About the Kickstarter:
For too long, Sukkah walls have been devoid of Jewish Heroines. The seven Ushpizin (all men) have been very common themes of sukkah decorations, and the custom of hanging pictures of prominant Rabbis is also popular in certain circles. While there is an Ushpizot poster available for sale, and other similar works of art created over the years, we are aware of no other "women Rebbes" poster available for purchase.
This group of young women artists met to discuss potential muses for the project, and were each paired up with a scholar to learn more about, connect with and ultimately depict. The finished works are stunning, and we are proud to be able to bring all six works together on a single designed poster for a reasonable price.
These laminated posters are being manufactured by a vendor in the same office building as JOFA, and we are able to closely monitor the quality of product we will be receiving. They will be made tough to withstand many years of rainy weather in your sukkah, while also highlighting the stunning imagery of the portraits.
Images of the poster:
Meet the scholars:
Nechama Leibowitz (1905-1997) Nechama Leibowitz was born in 1905 in Riga, educated in Berlin, and moved to Palestine in 1930. She taught at many schools including Tel Aviv University, where she was appointed a full professor. In 1942, she began distributing stenciled pages of questions on the weekly Torah portion, They reached a vast audience and were eventually translated and published. She was awarded the Israel Prize for Education. Though her thoughtful, literary approach to the Bible revolutionized Torah study, she humbly insisted, "I only teach what the commentaries say. Nothing is my own.” Her tombstone is inscribed, "Nechama Leibowitz: teacher."
After graduating high school in Baltimore, Henrietta Szold established the first American night school to teach English and vocational skills to Jewish immigrants in Baltimore. After moving to New York, she became an editor for the Jewish Publication Society. At the age of 49, her first trip to Palestine sealed her life's mission: the health, education, and welfare of the Yishuv. In 1912 she founded Hadassah, which became the largest and most powerful Zionist organization in America, and which now boasts 330,000 members worldwide. Starting in 1933, Szold also ran Youth Aliyah, which helped save 30,000 children from Nazi death camps.
Rachel "Ray" Frank was born in San Francisco to Polish immigrant parents at a time when Jewish communities were just beginning to emerge in the West. She taught bible studies and Jewish history in California, where she quickly garnered a large following. She rose to prominence after delivering a series of sermons in Washington for the High Holidays and was soon dubbed "the Jewess in the Pulpit," and later, "the Golden Girl Rabbi of the West." Although she had no rabbinic aspirations, Ray Frank's presence in the pulpit made space in the collective imagination for public female religious leadership.
Farha "Flora" Sassoon was born in Bombay to a family of influential tradesmen from Baghdad known as the "Rothschilds of the East." By the age of seventeen, she knew Hebrew, Aramaic, Hindustani, English, French, German and had a thorough knowledge of Jewish texts. She wrote on Rashi, lectured on religious education, read publicly from the Torah, and her expertise in Sephardic doctrine and practice was unparalleled. According to historian Cecil Roth, she “walked like a queen, talked like a sage and entertained like an Oriental potentate.”
Born in Poland, Beilka "Bessie" Gotsfeld immigrated to New York with her family in 1905. In 1925, she founded the precursor of AMIT, an organization connecting religious women to the cause of Zionism and expanding educational and vocational opportunities for religious women in Israel. Gotsfeld became the Palestine representative of the organization, eventually settling in Tel Aviv. She worked to establish three urban vocational schools for adolescent girls and two large farm villages that provided Jewish children, Holocaust survivors, and new immigrants educational programs and resources.
Born in Krakow to poor Hassidic parents, Sarah Schenirer left school after she turned thirteen and became a seamstress. After World War I broke out, she started to teach Jewish studies to a group of girls. This blossomed into 300 schools now known as the "Beis Yaakov" network, and by the time of her death approximately 35,000 girls were learning at Beis Yaakov schools. In her will, she wrote: "My dear girls, you are going out into the great world. Your task is to plant the holy seed in the souls of pure children. In a sense, the destiny of Israel of old is in your hands."
Meet the Artists:
Trans-disciplinary artist & death researcher. @octothorpess. some words & illustrations at http://hypocritereader.com/contributor/michelle-bentsman. More at michellebe.com (coming soon)
Coretta graduated from Brandeis University with a major in oil painting in 2010 and had the honor of being a Drisha art fellow.
Devorah Leah Levine
Devorah Levine has a Bachelors in Art Education. Her focus is portraits and she has been influenced by artists such as Klimt and Frida Kahlo.
Elke Reva Sudin
@elkerevasudin | www.elkerevasudin.com
Elke is a #Brooklyn based illustrator/painter famous for Hipsters&Hassids & @JewishArtNow. Now founder of @NYDrawingBooth & CreaCo @BCHillel. More at www.elkerevasudin.com
Abigail Teller studies paintings conservation and art history at NYU and teaches Jewish art classes at Prozdor Hebrew High School. In her spare time, she bakes and knits.
Sarah Zell Young
Sarah Zell Young lives and works in New York City where she integrates traditional text study of Biblical and Talmudic sources with contemporary understanding of the Jewish body. Currently Sarah is a AJWS Global Justice Fellow and contributes to tikkun olam in her day job working with the homeless on the streets of New York City.
RachFried, MSW is a community organizer, camp program director, Transdisciplinary Design MFA pursuer, and painter of fantastical creatures. She is @therachfried on twitter.