Ars Judaica: The Bar-Ilan Journal of Jewish Art, Volume 8

BookArs Judaica: The Bar-Ilan Journal of Jewish Art, Volume 8

Ars Judaica: The Bar-Ilan Journal of Jewish Art, Volume 8

Ars Judaica: The Bar-Ilan Journal of Jewish Art, 8


April 26th, 2012





Bringing to light little-known artistic traditions, the latest volume of Ars Judaica focuses on the local and temporal contexts of objects and their images and explores collective and personal memories and identities in art.

Rivka Ben-Sasson examines modes of symbolic perception of nature prevalent in religious thought and art by analysing images of the lulav and etrog. Iwona Brzewska and Waldemar Deluga discuss the significance of Hebrew script in paintings and prints of the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries originating from the borderland between the Catholic and Christian Orthodox domains of eastern Europe. Michelle Klein studies the typological development of the havdalah candle-holder, based on an analysis of 170 examples. Matthew Baigell suggests that American Jewish artists are characterized by concern for the betterment of humankind; his sources include Jewish postcards, photographs, and caricatures as well as the work of contemporary American Jewish artists. Astrid Schmetterling discusses how Else Lasker-Schüler’s Orientalism offered a serious aesthetic-political challenge to both German and Jewish society. Mor Presiado argues that the contemporary use of sewing and embroidery by contemporary Jewish women artists to depict women’s experience of the Holocaust initiates a new, feminist response to the Holocaust.

The Special Item in this volume, an article by Shalom Sabar on the earliest illustrated Esther Scroll by Shalom Italia, is an illuminating insight into early modern Jewish art in the making.  Also included are exhibition and book reviews.

Ars Judaica is an annual publication of the Department of Jewish Art at Bar-Ilan University. It showcases the Jewish contribution to the visual arts and architecture from antiquity to the present from a variety of perspectives, including history, iconography, semiotics, psychology, sociology, and folklore. As such it is a valuable resource for art historians, collectors, curators, and all those interested in the visual arts.

Volumes of Ars Judaica are distributed by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization throughout the world, except Israel. Orders and enquiries from Israeli customers should be directed to: Ars Judaica, Department of Jewish Art, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Telephone 03 5318413; Fax 036359241; Email

Author Information

Bracha Yaniv is Professor Emerita of Jewish Art History at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and founding editor of Ars Judaica: The Bar-Ilan Journal of Jewish Art. She has published two pioneering books in Hebrew on the history, design, and iconography of ceremonial synagogue objects. Mirjam Rajner is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Jewish Art at Bar-Ilan University. Since 2005 she has been co-editor of Ars Judaica, the leading journal on Jewish art and visual culture. She has published numerous articles on Marc Chagall and modern central and east European Jewish art in exhibition catalogues, edited volumes, and academic journals, such as East European Jewish Studies, Images, Jewish Art, Nashim, Studia Rosenthaliana, and Studies in Contemporary Jewry. She is the author of Fragile Images: Jews and Art in Yugoslavia,1918–1945 (2019), and is currently co-editing a collection of articles entitled Crossing Borders: Jewish History and Culture in Southeastern Europe. Ilia Rodov is Head of the Department of Jewish Art at Bar-Ilan University. He is the author of many works on European synagogue art, focusing on the history, patronage, and meanings of synagogue paintings, sculptures, architectural decoration, and furniture design.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Editor's Note
Botanics and Iconography: Images of the Lulav and the Etrog
A Note on the Hebrew Script in Christian Art between Wroclaw and Lviv
The Havdalah Candle-holder
Social Concern and Tikkun Olam in Jewish American Art
'I am Jussuf of Egypt': Orientalism in Else Lasker-Schüler’s Drawings
'These Threads Captured Shadows': Sewing and Embroidery in Holocaust Art Works of Contemporary Jewish Women Artists
Special Item
A New Discovery: The Earliest Illustrated Esther Scroll by Shalom Italia
Exhibition Review
Hommage à Lucien Hervé
Book Reviews
Mati Meyer, An Obscure Portrait: Imaging Women's Reality in Byzantine Art 
Marc Michael Epstein, The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative, and Religious Imagination 
Herbert L. Kessler and David Nirenberg, Judaism and Christian Art: Aesthetic Anxieties from the Catacombs to Colonialism
Jewish Dimensions in Modern Visual Culture 
Musya Glants, Where Is My Home? The Art and Life of the Russian Jewish Sculptor, Mark Antokolsky, 1843–1902