Saturday, July 5, 2014

Crown Heights - Day 2

This past Tuesday was a very special day in Crown Heights. It was the yahrtzeit for their beloved Rebbe Menachem Schneerson. His . Jews who follow his teachings, members of the Chabad Lubavitch, traveled from all over the world to Brooklyn to be part of the observance of his passing twenty years ago. Not a sad occasion, it was more a celebration of his life and teaching and an opportunity for the children of the community to see videos of him and learn about his spiritual principles.

In strong contrast to the Satmar sect living in Williamsburg, the people were open and welcoming to anyone who wanted to experience the occasion. I had many invitations to put on tfilin. One day I may actually do it. Usually I post only a few photos from each day I visit a neighborhood, but there were so many wonderful opportunities, and I expect to be returning there tomorrow and hopefully will have many more to show. So here's a batch:

Monday, June 30, 2014

Crown Heights/Inspired Eye Magazine

At the bottom of this post is the link for Issue 11 of Inspired Eye Magazine in which I was honored with a featured few of my street photos and an interview. 

Yesterday I explored an area of Brooklyn which I hadn't yet visited - Crown Heights is the world home of the Chabad-Lubavitcher chasidic movement. The synagogue at 770 Eastern Parkway was the seat of Rabbi Menachem Schneerson's ministry. He was a beloved leader and his presence is profound throughout the neighborhood. It is an entirely different community in comparison to the Satmar chasidim who reside in Williamsburg. The Satmars are very closed off and inward directed. Not at all hospitable to outsiders (and photographers trying to work their way in .... ahem). As I walked the streets of Crown Heights the people were friendly, easy to talk with, and quite a few suggested I visit the main synagogue, fondly referred to as 770. I was told that Tuesday of this week was the 20th anniversary of Rebbe Schneerson's passing, his yartzeiht, so I intend to go back tomorrow afternoon for many more photos.

When I went inside 770 I was struck by how many people were there - studying, reading, chatting, eating, davening (praying). I took many pictures, had quite a few conversations, and showed my earlier work from the Lower East Side and Williamsburg which I have on my iPad. So many wonderful pictures there, and more coming tomorrow. Here's a sample of what I've worked on so far:

Here's the link for the magazine: