Thursday, January 18, 2018

New PR/portfolio postcard for 2018

All work from 2017; ready to share in 2018.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Dance class

Stretching and growing.

State College PA.

Friday, January 12, 2018

President George Washington's Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island.

An excerpt from a letter from a great and wise leader, our nations' first President, wrote to the Jewish Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, in 1790. 

"The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.
"It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support...
May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid...
G. Washington"

 I had the privilege to photograph the original letter some years ago, for a museum that needed a quality reproduction for exhibition. 

It was an honor and a privilege to have this opportunity.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Blue winter light

My kitchen, late afternoon winter light.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Singing and Praying Bands

These photographs are of Singing and Praying Bands, an African-American sacred music form that dates back over two hundred years. This worship practice  also called ring shout, is still practiced in a small number of churches around the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Delaware.

Under the direction of folklorist Jonathan David, these pictures were made in two sessions; July 6, 1986 at Jefferson United Methodist Church, in Smithville, Maryland, and on August 3, 1986 at Lane United Methodist, on Taylor’s Island, Dorchester County, Maryland. Jefferson United Methodist is now named New Revived United Methodist, and it is the only one of five related congregations that still exists. Harriet Tubman, the great abolitionist leader and heroine of the Underground Railroad and Civil War, was born in a town with one of these original churches. The Singing and Praying Bands are a continuation of a form of worship service that survives from that era.

Thank you to the men and women of these congregations for letting me into their holy space, and to my friend Jonathan David for the opportunity to receive, learn, and document.

I trust some of the photographs spark a glimmer of what the Bands call “laboring in the spirit.”

Learn more about the Singing and Praying Bands here

Jonathan David's excellent book on them,  Together Let Us Sweetly Live: The Singing and Praying Bands, is available on Amazon.

I have created an artist's book of photographs of this work. It is available to preview and to purchase here.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

American Investigations on the Yule, Bladensburg Road NE, Washington DC

D25- EDCJCC volunteer effort 2017

The Edlovitch DCJCC (the Washington DC Jewish Community Center) along with its associated Behrend Builders program, organized over 1000 volunteers this year to help out those in need on Christmas Day. This is an annual event, which I have been covering since 1991.

Pictured are a number of programs, including Mother Dears, The New York Avenue Mens Shelter, Loaves and Fishes, Hyacinths Place, Father McKenna Center, Christ House, DC Central Kitchen, an INOVA blood drive at the JCC, GLOE, and Saint Mary's Court.

Thank yous to Washington Jewish Week, Sonya Weisburd and Randy Bacon of the EDCJCC volunteer/Behrend Builders programs, members of my Fabrangen havurah, and especially to my dear  life partner, Ruth Stromberg, who gamely braves the pre-dawn chill with me to take notes over a long intense day that provide thorough caption material for the photographs.

Peace, kindness, blessings.