an artist within the community who is engaged in the struggle of a new identity.

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Signs of Our Past

November 2008–January 2009

An evocative and historical exhibition of synagogue and Jewish shop signs from New England and the Lower East Side. From explaining rules of the synagogue to newcomers, to signs from Jewish shops such as wine stores and bakeries, the exhibition brings to life a part of the American Jewish experience. The mixture of Yiddish, English, and even "Yinglish," together with the signs' simple charm, evoke a period of American Jewish history. The exhibition demonstrates how the forces of assimilation and acculturation have been a permanent part of the Jewish experience in America, thereby reflecting the ongoing challenges and opportunities in America.

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Creating Justice: Sculpture by Linda Gissen

September–November, 2008

Linda Gissen has created large mixed media sculptures about choices—political, social, economic, legal, religious and physical. Creating Justice encourages the viewer to become involved in helping to solve the overwhelming problems of our world. With the use of familiar objects such as children's toys and easily accessible printed matter taken from newspapers, magazines, and the internet, Gissen draws us into a visual discussion of the huge social problems through humor, irreverence, parody, and sly surprises. The viewer is thus amused, shocked, confronted and informed through materials that suddenly acquire layers of meaning which have previously gone unnoticed. For further information about the artist, visit her website at

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Leisure Time in Israel: Orit Siman-Tov

June–September 2008

Israeli-born photographer Orit Siman-Tov's latest series, Leisure Time in Israel, takes a look at contemporary Israelis and the leisure activities they enjoy. This series goes beyond the images we have become accustomed to in the evening news and presents a diverse community participating in familiar activities such as sunbathing and skiing. These relaxing images create an introverted tension, in so far as they are in direct contrast to the more common images of armed conflict and political strife that the region is known for. Siman-Tov's work has been exhibited all over Israel, Germany, and the United States.

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Vintage Israeli Posters: In Honor of Israel’s 60th Anniversary

April–June 2008

Gain unique insight into the history of Israel through the colorful historic posters of early Zionist events, Israeli milestones, cultural events, consumer products and more. In the fall of 2005, the JCC presented one of our most successful exhibitions, Made in Israel—An Exhibition of Rare and Historical Posters. In honor of Israel's 60th Anniversary, the JCC and the Farkash Gallery have put together a new show of these great historical features.

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The Artistic Spectrum

March–April 2008

According to the Center for Disease Control, one in every 151 children will receive a diagnosis of autism this year. With April being National Autism Awareness Month, we plan to celebrate the children's often unrecognized creative talents with a presentation of artwork by New York City students, ages 10–21.

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Pure Faith: Harel Stanton Photography

January–March 2008

This stunning collection of images by Israeli photographer Harel Stanton explores the sacred sites and rituals of faith from around the world. His photographs feature ethnicities and religions including Orthodox Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. Harel Stanton labels himself an 'ethnographical' photographer and his work focuses on rituals, ceremonies, traditions and other ethnic customs that distinguish the dozens of countries he has photographed. His photographs are published on a regular basis in Israel's leading geographical magazines, Masa Acher and Masa Olami.

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