In celebration of Israel’s 70th birthday, the Waltuch Art Gallery at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly, New Jersey, is hosting a special art exhibition. For the entire month of April, the Kaplen JCC is showcasing 26 local artists who have created works of art that reflect their appreciation for Israel, its people and its culture and history. The exhibit includes paintings, photographs and mixed media works, curated from an open call to artists that encouraged everyone with a passion for Israel to participate. On Tuesday, April 10, the public was invited to a free meet-the-artists reception.
One of the selected artists, New Rochelle resident Fred Spinowitz, will be exhibiting three pieces at this exhibition. One of Spinowitz’s paintings is titled TRIBES, and it “illustrates the 12 tribes of Israel (Jacob’s 12 sons) and how they comprised the land of Israel when they arrived from Egypt. The center which binds us is in fact the land,” said Spinowitz. “Even when in exile, the goal was always to return to Israel. With pride and determination, we celebrate Israel at 70.”
Another Spinowitz piece is titled PEACE. Of this work, he noted, “The eternal goal is to live in peace. We pray for peace and fight for peace. The birds symbolize and embody that yearning. We hope that true and lasting peace will be achieved in our lifetime.”
His third piece is titled FIRE, about which Spinowitz said, “The burning desire to live in Israel is in all our prayers. The Hebrew word for ‘beginning’ is Bereshit and is the first word of the bible. The center letters of the Hebrew Bereshit is the word aish (fire). It is that fire that burns within us and is the beginning of pride in Israel.”
Nina Bachrach, the JCC director of the arts and culture development, explained, “This exhibition celebrates our community’s love of Israel through the arts. We’ve brought together an incredible community of artists who are excited to spark the imagination of our community and to explore the cultural arts in an exciting way.”
The Waltuch Art Gallery is a community space that exhibits thematically Jewish artwork, and art produced by Jewish artists. All exhibits are free and open to the community, so JCC membership is not required to view these works. Some, but not all, artwork in this special exhibition is available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds will support cultural arts programming at the JCC. Gallery exhibits are a part of the JCC’s Patron of the Arts Program, engaging the community in diverse and inspiring cultural arts experiences.
Spinowitz has been creating Judaica works of art for many decades. He is one of the first American Judaica artists to use abstraction with Hebrew letters in mixed-media art. He even had one of his seder plates featured as the cover of an edition of the Maxwell House haggadah.
By Judy Berger