October 14, 2004 - February 27, 2005
From Rome to New York, India to Yemen, Buenos Aires to Bukhara, since 1978, Brenner has recorded the Jewish Diaspora in over 40 countries on five continents. The French photographer, trained as a social anthropologist, has comprised the most extensive record of Jewish life ever created by a single individual as well as chronicled one of the oldest and most diverse peoples.
October 27, 2002 - February 16, 2003
Sharing the Screen was a compilation of film and video excerpts selected by outgoing Jewish Film Festival director, Janis Plotkin, because together they formed a kaleidoscope of cinematic responses to Israeli-Arab relationships over the festival's lifespan. Beginning with Hamsin (1983), the first Israeli feature to focus on Palestinian-Israeli conflict over land, the films spanned the first Intifada (uprising) of the late 1980s, the hopeful period of the Oslo accords (post-1993), their breakdown, and then a second Intifada.
Time Capsule from San Francisco's Lost Sanctuary
September 21, 2002 - February 16, 2003
On Bush Street, an 1895 San Francisco synagogue was about to be renovated as part of a Japanese American assisted living facility. The cornerstone of Congregation Ohabai Shalome, and the time capsule it contained, were opened for the first time in more than a century. The mysteries that lay hidden were on view in this exhibition, which today is the oldest standing synagogue building in San Francisco.
November 14, 2001 - January 31, 2002
The exhibition Face(t)s of Memoryexplored and challenged the power of the photograph to preserve fragments of personal memory. On view were works by contemporary artists Christian Boltanski and Marcelo Brodsky, juxtaposed with a selection of family albums, archival photographs and personal memorabilia from the Judah L. Magnes Museum collection.
March 26, 2000 - June 8, 2000
To the Rescue: Eight Artists in an Archivepresented eight international artists' responses to the historical photographic archive of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a humanitarian relief organization founded in 1914 to help Palestinian Jews during WWI. The work of Magdalena Abakanowicz, Alan Berliner, Wendy Ewald, Leon Golub, Pepón Osorio, Gilles Peress, Fred Wilson, and Terry Winters was on view at the Contemporary Jewish Museum from March 26-June 8, 2000.
March 7, 2004 - June 27, 2004
100 Artists See God is a traveling exhibition organized by Independent Curators International. The guest co-curators, artists John Baldessari and Meg Cranston, are tackling the ever-challenging question of God in this exhibition. Baldessari and Cranston have invited 100 artists to respond to one of art's most enduring challenges: picturing the divine.
October 27, 2002 - February 16, 2003
Stephanie Snyder's site-specific installation, Hamakom (The Place), was at its heart a personal response to the essences and contradictions of Jerusalem's Western Wall. Created through a process deeply influenced by Jewish ritual, it was a poetic re-imagining of sacred space.
March 21, 2002 - June 30, 2002
Enter the irreverent world of comic strip artist Ben Katchor, and meet the hilarious characters who live there, at the Contemporary Jewish Museum's West Coast premiere exhibition of Katchor's illustrations, graphic novels, set designs and drawings. Explore his quirky, Yiddish-inflected cartoon metropolis, home to implausible heroes and oddly nostalgic places, all created by an artist pushing the boundaries of the comic strip into new, soulful terrain.
March 7, 2001 - June 28, 2001
The exhibition by the French conceptual artist Sophie Calle featured work inspired by eruv-the Orthodox Jewish tradition of erecting symbolic borders around public spaces to extend the boundaries of the home. For this work, the artist interviewed Palestinian and Israeli residents of Jerusalem about public places they consider private. The installation was accompanied by a selection of Calle's photographs from Bay Area collections.
November 14, 1999 - January 23, 2000
Making Change: 100 Artists Interpret the Tzedakah Box continued the fifteen year tradition of inviting contemporary artists to re-examine Jewish ritual objects. The subject of this invitational, the tzedakah box (or pushke in Yiddish), is a traditionally humble container found in synagogues, Jewish homes and institutions in which charitable donations are deposited. This ritual object was chosen because it represents a tradition which embodies community outreach, service and empowerment to others. Hebrew for "righteousness," tzedakah is the act of charity in Jewish culture and faith. This show was on view at the Contemporary Jewish Museum from November 14, 1999-January 23, 2000.