Here’s one of the advantages for me of taking photos: It definitely gets me out and about, meeting people and seeing things. I’ve heard about Rabbi Funnye over the years. He is the Rabbi at Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken E.H.C. in Chicago. He is also on the Board of the International Israelite Board of Rabbis, Inc. and is “involved in a number of boards in the Jewish community; The Chicago Board of Rabbis, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and Akiba Schechter Jewish Day School.” Not bad, eh?? I’ve also read that he is a cousin of Michelle Obama! He’s an amazing man and is involved in a fascinating part of the Jewish Community.
You can understand why I had asked him for a chance to be photographed as part of my project (documenting Jewish life in Chicago today) in conjunction with the Midwest Jewish Artists Lab at Spertus Institute. He certainly does represent a part of today’s Jewish community.
Rabbi Funnye allowed me to come to his synagogue to photograph him. Not only did I enjoy taking his photo, it turns out he is an extremely personable and friendly man. I hope to have the opportunity to encounter him again! In fact, it would be interesting to attend a service there!
Oh…I found out today from a post on the Spertus FB page that yesterday was Rabbi Funnye’s birthday. Found this extremelely worthwhile article about him on that Facebook post, too…check it out.
Please take the time to click the links (above) for more background about Rabbi Funnye. Fascinating!
For you photographers out there:
Before I contacted Rabbi Funnye several weeks ago, I went on YouTube and viewed some videos of his synagogue and the services. I wanted to get an idea of what I might encounter and be prepared with the proper camera equipment. I didn’t want to take up too much of his time! Over the coming weeks, I went over some possible scenes in my mind. Then, the night before I went there, I recharged and loaded all of my batteries. Packed 2 flashes (with modifiers), two light stands, a reflective umbrella, a rangefinder camera with extra lenses, and a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) with an assortment of lenses, and my trusty tripod. I even went through a dry run the morning of the session to make sure everything was clicking, literally. (Actually, it was a good thing I did that–there was a problem that I had to fix.)
Anyways, when I got to the synagogue and walked in, I saw this door to my left with the nameplate above. And the light in that hall/entry was coming through a floor to ceiling window that was covered with a translucent material which created a perfect soft box!
We walked around briefly, but I suggested we go back to that spot with the door. I took a few photos with each camera, hand held. No flash, lightstands, etc. Ended up with two images I liked…both from the Canon with a 85mm lens.
Ya never know what you’re going to encounter!
Thanks for visiting!
-Stephen M. Levin