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Echoes of the Borscht Belt: Contemporary Photographs by Marisa Scheinfeld
August 3, 2014 - April 12, 2015

From the 1920s through the 1960s, the Catskill Mountains, within easy driving distance of New York City, were a popular vacation destination for millions of Americans, many of them Jews. Known as the Borscht Belt, the resorts of Sullivan and Ulster County combined recreational activities with nighttime entertainment – especially stand-up comedy, which was born in the region's theaters and showrooms. At its peak during the post-WW II era, the region known as the Borscht Belt sustained more than six hundred year-round hotels, as well as over a thousand bungalow colonies and summer camps.

In this series of beautiful, richly textured, large-scale photographs, Marisa Scheinfeld documents the dramatic degradation of some of the most famous Borscht Belt hotels. The images reveal ghostly remnants of the glory years of the era, as well as powerful evidence of nature's claim on the resorts and their landscapes, and new uses to which the spaces have been put in recent years. Scheinfeld, who grew up in the region, began her documentary photo project in 2009; this exhibition marks the first time audiences can see her work on the large scale on which it was conceived. Echoes is complemented by original memorabilia and photographs from some of the Borscht Belt's most beloved hotels and resorts.

For more information about the exhibition please visit: http://yumuseum.tumblr.com/BorschtBelt

Image: Coffee Shop, Grossinger's Catskill Resort and Hotel, Liberty, NY, 2011. Chromogenic C-Print. Courtesy of the artist.


Modeling the Synagogue: From Dura to Touro
March 27 - September 7, 2014

In conjunction with its foundation in 1973, Yeshiva University Museum commissioned ten scale models of historic synagogues. The models were constructed under the direction of leading scholars and historians, using the most up-to-date research and architectural information. The models were built with intricate architectural detail and with materials that richly evoke the original structures and their interiors. This exhibition marks the first time in two decades that the models have been on display as a group.

The ten synagogues reflect the geographic breadth of the Jewish world across the centuries, from the ancient Mediterranean - Dura-Europos in 3rd-century Syria and Beit Alpha in 6th-century Galilee - to modern America and Europe - Touro in 18th-century Newport and Tempio Israelitico in 19th-century Florence. Seven of the ten models are exhibited here, together with plans, photographs and selected correspondence that document the conception and process of the commission. This preview of Modeling the Synagogue will be followed by an expanded presentation in fall 2014.

For more information about the exhibition please visit: http://yumuseum.tumblr.com

Image: Model of the Tempio Israelitico / Florence Synagogue. After original: Florence, Italy, 19th century. Created by Displaycraft, 1972. Collection of Yeshiva University Museum
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Shabbat - Inside and Out

November 18, 2012 - June 28, 2015

With the cessation of the workday routine on Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, relationships and the spirit are revitalized as family shares the precious time of festive meals.  In synagogue, the day is marked by collective celebration and prayer, and with the ceremonial reading of the Torah.  The objects on display in this special exhibit in our Mezzanine cases - all from the collection of Yeshiva University Museum - highlight two aspects of the Shabbat holiday: the private/domestic and the communal/ceremonial.  The beauty and range of styles and material character of the objects reflect the wide geographic range and different social contexts in which Shabbat has been and continues to be celebrated.



Monument to A.D. Gordon, by Mimi Weinberg
April 9 - December 28, 2014

Aaron David Gordon (1856 - 1922), commonly known as A. D. Gordon, an early and influential Zionist, was one of the founders of Hapoel Hatzair (The Young Worker), a group active in Palestine in the first decades of the 20th century. This sculpture, created for the YU Museum Sculpture Garden, pays tribute to Gordon by merging motifs evoking the modern agricultural process and the language of ancient structures. Integrating shapes drawn from 20th-century farming equipment with designs based on biblical-era forms, the artist celebrates the longstanding tradition of physical labor within Israeli society.

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