EVERY PROTECTION: Exploring Pregnancy and Childbirth in the Jewish Pale of Settlement

September 27 - October 11, 2011

August 08, 2011

OPENING RECEPTION: Tuesday, September 27, 4-7 pm

Until 1917, most Jews of the Russian Empire were restricted to a region called the Pale of Settlement, where they created their own distinctive folk culture.  In 1914 the writer, socialist revolutionary, and ethnographer, Sh. An-sky, produced a massive Yiddish ethnographic questionnaire to document this culture, including many questions concerning Jewish customs and beliefs connected to pregnancy and childbirth.  In The Jewish Dark Continent: Life and Death in the Russian Pale of Settlement (Harvard University Press), UCSC Professor Nathaniel Deutsch has translated An-sky's questionnaire into English for the first time, placing it within a rich historical context.  Collaborating with Deutsch and inspired by her deep interest in Jewish women's folk traditions, Debra Olin has created illuminating artworks that represent and explore the dangerous, magical, and above all, powerful experience of pregnancy and childbirth in the Pale of Settlement.

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