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To Life: A celebration of Vermont Jewish Women

Last year, I was commissioned by two visionary women, Sandy Gartner and Ann Buffum to make portraits of  20 women who they interviewed  for a project exploring the diversity of  Vermont Jewish culture. The end result is a fabulous book by them, TO LIFE: A Celebration of Vermont Jewish Women, and a show now on exhibit at the Gallery At The Brick Box on Center Street in downtown Rutland.

About 200 people attended the Opening Reception on Sunday, October 11, including many of the extraordinary women who were subjects of this documentary-Gov. Madeleine Kunin, pianist Phyllis Isaacson, potter Susan Leader, physician Diane Rippa, organic farmer Sara Schlosser and 100-year-old June Salander (looking gorgeous, I might add!) and many others.

It was mostly an afternoon of oohs and ahhs, shmoozing, eating and just celebrating the completion of such a vast project. Also, Penina Glazier, Ph.D. of Hampshire College gave an amazing talk about the larger context of American and Jewish history.

So, if you’re interested in seeing this show, the exhibit is up until November 8. From there, I dont know where it will next travel, but I’ll keep you posted.

PS:  Sunday, October 25, at 3 pm, there will also be a poetry reading at the gallery by one of the women, Judith Chalmer of Montpelier, whose work was inspired by her own quest to understand her family’s Holocaust history. She’ll talk about that history and read from her book, Out of History’s Junk Jar: Poems of a Mixed Inheritance.



Potter Susan Leader of Andover:

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Gov. Madeline Kunin, Burlington:


(100-yr-old) June Salander of Rutland:


Antoinette Matlins of S. Woodstock (founder of Shir Shalom Jewish Community Center):


VT State Senator Hinda Miller of Burlington:


Zeesy Raskin of Burlington, wife of Lubovitch Rabbi Yitzchok Raskin:


Organic farmer Sara Schlosser of Wolcott:


Sylvia Willard of Rutland, a founding member of Actors’ Repertory Theater:


Ellen David Friedman of East Montpelier (Activist, labor organizer):
Jewish Teens: Meara Jane Kinne of Ludlow, Marissa Farbman of Killington and Elora Silver of Windsor:
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Dr. Diane Rippa of Essex Junction:
Artist/poet Judith Chalmer of Montpelier:
Rabbi Tobie Weisman of Montpelier:
Concert pianist Phyllis Isaacson of Brattleboro:
Rosalee Harris of St. Johnsbury, devotee of community service:
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz of Montpelier:
Ex school principal Semah Unterman of Belmont:
Daryl Bloom of Montpelier, member of the Sojourner Project, a diverse group of women exploring the different issues of the world through conversation to overcome prejudice:
The reception:
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Ann Buffum, Penina Glazier and Sandy Gartner:
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To see all the photos from both the reception and of the individual subjects, click here.