Images Capture Israel’s Creationby Sharon Rosen Leib April 4, 2018
Photos from the Viterbi Collection of Israeli Photographic Art currently on display in the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center’s Gotthelf Art Gallery reflect the realization of a 2,000-year-old vision – the creation of a modern Jewish nation. The exhibit titled “Documenting the Dream” marks the public debut of selections from Alan and Caryn Viterbi’s private collection.
Alan Viterbi developed a passion for collecting photography documenting Israel’s creation during his many visits to the country over the past 13 years. He enjoys curating the collection and wrote the captions for the photos on display.
At the exhibit’s opening night reception, he explained the historical significance of the works by famed Israeli photographers including Yosef Schweig, David Rubinger and Boris Carmi. These images, captured from the 1910s through the 1950s, document a continuum from early Zionist settlers plowing the land to post-World War II immigrants embracing their new home.
“In Israel every mundane act to build the state was considered part of creating a modern miracle. These photographers, although secular Jews, believed in the holy task of documenting the Zionist vision becoming reality,” Viterbi said.
The exhibit’s most poignant image depicts a female Israeli army officer and a group of male soldiers resting in the forests east of Jerusalem during Israel’s War for Independence. One of the young soldiers bears a concentration camp number tattooed on his arm and a joyful smile on his face. This photo reflects both the hope that arose from the Holocaust’s ashes and the emergent role of women in Israeli society.
This free exhibit is open to the public and will be on display through May 31, 2018.