Prague Art Exhibit Introduces Israeli Artists to Czechoslovakia

The first exhibition of Israeli art opened at the Prague Jewish Museum on Tuesday, with ceremonies attended by leaders of Czechoslovak cultural and political life.

“Shalom Jerusalem” features modern posters and large color photographs of Jerusalem scenes, and introduces Israeli artists for the first time to the Czech public, including painter Graphic Etgar and photographer Alisa Urbach.

The exhibit, organized by the museum in conjunction with the Czech Society of Jewish Culture and the Czechoslovak Society of Friends of Israel, is being held in the building of a former synagogue, which is now part of the Jewish Museum.

In Amsterdam, meanwhile, an unusual exhibition has opened at the Jewish Historical Museum that consists of photographs of largely abandoned synagogues on New York’s Lower East Side.

The photographs are by Wijnanda Deroo, who is not Jewish. Her synagogue interiors are almost devoid of human figures and create an impression of desolation.

Critics wondered why Deroo chose empty synagogues on the Lower East Side, which is no longer a Jewish neighborhood, instead of active synagogues elsewhere in the city, which would have given a more balanced picture of Jewish religious life in New York.

(JTA correspondent Henrietta Boas in Am sterdam contributed to this report.)

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