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Textile Lab

Aug 30, 2018–Jan 6, 2019

The Textile Lab is an experiential annex that brings to life the craftsmanship of and contemporary connections to the traditional ensembles in the exhibition Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, from the Collection of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Located in The Museum’s Stephen and Maribelle Leavitt Yud Gallery, the Textile Lab picks up local threads to journeys begun in the exhibition. With opportunities to dress, weave and stitch; collected interviews and photographs; and with drop-in classes, talks, and gatherings, the Textile Lab invites you to stay awhile.

about the LAB

The Textile Lab offers spaces for lingering, listening, and creating. The weaving looms invite visitors to add to collaborative pieces on large simple looms and explore the process of ikat dyeing and weaving. The dressing station offers yards of fabric for draping, folding, and wrapping to create ensembles inspired by the exhibition, and a community driven photo montage of contemporary ceremonial clothing. The embroidery table has threads and linens to add stitches to decorative motifs and symbols inspired by the exhibition. The video nook features interviews with Bay Area community members whose families are from regions represented in the exhibition.

henna photos

Photo Credit: Torrey Fox

Did you participate in a Henna Ceremony before a Jewish wedding? Please share your photos with us!

As part of Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, from the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, The Contemporary Jewish Museum is seeking high-resolution digital photos of current day uses of traditional Mizrachi and Sephardi clothing, particularly photos from Henna ceremonies to be featured in the Textile Lab.

How to Submit

Please send your high-resolution photos to, along with your contact info, heritage represented, and location and date where the ceremony occurred.

related exhibition

Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, from the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Clothing exists to cover our bodies, but it can also uncover latent histories and personal narratives. To what extent does our choice of dress suggest individual taste or reflect influences from our surroundings?  This exhibition invites us to consider the history and language of Jewish clothing in all its complexity, from cultural dress codes to modes of self-expression, and attests to the diversity of Jewish communities across centuries and around the globe.


“Great Dress” (berberisca or al kesswa l’kebira) (detail). Fez, Morocco, early twentieth century. Silk velvet, gift metal cords, braided ribbons, and embroidered tulle. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Gift of Perla Ben-Soussan, France; Gift of Armand Amselem, France, B66.1099, 1551, B71.0267, B79.0460. Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem by Mauro Magliani.


Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, from the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem is organized by The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and is curated by IMJ's Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life Associate Curator Efrat Assaf-Shapira. The Israel Museum’s curatorial team includes Curator in Charge Daisy Raccah-Djivre; Exhibition Curator Efrat Assaf-Shapira; Scientific Advisors No’am Bar’am Ben-Yossef and Esther Juhasz; Head of Traveling Exhibitions Sivan Eran-Levian and Traveling Exhibitions Coordinator Chandi Medad. Exhibition texts are based on the original 2014 Israel Museum exhibition Dress Codes: Revealing the Jewish Wardrobe and on The Jewish Wardrobe (edited by Esther Juhasz) published by the Israel Museum in 2012. The exhibition is organized at The CJM by Curator Heidi Rabben.

Lead Sponsorship in San Francisco is provided by the Koret Foundation, Gaia Fund, and Maribelle and Stephen Leavitt. Major Sponsorship is provided by The Bernard Osher Foundation and Dorothy R. Saxe. Patron Sponsorship is provided by Taube Philanthropies for Jewish Life and Culture and Suzanne and Elliott Felson. Supporting Sponsorship is provided by Judy and Robert Aptekar, Britex Fabrics, Dana Corvin and Harris Weinberg, Rosanne and Al Levitt, Siesel Maibach, Shelli Semler and Kyle Bach, Eta and Sass Somekh, Ellice Sperber, and the Ullman Family. Additional support is provided by an anonymous donor, David Agger, Morton and Amy Friedkin, Joy and Joel Kellman, Dr. Michael and Davida Rabbino, the Irving and Varda Rabin Foundation of the Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay, Tzipi and Sam Tramiel, and Marilyn and Murry Waldman.

Generous support is provided by the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest.

Support for this exhibition is provided by the Bernard and Barbro Osher Exhibition Fund of The Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Image Credit

Header image: Adobe Stock.