April 29 - May 25, 2017
Historically Jewish women were restricted in their participation of religious services. A new paradigm of synagogue ritual has emerged from including women in limited roles to full gender-equal participation. Women speak of their awakening to the power of prayer and to their deepest longings to serve their community as emissaries and conduits of prayer. These photos capture this sense of enormous pride and great joy in their accomplishments, and their love of Jewish ritual practice. Women of the Bimah is a participating exhibit of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival.
About the Artist
Born and raised in Toronto, Helfand began photographing street life in downtown Toronto as social documentary and portraiture of urban life in the late 1960’s. Self-taught in both analog and digital techniques, he has attended photographic workshops at The Maine Photographic Workshop, a printing workshop with Freeman Patterson, and his most memorable encounter was an evening of drinking whiskey Robert Frank in Cape Breton.
His first exhibition in 1976 was at the White Water Gallery in North Bay, Ontario. The exhibition “Art on the Street” was shown at the Aroma Expresso Bar in Toronto in 2013. The exhibition “The Marriage Bureau”, on display during the 2013 Scotiabank Contact Photography, was cited by Now Magazine as a “must see” show. In 2016 he exhibited “Powassan, Back to the Land 1970’s” at the Deer Park Library which chronicled the Back to the Land movement in Northern Ontario. During the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival of 2016 he exhibited in the group show Three Generations at Gallery Hui.
Victor Helfand is currently a member of Gallery 44 in Toronto.