53. April 19 – June 30, 2015
ART OF SUFFERING AND RESISTANCE
DESCRIPTION: Rabbi Sussman had developed a very successful course for Quest Noar. (KI’s confirmation academy) centered around teaching about the Holocaust through art. The cliché is true. A picture is really worth a thousand words and so much can be understood about difficult subject matter by looking at expressive imagery. As a complement to the Rabbi’s work with his students, works in our collection that conveyed artists’ perspective on suffering, resistance and conflict were selected for display. The works also demonstrated the concern of artists in times of other conflicts, even those contemporary to our own time. Rabbi graciously loaned me the title of his Quest Noar course, “The Art of Suffering and Resistance”. The exhibition also contained a message board for visitors to express their own thoughts about the stresses, privileges, and challenges of the time we live in.
From the Rabbi’s Statement: SUFFERING, RESISTANCE AND THE GENESIS OF ART AND FAITH
…‘Teaching the Holocaust through Art’ started as a pedagogical method for me but it quickly became a religious quest for answers about human suffering and resistance. From these classes at KI and beyond, I quickly learned that artists, professional and amateur, helped all of us to see suffering more clearly, more brutally than before. Moreover, I was reminded of the deep humanity of my students who study Holocaust, art and theodicy with me and time again, reaffirming their own innate humanity before my eyes.
A wise person once said that “when one teaches, two learn.” Never was that more true than in my efforts to teach the ‘Holocaust through Art’ and thereby reconsider age old questions about the meaning of human suffering and resistance to evil, brutality and hate! This powerful Temple Judea exhibition does the same and more.
Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, Ph.D.
Senior Rabbi – Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel