July 22, 2024
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July 22, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The Jewish Center of Teaneck, 70 Sterling Place, is proud to present an exhibit of Jewish needlework pieces created by its late member, Betty Samuels. The community is invited to join the Center at a Shabbat kiddush on September 16, at approximately 11:30 a.m., at which the official opening of the exhibit will take place.

Betty Samuels had a unique imagination and golden hands. She used both in the needlework that she created as an expression of her love for Judaism. As she wrote many years ago, “As far back as I can remember, my life has been enriched by two pleasures: needlework was one and listening to Jewish inspirational music was the other.” She made many sweaters, afghans and tablecloths, but “there was a distinct separation between my hands, my mind and my heart. Eight years ago a merger took place. For the first time my ears that heard Jewishly, my eyes that saw Jewishly and my mind that thought Jewishly fused together to cause the work of my hands to become Jewish. Needlework, for me, had become a religious experience.”

Betty both designed and executed her original pieces: wall hangings, challah and matzah covers, a chuppah, tallitot and much more. One of her outstanding Jewish needlework creations was a set of mantles for each of the Five Megillot, the biblical books that are read in the synagogue on Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, Tisha B’Av and Sukkot. These she gifted to the Center, which placed them on permanent display in its lobby. Betty’s knowledge of the Hebrew language and Jewish text is evident in all of her work.

Her pieces were exhibited in many places. In New York City they were shown in the Jewish Museum, Yeshiva University Museum and Temple Emanuel on Fifth Avenue. They were also displayed in the Hechal Shlomo Synagogue in Jerusalem. She regularly participated in Judaic art festivals and lectured extensively on the subject of Jewish needlework.

The exhibit can be viewed from Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To enter the building use the ramp entrance on Sterling Place and ring the buzzer for the Center office. On holidays and Shabbat the exhibit can be seen during the hours that the Center is open. Use the ramp entrance then as well.

For questions or more information please call the Center at 201-833-0515.

By Ahrona Ohring

 

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