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Women Torah scholars will finally have their well-deserved space on our Sukkah walls with this beautiful poster.
Women Torah scholars finally have their well-deserved space on our Sukkah walls with this beautiful poster.
Women Torah scholars finally have their well-deserved space on our Sukkah walls with this beautiful poster.
318 backers pledged $11,075 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Women Scholars Sukkot Poster

$11,075

318

$10,000 STRETCH GOAL ANNOUNCED! 

IF WE RAISE $10,000, ALL BACKERS WILL BE INVITED TO A FREE GALLERY SHOWING OF THE ORIGINAL SIX PORTRAITS. SEE THE WORKS UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL, MEET THE ARTISTS, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LEGACY OF THESE IMPORTANT WOMEN. 

DATE: TBD         LOCATION: NYC

In the Press:

Read out our campaign in Ha'aretz and The Jewish Week

About the Project:

We are in a period of Renaissance for Jewish women Torah scholars. To celebrate those women who blazed the trail, six artists came together to create a beautiful piece of artwork to hang in your Sukkah. 

For too long, Sukkah walls have been devoid of Jewish Heroines. The seven Ushpizin (all men) have been very common themes of sukkah decorations, and the custom of hanging pictures of prominent Rabbis is also popular in certain circles. While there is an Ushpizot poster available for sale, and other similar works of art created over the years, we are aware of no other "women Rebbes" poster available for purchase. 

This group of young women artists met to discuss potential muses for the project, and were each paired up with a scholar to learn more about, connect with and ultimately depict. The finished works are stunning, and we are proud to be able to bring all six works together on a single designed poster for a reasonable price. 

These laminated posters are being manufactured by a vendor in the same office building as JOFA, and we are able to closely monitor the quality of product we will be receiving. They will be made tough to withstand many years of rainy weather in your sukkah, while also highlighting the stunning imagery of the portraits.  

Meet the Scholars:

Nechama Leibowitz (1905-1997) Nechama Leibowitz was born in 1905 in Riga, educated in Berlin, and moved to Palestine in 1930. She taught at many schools including Tel Aviv University, where she was appointed a full professor. In 1942, she began distributing stenciled pages of questions on the weekly Torah portion, They reached a vast audience and were eventually translated and published. She was awarded the Israel Prize for Education. Though her thoughtful, literary approach to the Bible revolutionized Torah study, she humbly insisted, "I only teach what the commentaries say. Nothing is my own.” Her tombstone is inscribed, "Nechama Leibowitz: teacher."

After graduating high school in Baltimore, Henrietta Szold established the first American night school to teach English and vocational skills to Jewish immigrants in Baltimore. After moving to New York, she became an editor for the Jewish Publication Society. At the age of 49, her first trip to Palestine sealed her life's mission: the health, education, and welfare of the Yishuv. In 1912 she founded Hadassah, which became the largest and most powerful Zionist organization in America, and which now boasts 330,000 members worldwide. Starting in 1933, Szold also ran Youth Aliyah, which helped save 30,000 children from Nazi death camps.

Rachel "Ray" Frank was born in San Francisco to Polish immigrant parents at a time when Jewish communities were just beginning to emerge in the West. She taught bible studies and Jewish history in California, where she quickly garnered a large following. She rose to prominence after delivering a series of sermons in Washington for the High Holidays and was soon dubbed "the Jewess in the Pulpit," and later, "the Golden Girl Rabbi of the West." Although she had no rabbinic aspirations, Ray Frank's presence in the pulpit made space in the collective imagination for public female religious leadership.

Farha "Flora" Sassoon was born in Bombay to a family of influential tradesmen from Baghdad known as the "Rothschilds of the East." By the age of seventeen, she knew Hebrew, Aramaic, Hindustani, English, French, German and had a thorough knowledge of Jewish texts. She wrote on Rashi, lectured on religious education, read publicly from the Torah, and her expertise in Sephardic doctrine and practice was unparalleled. According to historian Cecil Roth, she “walked like a queen, talked like a sage and entertained like an Oriental potentate.”

Born in Poland, Beilka "Bessie" Gotsfeld immigrated to New York with her family in 1905. In 1925, she founded the precursor of AMIT, an organization connecting religious women to the cause of Zionism and expanding educational and vocational opportunities for religious women in Israel. Gotsfeld became the Palestine representative of the organization, eventually settling in Tel Aviv. She worked to establish three urban vocational schools for adolescent girls and two large farm villages that provided Jewish children, Holocaust survivors, and new immigrants educational programs and resources.

Born in Krakow to poor Hassidic parents, Sarah Schenirer left school after she turned thirteen and became a seamstress. After World War I broke out, she started to teach Jewish studies to a group of girls. This blossomed into 300 schools now known as the "Beis Yaakov" network, and by the time of her death approximately 35,000 girls were learning at Beis Yaakov schools. In her will, she wrote: "My dear girls, you are going out into the great world. Your task is to plant the holy seed in the souls of pure children. In a sense, the destiny of Israel of old is in your hands."

Meet the Artists:

Michelle Bentsman - mbentsman@gmail.com
Michelle Bentsman - mbentsman@gmail.com
Coretta Garlow
Coretta Garlow
Devorah Leah Levine - dll1948@gmail.com
Devorah Leah Levine - dll1948@gmail.com
             
Elke Reva Sudin - @elkerevasudin www.elkerevasudin.com
Elke Reva Sudin - @elkerevasudin www.elkerevasudin.com
Abigail Teller - abigail.teller@gmail.com
Abigail Teller - abigail.teller@gmail.com
Sarah Zell Young - www.sarahzellyoung.com
Sarah Zell Young - www.sarahzellyoung.com

Graphic Design:

Rachel Fried - youtube.com/therachfried
Rachel Fried - youtube.com/therachfried
 

Risks and challenges

Printing these posters will be handled by a very qualified printer with a solid track record. This process will only begin AFTER the project is fully funded, but we plan on delivering all domestic posters in time for Sukkot 2014.

INTERNATIONAL ORDERS MAY NOT ARRIVE IN TIME FOR THIS SUKKOT.

Shipping will require you to fill out your backer survey at the end of the project. We will ask for your address from the survey and send the posters your way! But remember, we can't ship your poster unless your address is 100% accurate. If there are any mistakes, we will contact you, or you can contact us.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • They are absolutely worth celebrating, but for this project the criteria agreed upon by the artists was that we would only depict women who had existing photographs or portraits available for reference. We didn't want this to be about imagining what these women looked like, but to rather bring their actual likenesses alive with a fresh artistic portrayal.

    Last updated:
  • Yes. At the end of the campaign, all backers will receive a survey to tell us where we should send your rewards. So no need to worry about that right now.

    But keep in mind that all posters in the same order will be sent to a single address. If you want to purchase multiple posters to be mailed to multiple addresses we cannot offer the bulk discount. Please email aaron.steinberg@jofa.org to make such a purchase.

    Last updated:

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank you for your support. Your name will be listed on the project website as a supporter of this project.

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    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL! One full-size laminated poster to hang on your Sukkah wall. Be one of our first backers and get a poster for 2/3 the price!

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    One full-size laminated poster to hang on your Sukkah wall.

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    Two (2) full-size laminated posters to hang on your Sukkah wall.

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    Five (5) full-size laminated posters to hang on your Sukkah wall.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    DEDICATION LISTED ON THE WALL OF FAME: Your name will be printed on the back of the poster with our list of supporters. You will also receive two (2) posters.

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    SCHOOL/SHUL PACK: Ten (10) full-size laminated posters for your institution to hang up around the building and Sukkahs.

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    SIGNED LITHOGRAPH: Receive a printed lithograph of the poster signed by all of the artists involved.

    Your name will be printed on the back of the poster with our list of supporters.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    EDUCATIONAL EVENT IN YOUR HOME, SCHOOL OR SYNAGOGUE: We will come to your and conduct an event for up to 15 people. One of the artists will speak about their work, and we will learn some of the works by the women depicted in the poster. Reward includes 10 posters.

    Your name will be printed on the back of the poster with our list of supporters

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    WE DECORATE YOUR SUKKAH: It's that simple. We will come to your house and decorate your sukkah with our posters and other quality decorations. NYC Area Only - other restrictions may apply.

    Your name will be printed on the back of the poster with our list of supporters

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Funding period

- (21 days)