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"In Search of Human Grace" Exhibition Opens

28.03.2012

Waiting for the Teacher, Katya Gutkova, a Jewish teenager in the classroom in Rustavi. Photographer: Tali IdanPhoto Exhibition In Search of Human Grace puts Georgia's Jewish Community in the spotlight


The new exhibition, In Search of Human Grace: A Photo Journey to the Jewish Community of Georgia, Summer 2011, produced in collaboration with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (The Joint), the Jewish Funders Network and the Jdocu Group opened at Beit Hatfutsot on March 20th, 2012.  The exhibition tells the heart-wrenching story of what was left of the Jewish community in Georgia following the major exodus of the 1980s and the 1990s when most of the Jews left their homes and immigrated to Israel or to other places around the world. This exhibition is also the tale of a group of Israelis who set out on a journey in search of their Jewish roots to tell the story of moments of grace and concern for the Jewish People’s most remote communities.  In Search of Human Grace is curated by Eli Atias.

 

With a sensitive and inquisitive eye, the exhibition explores how the Georgian Jewish community underwent a transformation from being a thriving and flourishing community in the past to becoming a group of small communities that no longer functioned. The Jewish community in Georgia was left with nothing and was on the verge of a severe humanitarian crisis.  The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee entered the scene by creating Hesed Welfare Centers. Today, 165,000 people throughout the Former Soviet Union receive assistance through these Hesed Centers.


The photographs in this exhibition capture moments of Grace and Hope.  In Search of Human Grace is the first project of Jdocu – a group of amateur photographers who set out on a mission to document Jewish communities around the world and create a new kind of philanthropy. Those who visit the exhibition or view the photographs on line at www.jdocu.com are invited to make a donation in support of the community. As a token of their appreciation, the photographers will in turn provide donors with photographs from the exhibition.


Benny Levin, the head of the Jdocu group, is a leading executive in the hi-tech world, the vice-chairman of the Israel Venture Network (IVN), and a member of the Jewish Funders Network (JFN).


Eli Atias, the Jdocu professional guide, is a well-known photographer who specializes in editorial magazine and photojournalism, and the curator of the exhibition.


The exhibition In Search of Human Grace was made possible thanks to the collaboration between Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People and JDC, JFN, and the Jdocu group.