Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, DC. is presenting Authenticity and Identity an exhibition looking at how artists respond to challenges of Jewish identity, ritual, cultural touchstones, and multiple other topics.

Originally scheduled to open in April 2020, Authenticity and Identity is an exhibition curated by Ori Z Soltes, a professor at Georgetown University’s Center for the Study of Jewish Civilization, who for four decades has engaged with Jewish artwork, politics, and culture. On April 8, 2021, Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, the curator will discuss Yom HaShoah as he introduces the Holocaust-related artworks and ask for a moment of silence.

The exhibition brings together more than 50 artists, including contemporary Israeli and European artists. With approximately half the artists from DC. and Maryland area, the exhibition is produced in partnership with the Jewish Artists of the National Capital Region. Featuring more than 70 works of painting, sculpture, photography, and printmaking, the art includes examples of Jewish ritual objects, as well as abstract works. For the organization of the exhibition, Soltes selected from hundreds of artworks submitted.

One of the contemporary art pieces is About the Conversation by artist Heddy Abramowitz who grew up in Maryland before moving to Israel in 1980. Abramowitz told BJL: "It is wonderful to be on the verge of what is called normal times and entering the spring season. I am delighted to be participating in Authenticity and Identity. This comes a full year after the exhibit was originally planned to open, so truly a labor of love by all involved in bringing about this exhibit."  Further, she adds "In current times, it is critical that we create contemporary expressions of our Jewish heritage. Art is what we leave for the future. generations. We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to our children's children."

Other artists participating in the exhibition: * Dr. Barry Alpert * Michele Amira Pinczuk * Avrum Ashery * Marilyn Banner * Joe Baur * Rick Black * Adam Brown * Cassandra Clark * Deborah Addison Coburn * Kalman Gavriel Delmoor * Edna Kurtz Emmet * Zoe Feldman * Anna Fine Foer * Diane Fredgant * Barbara Gelman * Barry Goldstein * KJ Hannah Greenberg * Goldie Gross * Jonathan Hertzel  *Julia Ilyutovich * Ronni Jolles * Judith Joseph * Rachel Kanter * Karey Kessler * Aaron Koster * Diana Kurz * Geoffrey Laurence * Stacy Leeman * Tanya Levina * Shelley Lowenstein * Susie Lubell * Ruth Simon McRae * Yevgeniya Pavlova * Leah Raab * Jacob Rath * Philip Ratner * Gail Rebhan * Rachel Ahava Rosenfeld * Susan Schrott * Eliyahu Shafer * Stephen Sholl * Joel Silverstein * Hillel Smith * Peter Sprung * Josh Stein * Miriam Stern * Heather Stoltz * Adrienne Torrey * Karen Warshal * Joyce Ellen Weinstein * Mil Wexler * Nona Zilberberg * Bonnie Zuckerman * Billha Zussman

“As Jewish participation in the visual arts has expanded in the past two centuries, one of the questions asked by Jewish artists has been: where exactly do we fit into the history of Western art which, for much of the past fifteen centuries has been essentially Christian art,” Soltes stated. “More recently, and with increasing intensity, for Jewish women artists, that question interweaves the double question of where they fit into the history of Western art not only as Jewish artists but as women artists...”  

The Authenticity and Identity exhibit is on view through May 14, 2021. Admission is free; timed tickets required. An online exhibition will accompany the physical display.