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Harry N Abrams
What happens when the wandering Jew comes home? For 20 years and across five continents, photographer Frederic Brenner documented the lives of members of the Jewish Diaspora. Then in 1997 he learned that 14 of the families he'd photographed around the world had immigrated to Israel. So in celebration of the Israel's 50th anniversary, Brenner photographed them again in their new homeland. The before and after photos of each family are on facing pages, posed, but still representing the truths of their particular situations. Stark or sophisticated interiors, crowded and dirty but smiling families, and dancing children tell more than meets the eye. Some families have grown since they were first photographed; some have become smaller. Are these families better off for having moved to the land of milk and honey? What do Jews from Yemen, Russia, Europe, Tunisia, and the United States have in common? Brenner's photographs are so rich in content that the details he provides about them prompt deeper probing. There is so much more to ask as readers compare the families to one another and to their past and current situations. In keeping with Jewish tradition, this collection is truly a book of questions.
From Library Journal
"We are still a people in exile, wandering in the desert," said David Ben Gurion, quoted at the beginning of Brenner's wondrous photographic essay celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Israel. Brenner, winner of the 1992 Prix de Rome and creator of Jews/America/A Representation (Abrams, 1996), spent nearly two decades photographing Jews throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. Here he presents photographs of individuals and families who have since emigrated to Israel.... read more