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Museum of Fine Arts Boston opens new Judaica gallery; Prof. Lori Lefkovitz on Advisory Board

The Museum of Fine Arts, located adjacent to Northeastern’s Boston campus, recently opened its first gallery devoted solely to Judaica (although Judaica objects are integrated throughout the MFA’s many galleries). The project was led by Charles and Lynn Schusterman Curator of Judaica Simona Di Nepi; Northeastern University Director of Jewish Studies Professor Lori Lefkovitz participated on the 14-person “Council of Voices” advisory board, which helped articulate the vision for the new gallery, called “Intentional Beauty,” an allusion to the Jewish concept of hiddur mitzvot (beautifying commandments). With a few carefully chosen objects, the gallery conveys something of the breadth and scope of Jewish life across time and geography as expressed in ritual objects and other art. Jewish immigrant life in Boston is represented, as is the contemporary flowering of artistic interpretations of ritual objects, placed alongside centuries-old decorative pieces.

“It was a privilege to contribute to conversations with colleagues from diverse fields and backgrounds as we thought together about how best to represent the fullness of Jewish life through art in a way that would be relevant and meaningful to people from all religious and cultural backgrounds,” Lefkovitz said. “Simona Di Nepi is a passionate and talented curator, whose commitment to making the gallery a reality is inspiring. Our students have already benefited from tours that she graciously gave our Jewish Studies classes,” Lefkovitz added.

Northeastern faculty, staff, and students can visit the exhibit, free with the presentation of an NU id, in a gallery just above the courtyard cafeteria in the Americas wing.

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