Themes of God, Humanity and Freedom

April 9 – 25, 2008

Illuminated and authored by Rabbi Matthew L. Berkowitz, an accomplished artist and sofer (scribe), Illuminations on the Exodus brings the experience of the Exodus to a deeper and more meaningful level through its three components: a portfolio of twenty-seven giclée prints (including three papercuts), a Haggadah, and a book of commentary, all produced entirely in Israel.

Rabbi Berkowitz, who is Senior Rabbinic Fellow at The Jewish Theological Seminary, was formally trained in Jewish scribal art in Jerusalem and has completed the writing of Megillat Esther (the scroll of Esther read during the Jewish festival of Purim) and the illumination of several ketubbot (wedding contracts). His philosophy, painting as visual prayer that mirrors the humanistic and constructive core of the religious experience, is driven by his passion to use visual arts as a midwife that delivers text into the hands of a receptive audience.

According to gallery owner James Trezza, “"I was touched by the beauty and sincerity of the work. Matt tackles religion's major themes - that of the nature of God, the nature of Man, and their relationship to the natural world. While I am not Jewish, these are questions that I ask also. I have never found a satisfactory answer, but I appreciate the enquiry. Matt's work dwells on these so deeply that any thinking human would find something in the work.As an art dealer, I cannot fail to appreciate the artistry and cohesiveness of the portfolio. By creating something so lovely, Matt has drawn together the universal themes of freedom and redemption with the power of beauty. It is timeless art, sophisticated, beyond the mere trendy, absolutely classic."