The photographic project of the Jewish Communities in the Arab lands was conducted in 1994 and 1995, during which Beth Hatefutsoth sent four photographers to four countries: Shlomo Taitz to Egypt, Micha Bar-Am to Tunisia, Alex Levac to Morocco and Robert Lyons to Syria. Zion Ozeri had previously made two trips to Yemen (1992 and 1993). Frits Meyst went on a few trips to Iraqi Kurdistan since March 1991 and until January 1994.
|Alex Levac - Morocco||Micha Bar-Am - Tunisia|
|Robert Lyons - Syria||Frits Meyst - Iraqi Kurdistan|
|Zion Ozeri - Yemen||Shlomo Taitz - Egypt|
Micha Bar-Am, Israeli, born in Berlin, 1930
Photographed in Tunisia in May 1995
One of Israel's foremost photographers, Micha Bar-Am joined the Israeli Army
magazine Bamahane in 1956. He turned to freelance photography and, in 1967,
became a member of the international group of photographers, Magnum.
Since 1967 Bar-Am has been a regular contributor to the New York Times. His work has been exhibited in Israel, the United States, France, England, Holland and Slovakia. From 1977 until 1993 he was the curator of photography at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
Bar-Am was assigned by Beth Hatefutsoth for the projects "Jews in Egypt, Spring '79", "La Nacion - The Spanish and Portuguese Jews in the Caribbean" and "Jewish Sites in Lebanon, Summer '82." His photographs of Soviet immigrants were included in the Beth Hatefutsoth exhibition "Aliya '90".
In 1993 Bar-Am was awarded the Enrique Kalvin Photography Prize by The Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
Alex Levac, Israeli, born 1944
Photographed in Morocco in October 1994 and in May 1995
graduate in psychology and philosophy from Tel Aviv University, Alex Levac also
received a degree in photography from the London College of Printing in 1971.
Levac has been involved in photographic projects in Brazil and London, as well as in stills photography for the film industry in Los Angeles. He became a staff photographer for the daily newspaper Hadashot, and his pictures of the Intifada evoked tremendous public interest. In 1993 he joined the staff of the daily newspaper Ha'aretz.
Levac has participated in a number of exhibitions, among them "Amazon Indians", held at the Anthropology Department, Berkeley, University of California; the Ein Harod Israeli Biennale of Photography; and at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. In 1993 he received the Rita Poretzky Award of Photography from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
Robert Lyons, American, born 1954
Photographed in Syria in May 1994 and April 1995
graduate in photography from Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts, Robert
Lyons received his M.F.A. degree in photography from Yale University, New Haven,
Connecticut. Lyons, who works as a photographer, is also a lecturer and teacher,
and most recently taught at Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver,
Lyons has published a number of photo books, prominent among them being Egyptian Time, Doubleday, 1992, with a story by Naguib Mahfouz, the Egyptian Nobel Prize Laureate. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the ICP New York and The Photographers Gallery in London. His work is included in various permanent collections, among them ICP, Microsoft Company, and the Seattle Art Museum.
Frits Meyst, Dutch, born 1968
Photographed in Iraqi Kurdistan in January 1994
Dutch photographer Frits Meyst is a graduate of the Middle Technical School for
Photography and the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague.
Since 1990 he has been a news photographer, participating in photographic missions in some of the world's trouble spots, such as northern Iraq, Slovenia, Croatia, Turkey and Israel.
His work has been published in newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, The Observer and The Sunday Telegraph, in the U.K.; Der Spiegel and Der Zeit in Germany; Liberation and Agence Vu in France, and newspapers in Holland, Denmark and other European countries. Meyst won the Silver Camera Award '91 for best press photo of the year, and an honorable mention from the World Press Photo '92.
Zion Ozeri, Israeli, lives in the USA, born 1951
Photographed in Yemen in August 1992 and September 1993
Born in Israel to a Yemenite family, Zion Ozeri is presently living in New York,
where he graduated from F.I.T., and, in 1980, from the Pratt Institute
Ozeri concentrates on photojournalism, commercial photography and projects involving Jewish communities around the world.
He has participated in three photographic exhibitions: "Yemenite Jews in Israel", "Jews of Tunisia", and "Immigration from Ethiopia". His photo books are: Yemenite Jews - A Photographic Essay, which was published by Random House, New York, in 1985, and Operation Exodus, on the Soviet Union and Ethiopian emigration, which was published in 1995.
Shlomo Taitz, Israeli, born in South Africa in
Photographed in Egypt in January 1994
South African who immigrated to Israel in 1976, Shlomo Taitz is a graduate of
the Photography Department of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem,
where he received the Samuels Award.
In 1988 he was granted the Max and Margot Schwarz scholarship to photo-document Jewish life in Amsterdam. The results of this photo journey were displayed in an exhibition at Beth Hatefutsoth in 1989.
In 1992 Taitz was granted a scholarship from the French Cultural Attaché in Israel and the Camera Obscura School of Art, Tel Aviv, to photograph children in southern France. His work was exhibited in Camera Obscura in 1993. Today Taitz is mainly involved in artistic photography.