Jewish Lens - Beit Hatfutsot Photo Competition
The International School for Jewish Peoplehood Studies (ISJPS) is dedicated to education that cultivates an informed and active sense of belonging to the Jewish people. To further this vision, ISJPS has partnered with popular international photographer, Zion Ozeri, renowned for photographing the Jewish people and Jewish themes. Together, we have initiated the Jewish Lens @ Beit Hatfutsot Photo Competition.
Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People is proud to introduce, for the first time, an international competition that targets worldwide Jewish 15-18 year old teens. They are invited to submit a photograph with an accompanying text that captures the theme of “my connection to the Jewish people”. A designated committee in Israel, directed by Mr. Zion Ozeri, will select the outstanding works. The finalists will win prizes on behalf of the institutions they represent.
- Strengthen Jewish youth’s sense of belonging, commitment and identification with the Jewish people – in Israel and worldwide.
- Engage participants via the pillars of Jewish Peoplehood – highlighting common denominators that foster a meaningful connection to the Jewish People.
- Inspire a dialogue and bond between Jewish teens from Israel and worldwide Jewish communities
The competition has four segments: registration, educational activity, local photo exhibit and international photo competition.
- Free Registration
Institutions interested in participating in the competition register on the Beit Hatfutsot website. Registration for the competition includes submitting details of the participating institution, the number of participants, and the contact person facilitating the program.
After the registration form is submitted, the Beit Hatfutsot staff contacts the registered representative to assign a password for Internet access to the program’s webpage for lesson plans, examples of photos, and additional educational materials.
In order to register, please click on this link.
- Educational Program
As part of the educational process, participants in the competition engage in three activities created especially for the Jewish Lens: (1) reviewing the art of photography; (2) observing and analyzing peers’ photographs; and (3) exploring a rich photography collection capturing the Jewish world. Each activity concludes with a photography assignment that serves as a trigger for the subsequent session.
The above activities are based on lessons from the Jewish Lens course developed by renowned photographer Zion Ozeri and the Center for Educational Technology in Israel. The activities are posted on the Beit Hatfutsot website and can be accessed after completing the registration process. Materials include an activity plan for the facilitator, various educational resources, photos, texts, study sheets and more. The facilitator prints the materials for the participants during the educational sessions.
Important – Conducting these activities is an essential and integral part of the competition!
Suggested Photography Equipment: Participants can either use a digital camera or smart phones.
Local Photo Exhibit
The high point for the community is the photo exhibition organized by each institution, to display the teen photographers’ creative works registered for the global Jewish Lens @ Beit Hatfutsot Photo Competition.
The last assignment in the educational segment is creating a photograph inspired by the theme “My Connection to the Jewish People”. Each photo is accompanied by a “Photographer’s Note” —a short text of up to 50 words with the photographer’s details, plus, meaningful insights about the photo and its Jewish connection. Examples of photos and photographers’ notes are posted on the Beit Hatfutsot website.
Photo dimensions, submitted by participants, must be at least ______. They are printed to a minimum size of 20 cm x 25 cm and affixed to a display board, accompanied by a frame that highlights the photo. The photos will be included in a special exhibition at the institution, displayed in a designated space like a meeting room, the lobby, a “popup” gallery, an open courtyard gallery, or any other selected place.
The exhibition is organized by participating students. The students form a creative team, similar to authentic art exhibits, and take on positions such as: curators, designers, producers, exhibition managers, educational guides, promoters and advertisers.
Note: An additional activity (beyond the three basic activities) entitled “How to Build an Exhibition” is also found on the website.
Launching the community exhibition – The community is invited to the formal opening of the local exhibition during which the young photographers’ works are presented to the public. The photographers mingle with the crowd and discuss their various works. Towards the close of the event, the community (or a judging committee chosen by the school) selects three photos, based on specific guidelines, to represent their institution in the global Jewish Lens @ Beit Hatfutsot Photo Competition.
The selected photos are uploaded to an Instragram account established especially for the competition, with the accompanying ‘Photographer’s Note’. (Original photos are not sent to Beit Hatfutsot).
International photo exhibition
The judging committee, headed by Zion Ozeri, will assess the various photos selected by the institutions and designate the twelve best photos for display at Beit Hatfutsot. The judges also assign first, second and third place winners, which will earn a prize for the institutions the photographers represent.
Criteria for Selecting Winning Photos:
Jewish Peoplehood – The ideas and concepts of the photograph must address at least one of the pillars of Jewish Peoplehood, such as: shared collective memory, Jewish values, multi-faceted connection to Israel, Hebrew or other Jewish languages, Jewish creativity and culture or Jewish faith and lifestyle.
Esthetics – The photograph, like other modes of art, must be esthetic and engage the observer with a curiosity to learn more about the photo.
Creativity – The photo will fulfill the assignment in an original and meaningful way. The mediums and motifs are to be diverse and generate curiosity and feedback.
Photographer’s Note – Strong consideration is given to the level of the photographer’s creative expression and description of the photo so that it evokes a significant response from the observer. The narrative enhances the assignment and adds another rich layer to the work, as well as, reveal the inner world of the photographer.
Zion Ozeri is a world-renowned photographer. In his travels, he has encountered diverse Jewish communities scattered across the world, and through his photographs he brings them together—depicting familiar customs, shared experiences, and a sense of home. His images speak to all who have altered, shaped, and reinvented their traditions, fusing old and new, familiar and unfamiliar to create rich, modern, meaningful ways of life.
Infused with a cross-cultural perspective and a mission to explore the diversity of Jewish life around the world, Ozeri captures the differences between these communities, as well as the many profound similarities that have endured across time and space. His photographs consider the forces that have kept Jews together as a people throughout the millennia and reflect on what binds Jews to their faith and to one another. Ultimately, his work asks viewers to ponder universal questions about what unites all people in their common humanity.
Zion Ozeri graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and Pratt Institute, both in New York City, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. His photographs have been exhibited in many museums and galleries. His work has also been published in numerous books, magazines, and newspapers.