Shows: sensuality and religion in ultra-Orthodox Jewish women

'Daughters of the king' inaugurated Tuesday

27 November, 19:14

    A photo of ultra-orthodox Jewish women A photo of ultra-orthodox Jewish women

    (by Virginia Di Marco) (ANSAmed) - ROME - Ultra-Orthodox Jewish women can be sensual, feminine and even coquettish. There is more to see in a 'yiddish mame', as shown by Federica Valabrega's photos on show from Tuesday through January 15 at the Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery in Rome.
    The small but prestigious art gallery overlooking a square of the old Jewish ghetto on Tuesday night inaugurated the exhibit 'Daughters of the King' dedicated to Hasidic Jewish women portrayed during religious festivities, weddings and everyday life - images in which there is a fine line between earth and spirit.
    'I am a Jewish woman born to a non-Jewish mother who converted', Valabrega told ANSAmed. 'I live in Brooklyn and meet very religious women every day. I wanted to discover their femininity: what lies behind covering up in long dresses, closing themselves in their own world?' 'Certainly these women are also 'yiddish mame' (a term referring to the traditional idea of an over-protective Jewish mother) but they are first and foremost women. Sensual, full of life and in a certain way women of their time. You see them as they walk down the street with their heads down and get a certain idea; then you walk into their homes, you see how they dress and understand you can't close them inside a cliche'.
    The photographs were taken in five different countries: United States, France, Israel, Tunisia and Morocco. Some girls and women were willing to have their picture taken while others were shy.
    'Usually ultra-Orthodox women are not easy to photograph.
    This in part depends on the community they belong to: there are the Lubavich, the Chabad who are more open; the Satmar, who are more difficult; the Dati Leumi, Israeli religious Zionists and so on. Ultra-Orthodox Judaism is not monolithic'.
    And the photographer said she convinced the shiest women to have their pictures taken by talking to them 'woman-to-woman'.(ANSAmed)

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