statistics say that less than half of American Jewry has visited Israel
even once, I've managed to get there some 25 times. During those trips
(the first visit was a full academic year) I photographed for
myself, and also on assignment for social service organizations, youth
programs, and universities.
I'm glad to share below a number of photo essays: Judah S. Harris: Israel Photographs
1983-2008, contains nearly 60 images with short but revealing
comments on each. The series Nefesh
B'Nefesh Welcoming Ceremony captures the arrival of new olim one
morning last summer and the piece titled
A Day at Weizmann
describes some of what takes place at one of the world's leading
see further down that when Israel was 50 years old, the NY Times featured my Israel photos
on the Op-Ed Pages. If you're hoping to see photos that portray
even earlier years in Israel's development, take a look at my
biographical essay Eyeing
History: Leni Sonnenfeld's AMIT Photographs 1950-1980.
For a taste of Israeli and Mizrachi music, you can catch my short film
of the singer, guitarist, flutist Yoel Sharabi live in concert.
Or get yourself to Israel for a broader choice of perfomers.
PHOTO ESSAY: An acclaimed collection
of Israel photographs with commentary
Judah S. Harris:
Israel Photographs 1983-2008,
originally published last year at this time, offers
25 years of picture taking, as I share my personal
encounters, both visually and with written commentary, during more than
25 visits to Israel.
with a year spent abroad post-high school at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh,
an hour from Jerusalem (on the 438 bus) and half hour from the seaside
city of Ashdod, I grew over the years in my appreciation for the
my familiarity with the language, and in my ability as a visual artist.
See a collection of nearly 60 images and read the intro to catch the
of my first, and totally "unauthorized," pseudo-exhibit, displayed
the later parts of my first year in Israel, on the lunchroom walls of
the yeshiva I was attending.
View the Photo Essay
| PHOTO ESSAY:
Nefesh B'Nefesh Welcoming Ceremony for New Olim
new olim arrived in Israel last summer on charter and group flights
coordinated by Nefesh B'Nefesh, a still-young organization committed to
"revitalizing" aliyah from the US, Canada and the UK.
firsthand account and view my series of photographs that portray summer
2008's inaugural NBN Welcoming Ceremony that took place on July 10th at
Ben Gurion Airport.
"The 777 jumbo jet
taxis on the runway. Then the steps are moved into position, the hatch
opens, and the new olim exit. About 20 minutes later, with the crowd of
guests now outside, homemade signs, Israeli flags and a lot of cheers,
songs, and piped in music meet the 220 olim."
|PHOTO ESSAY - A
Day at Weizmann
Imagine spending a full day at the Weizmann Institute of Science in
Rehovot, one of the leading institutions in the world that devotes
itself to researching the breadth of the sciences and technology.
What might you discover?
You'd discover a whole mini-world devoted to the activity of discovery
- a huge campus with 75 buildings to be precise.
Join me as I walk the campus, meet some of the players (they are called
scientists), ask a few questions, and leave at close to 9:30pm with a
very finite amount of photographs that can only allude to the seemingly
infinite explorations that occupy the master scientists and researchers
of our generation.
| Essay: Leni
Sonnenfeld's AMIT Photographs 1950-1980
In 2005, AMIT organization celebrated it's 80th anniversary and I was
commissioned to write a lead article for AMIT Magazine about Leni
Sonnenfeld, a woman photographer who made many trips to Israel over a
few decades, on assignment for a number of Jewish organizations
Leni, an immigrant from Germany who'd resettled in the United States,
found herself documenting other immigrants who were striving to build
new lives and a new country that was becoming a homeland for the Jewish
During a few visits, prior to starting the writing of the article, I
delved into the archives at the AMIT offices, choosing photographs of
Leni's that spoke to me, what I felt was her best work, and images that
chronicled the earlier years of the State of Israel; scenes that we can
only see today, because people like her chose to document them with
There were those who knew Leni Sonnenfeld, but I am not one of them,
and the chances are that most who will read this never knew her or even
of her. But still, the scenes she captured on film are the initial
chapters in our own more-modern story. And what we are privy to witness
today, if properly preserved for future sharing, will in turn be the
building chapters for those who arrive at a slightly later point on
this continuum that we call Jewish History.
| NY Times Op-Ed
Pages featured Judah S. Harris photos on Israel's 50th
When Israel was celebrating it's 50th anniversary in 1998, The NY Times
featured my Israel photographs running the entire length of the Op-Ed
Page. The art director of the Op-Ed Pages at the time was Nicholas
, an illustrator, art director, and political cartoonist. I
brought him a stack of photos, and he chose a nice number of them, and
ran detail shots of each, numbering them from 1 to 50. Actually, some
of the details shots are from the same images, so there were less than
50 photos that were used. Maybe 35-40 total.
I remember being in his office and looking at his original layout, and
feeling that they were cropped into too much (for my taste), so I asked
him to come out wider to be able to show more of the image. He did and
I can only imagine the time he put into scanning the prints, making the
design, and then adjusting it to satisfy the photographer too. All in a
My photographs have appeared on the Op-Ed pages on a number of
occasions, and also elsewhere in the paper a couple of times, alas not
See a larger version of the page
| SHORT FILM: Yoel
Sharabi in Concert
I first heard the Israeli and Mizrachi singer Yoel Sharabi perform when
I was in college. He would be the headliner at some of the Chanukah and
Israel Independence Day Concerts on campus at Yeshiva University. For
students he was an
entertainer whose music evoked the music of Israel, the Jewish People,
and other cultures too.
Filmed at a Queens, NY concert on January 19th, 2008 with a Canon HV20,
this short video (17 min) features highlights of the concert and
includes a selection of Hebrew songs,
classic Mizrachi music, a Yiddish lullaby, a song in Spanish, and an
up-close display of Yoel Sharabi's agility with guitar and flute. He
can even play two flutes at once, though he didn't at this perfomance.
To book Yoel Sharabi for a private party or community event, contact me
His CD Shalom Aleichem is
also available for sale while supplies last for $12, and that includes
shipping! Good value, if you ask me, and makes a great gift. (Order the
CD at Yoel's website and tell him you heard about it here and
that you'd like him to autograph it for you.)
Watch the Film
| Photo classes in
Israel this summer led by Judah S. Harris
Thanks to those of you who've expressed interest in
my teaching this summer (and fall) in Israel. Although the schedule is
not yet formalized, I hope there will be a number of opportunities for
courses at various skill and interest levels, both in Jerusalem and to
points beyond the city.
Whether you are a serious beginner, advanced amateur, or working
professional, there will be a course that will benefit you. I also
teach privately one-on-one and offer a special pricing incentive
to new students.
There will also be upcoming class and workshop opportunities in the NYC
area (if you live elsewhere in the US, consider organizing a group of
eight or more people).
To receive info about upcoming classes, drop me a line and specify your
form for photo classes & workshops
- EXTENDED TILL
DEC. 15th, 2009
Register online to receive your free $125 coupon. The coupon will be
sent to registrants via email
and must be redeemed by 12/15/09 to book
photography for any event scheduled during
the 2009 calendar year. Limit one per family
or mailing address.
Allow 5-7 days for
receipt of your coupon. This coupon has no
cash value and may not be sold or traded, but
may be transferred to another individual,
provided the new recipient registers the
coupon via email with Judah S. Harris
Photography + Film prior to 12/15/09. Other
restrictions may apply.
reasons to join the Judah S. Harris email list or Facebook Group
(Here's some praise from
across the US, Canada and Israel)
"Judah, this was really
"WOW!! This is just
"Thank you for sending
"Your pictures and essays
"The photos are magical,
"Keep em coming...I love
emails...they're a great distraction for those of us not in the same
skillset as you..."
essay on Tisha B'Av. It had me crying by the end of it.... Thank you
for your most poignant writing"
(And if you are on
Facebook, please join there too)
Judah S. Harris |
photography + film | Kew Gardens Hills | NY | 11367