Spertus Updates
More potential images

Spertus Institute

Famous Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi at Anshe Emet

Many of you know that I am working on a photo project in conjunction with the Spertus Institute in Chicago.  My particular participation is to create a documentary/record of Jewish life in Chicago today.  I’ve been out and about, photographing different appropriate things around the city, and I’ll eventually choose which images to include.  The photo above of renowned Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi, from Anshe Emet Synagogue, is from last Monday.  Though I took several photos, at this point I really like this particular image as I feel it captures his personality in the physical context of his office.  Maybe it will get included in the final project!  What an honor and pleasure for me to be able to spend some time chatting with this impressive man and taking his photo.
And, in this blog post, are some more photos that could “make the cut.”  What do you think?

Spertus Institute

Rabbi Notik and the Roadside Menorah

Above is Rabbi Notik of the local Riverwoods Chabad as he muses over the conclusion of Chanukah.  This Menorah was on Deerfield Road and was illuminated every night of the Holiday this year.  I tried to capture the “urban-ness” and “in the neighborhood feel” of the setting by capturing the motion of the cars as they sped by.  Might make a good addition to my Spertus Institute collection.

Spertus Institute

Bernie, the Music Director, and family

While I was at the Congregation B’nai Tikvah Music Program, I saw this gorgeous and touching scene of three generations embracing.  Later, as I spoke with him, I realized it was Bernie, the Music Director who was sitting in the audience at the end of the show.

Spertus Institute

Gabe and the Dreidel

A little splash of color…and a lot of concentration!  Gabe, admiring his skill with the Dreidel on Chanukah.

Spertus Institute

Florie’s Dreidels

Speaking of Dreidels…  Here is part of our friend, Florie’s, extensive and impressive collection.  Over 350!!  Each one has a story.


Shabbat Shalom

Such a wonderful image of Shabbat!

Spertus Institute

Old Books at Rodfei Zedek

The last image I’m going to include in this post is a still life just as I “found it” at Congregation Rodfei Zedek, a famous synagogue on the South Side of Chicago.  Books of Law and Wisdom (which I am trying to capture for the Spertus Institute).  Old texts, with character!  With the “yad” (pointer) laying perfectly next to the books.

These are just a sample of what I’ve been working on.  And, I’ve got plenty more ideas and destinations in the coming weeks.  And I’m going to have some difficulty choosing what to include in the Spertus exhibit, I’m sure!

-Stephen M. Levin

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SML Photography