Self Portrait or Contemplating Genocide in Tefillin and Tallas

I’m an artist living and working in Hudson, New York. I attended the School of The Museum of Fine Art in Boston. I received a travelling scholarship in 1989 which I used to travel to Eastern Europe. I spent more than the normal amount of time in museums as a child, in part because my father was an art historian and also because I loved spending time surrounded by art from various periods. I was especially drawn to Christian Art. I was transfixed when I stood in front of icons. I was often moved to prayer while in the presence of certain pieces of religious art. Those spiritual experiences led me to fantasize about living a religious life in community. I dreamed that one day I would be a monk and either make icons or stained glass windows for churches. I have been lucky enough to have been able to learn both techniques as an adult. My Jewish heritage and culture have been very important parts of my life. I listened intently to the stories of the old country told by my grandfather and I have read Jewish literature and Jewish history including accounts told by survivors of the Holocaust. I was profoundly affected by the kindness shown to me by some of the survivors with whom I came into contact as a child. I was brought up in a non observant, although culturally Jewish household. I taught myself to read and write Hebrew so that I could have a Bar Mitzvah. When I demonstrated that I could read Hebrew to my father, he hired a tutor so that I could learn what I needed in order to complete the preparations. My love for icons has led me to study iconography in classes and in monasteries. I have had the great opportunity of being able to learn from some accomplished Russian iconographers. Recently I was able to take a class with a visiting Greek iconographer.