Monday, July 30, 2007

Operation Understanding DC

I just spent a few days in Mississippi covering the Operation Understanding DC program, which promotes education and bonding between African-American and Jewish teenagers. They spend a month in the summer visiting sites of significance to each group's history and culture. Class Thirteen visited Jackson, Sunshine, and Greenwood, mainly in the Mississippi Delta. They heard from civil rights pioneers and community activists (pictured is Hollis Watkins of Southern Echo), a Holocaust survivor at Congregation Ahavat Rayim in Greenwood, attended Jewish and Christian services, made pilgrimage to slain civil rights hero Medgar Ever's home... and learned about one another.

Transformation occurs between the ears, and is hard to depict visually, but I have attempted to show a glimmer of the process.

For more information on this exceptional group see:

Friday, July 27, 2007

Israel - open & close

From an army training base in the Negev to Jerusalem, to Mt Hermon on the Syrian border... a number of places I found interesting to contemplate in Israel, observed during my recent assignment there for United Jewish Communities (UJC).


From all over Israel, during my recent assignment for United Jewish Communities (UJC)

Olim - immigrants to Israel

Ethiopian Jews, Falash Mura (historically Jewish Ethiopians), a Bene Menashe Jewish woman from India, an elderly Romanian/Egyptian immigrant, and Russian Holocaust survivors; in Tel Aviv, Sfat, Tiberias, and Ra'anana, Israel. From my recent assignment for United Jewish Communities (UJC).

Palestinians in Jerusalem (and a Bedouin)

From my recent assignment in Israel and Palestinian areas. Most of these were taken in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. I encountered the Bedouin man and his sleeping dog in a camp in the Negev desert.

The black & white portrait is of noted Palestinian playwright Mohamed El-Thaher, who is collaborating with storyteller Carol Grosman on peace-building performances of "Jerusalem Stories."