Shorts: Art

Former Magnes exhibit opens in New York

An art exhibit that began life at the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley has opened at New York City’s Jewish Museum. “They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust” consists of 80 paintings and drawings by Polish-born artist Mayer Kirshenblatt. The exhibit will remain on view through Oct. 1.

Born in 1916, Kirshenblatt left Poland for Canada in 1934.  Now 92, he first began to paint at 73, painting mostly Apt, the shtetl of his birth. He has painted everything he could remember about the streets, the courtyards, the synagogue and the many characters who lived in the town.

“They Called Me Mayer July” was curated by Alla Efimova, chief curator at the Magnes Museum. Following the New York City showing, the exhibition will travel to Amsterdam’s Joods Historisch Museum later this year and to Warsaw’s Museum of the History of Polish Jews in 2011. For more information, go to

Oakland cantor releases mystical songs CD

Cantor Richard Kaplan of Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland has released a new CD, “The Hidden One,” a collection of Jewish mystical songs.

Intended for use in spiritual practice, the music on the CD includes 18 Hebrew and Yiddish songs that originated in Greece, Turkey, Spain, Eastern Europe and Asia. A 24-page booklet with complete lyrics is included.

Kaplan, who holds a master’s degree in ethnomusicology, has released two previous CDs.

For more information or to purchase a copy of “The Hidden One,” go to