"Being Jewish": A Bay Area Portrait

Exhibition on view June 8, 2008 – October 18, 2011

Kai Shuman

Kai Shuman
Breaking the Challah at the end of Friday night service


“Being Jewish”: A Bay Area Portrait reflects the vibrant texture of local Jewish life and celebrates the diversity of the Bay Area. For this exhibition the Museum launched a community-wide call for photographs, asking people to broadly consider what “being Jewish” in the Bay Area means to them.

A mural of these photographs offers a dynamic mix of Jewish expression-from challah to hiking, from Hanukkah to hanging out with family and friends, from Torah to baseball. Similarly, the objects on display suggest the flavor of Jewish life in the Bay Area, both past and present. They represent many of the holidays and lifecycle events, as well as popular expressions of Jewish identity that can be seen in the photographs. In dialogue, the objects and the photographs present a portrait, with room for interpretation and elaboration, of the many different ways of “being Jewish” in the Bay Area today.


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