“Partners in Art — Saving Fruitful Trees,” a juried exhibition sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey Partnership2Gether and its sister city in Nahariya, Israel, is on display through June 30 at the Waltuch Gallery at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly. The opening will be celebrated at a community reception on Sunday, June 26, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
All works in the exhibit reflect the artists’ interpretation of a compelling theme taken from the Jewish text Devarim 20:19-20, which says: “All trees that produce edible fruit must not be destroyed, even during times of conflict, so they can provide nourishment and sustenance for future generations.” The goal in choosing a specific concept relating to the Torah is to assure that artists, both here and in Israel, are inspired by a common thought that can connect their work.
The exhibition is part of the Partnership2Gether professional exchange, which the federation established to strengthen ties between the United States and Israel, and to promote Jewish unity and identity.
The show will feature the works of four artists who won awards for “Outstanding Artistic Achievement,” as well as art by past winners. This year’s winners are Gila Bretter for “The Golden Tree,” Mindy Schultz for “All Fruit Trees, Especially the Shiv’at Ha Minim,” Deborah Kmetz for “Apple,” and Rachel Unter for “Roots.” A local committee including Adele Grodstein, Doryne Davis, Fred Spinowitz, and Danielle Kaplan works directly with a committee in Nahariya to pick contest winners. The jury is guided by the expertise of Anita Duquette of the Whitney Museum.
“The Partnership2Gether initiative represents northern New Jersey’s special relationship with Nahariya, a seaside community in the north of Israel,” says Susan Penn, chair of the Partnership2Gether initiative and board member of JFNNJ. “We are inspired by our delegations of artists, teen leaders, educators, physicians, female business owners, and first responders, who have made personal connections over the years, particularly artists who form bonds and speak through the common language of their art.”
For information, call Esther Maxor at (201) 408-1456 or go to www.jccotp.org.