Morning Service @ Beth Shalom | Communities Project

A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to photograph the morning service at Beth Shalom temple in Squirrel Hill.  As part of my “Communities” project, I would like to document as many different Pittsburgh communities as I possibly can.  That being said, I have special interest in the Jewish community.  Having grown up in the Soviet Union, religion has always been a taboo topic at home or at school.  Also, given the ever-present antisemitism, I did not find out that I were Jewish until I was 12.  I’ve been learning more about my heritage and culture in the recent years thanks to my kids, but having an opportunity to observe and document a religious service was a welcome experience.  Many thanks to Rabbi Adelson and the Congregation Beth Shalom community for welcoming me.

Rachel’s Bat Mizvah

Rachel’s Bat Mitzvah was amazing – she is one of the most self-confident and poised girls I have ever met.  A few weeks before her big event I met with Rachel to record a brief sound byte for her Bat Mitzvah video montage – she felt so at ease in front of the camera and spoke with such grace that it was easy to forget that I was talking to a 13-year-old.  I was really honored to photograph Rachel and her family.  Big thanks to Robin Kimberly for helping me capture the party.