Sunday, April 19, 2009

(Candle)sticks on Stone -- Introducing My New Web Site

As I reported earlier, I have been awarded the first Michael Hammer Tribute Research Grant by the Hadassah Brandeis Institute for a project called “(Candle)sticks on Stone: Representing the Woman in Jewish Tombstone Art”.

Each year the HBI awards 20 to 30 grants to support academic and artistic projects about Jews and gender. My project was selected by the HBI board as "an exceptional research award" to be dedicated to the memory of Michael Hammer, the husband of one of the board members, who died last year.

My project centers around the richly decorated tombstones of women in the Jewish cemetery in Radauti, Romania, where my own great-grandmother, Ettel Gruber, is buried. Many of these stones bear sometimes very elaborate depictions of candlesticks, and of women's hands blessing the flames.

As part of the project, I have set up a combined web site/blog on which I will post photo galleries and text related to my subject and also post blog entries chronicling my reflections and insights as I progress. There is also room for comment from visitors.

Please visit the site at

The site is in a continuing state of evolution and development -- so I hope you'll keep coming back!

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