SLC's Jewish Community Center held a reception in their downstairs gallery, covered with Janet Macoska's photos of Jewish rockers from Vanessa Carlton to David Lee Roth on Nov. 2.
The photos are from Macoska's book, Jews Rock! A Celebration of Rock and Roll's Jewish Heritage, which community special events program coordinator, Michelle Oelsner, decided to use for this year's Jewish Arts Festival theme as well.
"I found this art exhibit and based everything around it," Oelsner says. "What's nice is you're educating the community on who's Jewish. Every time we do a festival we're doing this."
Each black and white photo is accompanied by a bio on the artist and his or her Jewish heritage. The biggest surprise to most rock fans has been Paula Abdul, whose description says a lot of fans think she's only half Jewish.
"My favorite is Joey Ramone," Olesner says. "And I also love that she got a photo of a younger Bob Dylan."
Next year's theme is still undecided, but its likely the JCC will take a look at another genre Jews have influenced. On the other side of the hall with the new gallery photos, the JCC has a permanent display on Jewish history in science, literature, choreography and more. Oelsner says she'll have to look at the wall when the time comes for inspiration.
Some highlights from the gallery:
The Jewish Arts Festival opens 7 p.m. on Nov. 13 with a concert by Perry Fine and the Blue Healers. Dancers, artists and more will showcase all day Sunday, Nov. 14.
Writer and rock historian Scott Bernarde will give a talk called Jews and Blues and Rock 'n' Roll: A Musical History Tour and local Rabbi Fred Wenger will present a lecture on death, love and rescue in the wake of the Holocaust as heard through Israeli and American rock stars. Click here for more info.