Nzinga Koné-Miller and Michael Miller with children Noa (left) and Asa (Photo/Lydia Daniller)
Nzinga Koné-Miller and Michael Miller with children Noa (left) and Asa (Photo/Lydia Daniller)

These photos of local Jews will smash your stereotypes

A photo essay that pushes back on stereotypes of Bay Area Jews is on exhibit at the Osher Marin JCC.

“This is Bay Area Jewry” features 16 photographs taken by Lydia Daniller and profiles penned by Robert Nagler Miller. The multimedia presentation includes people and families from a range of backgrounds and religious observance from across the region.

Debbie Rosenfeld-Caparaz of Lehrhaus Judaica and Dawn Kepler, director of Lehrhaus Judaica’s Building Jewish Bridges program, developed the concept in 2016. The exhibition was originally presented last year at Temple Sinai in Oakland.

Defying Ashkenazi-focused stereotypes and reminding the community that many Jews don’t fit that narrow conception is the exhibition’s goal. One person featured in the exhibit is Emmett Koehler, who grew up in an Indiana Catholic household. He converted to Judaism in 2015 because it better fit his belief system.

Kim Carter Martinez, the daughter of a white Jewish mother an African-American father who converted to Judaism, said her authenticity as a Jew is often challenged because of the color of her skin.

The opening reception is from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 13. Kepler will lead a panel discussion with three of the subjects featured in the exhibit.

“This is Bay Area Jewry” will be on exhibit through Aug. 31 at the Osher Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. For more information, see tinyurl.com/jewryphotos.

max cherney
Max A. Cherney

Max A. Cherney is a former J. staff writer. He can be reached at max@jweekly.com.