elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
elisa_rolle
elisa_rolle

Gay Block & Malka Drucker

Malka T. Drucker (born March 14, 1945) is an American rabbi and author living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is openly lesbian, and is the longtime companion of artist Gay Block. "I had been writing books for ten years successfully, but I felt that something was missing for me. I had thought a lot about being a rabbi. In fact, I had this wild passion for it, but I didn't do anything about it until one day when I was sitting on a beach in California with my friend Yaffa Chase and she said to me, "You know, you would make a wonderful rabbi!" I was forty but I needed someone to give me permission. That was February and by July I was in Yerushalayim beginning my studies with HUC. While there I met a rabbi named Barry Block who introduced me to his mother Gay who was a talented photographer. Though I had been married for 19 years, Gay and I fell in love and I left Jerusalem mid-year to reorganize my life. In 1989, I decided to try again for the rabbinate. I thought of private ordination and but people kept mentioning AJR to me. I investigated and liked it immediately. I didn't want to be in a place where nobody knew my name." (http://www.malkadrucker.com/pressajr.html)

Ordained in 1998 from the Academy for Jewish Religion, a transdenominational seminary, Malka Drucker is also the founding rabbi of HaMakom: The Place for Passionate and Progressive Judaism, in Santa Fe.


Malka T. Drucker is a rabbi and author. She is the longtime companion of artist Gay Block. "While in Yerushalayim I met Barry Block who introduced me to his mother Gay who was a talented photographer. Though I had been married for 19 years, Gay and I fell in love and I left Jerusalem mid-year to reorganize my life. In 1989, I decided to try again for the rabbinate." Their work, Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust, has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, in 1992.


©Gay Block. Gay Block, How do you like my new necklace?, 1997/2003. Archival ink jet. (http://www.reframingphotography.com/content/gay-block)
"In 1982 I had my first solo museum show in Houston. As I walked into the gallery Mother ran up to me. I expected her to say she liked my new pictures but instead she said, "How do you like my new necklace?" This became my favorite narcissistic-mother story.
Twelve years have passed. Mother has been dead for three years and I have all her jewelry. This piece stands out, different from all the rest. No diamonds - no stones at all. Recalling the last time I saw this necklace, I imagine the untold story:
You bought it especially for my opening, in my honor. You thought I would prefer it because it was designed by an artist, Agam. Right? Why couldn't you tell me you did it for me? Or why couldn't I know it without your telling me? Why do you have to be dead before I begin to forgive you?



©2014 Gay Block. Mother and Daughter, Esther and Joan, 1978

Malka Drucker is the author of 20 books including the award winning Frida Kahlo, Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust, Grandma's Latkes and The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays. Her highly acclaimed Jewish Holiday Series won the Southern California Council on Literature for Children Prize series. Eliezer Ben Yehuda: Father of Modern Hebrew won the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) Janusz Korczak Literary Competition and her biography of Frida Kahlo was chosen as an American Booksellers Association "Pick of the Lists." Malka Drucker's collaboration with photographer Gay Block,White Fire: A Portrait of Women Spiritual Leaders in America, received the 2005 Southwest PEN award for non fiction. Her book Portraits of Jewish American Heroes was published August 2008. In 2009 the collection of essays Women and Judaism, edited by Malka Drucker, was published.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malka_Drucker

Gay Block (born 1942) is a fine art portrait photographer, who was born in Houston, Texas.

In 1973 she began photographing her own affluent Jewish community in Houston. She later photographed an older Jewish Community of retirees in South Miami Beach, many of whom were Holocaust survivors. Block also photographed girls at summer camp. In 2006, Block re-photographed women who were the girls in her 1981 series from Camp Pinecliffe, twenty-five years earlier. Her noted work with her life partner Malka Drucker, Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust, both a book and traveling exhibit, has been seen in over fifty venues in the US and abroad, including the Museum of Modern Art, NY, in 1992.

In 2003, Block's 30-year series of portraits of her mother, in photographs, video, and words, Bertha Alyce: Mother exPosed, was published by University of New Mexico Press and continues as a traveling exhibit. The book, Bertha Alyce, was cited as one of "Twelve Great Books Published During The Year 2003" by the editors of RALPH (The Review of Arts, Literature, Politics, and the Humanities). Her video of the material, "Bertha Alyce", was awarded People's Choice and Best Documentary by the Madrid International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Spain.

Also published in 2003, by Skylight Paths, is another collaboration with Drucker, White Fire: A Portrait of Women Spiritual Leaders in America, which won the 2005 Southwest PEN award for non-fiction. Gay Block's photographs are included in museums and private collections including Museum of Modern Art New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, New Mexico Museum of Art, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_Block

Further Readings:

Gay Block: About Love: Photographs and Films 1973-2011 by Anne Wilkes Tucker and Gay Block
Hardcover: 312 pages
Publisher: Radius Books; Har/Com edition (September 30, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934435325
ISBN-13: 978-1934435328
Amazon: Gay Block: About Love: Photographs and Films 1973-2011

Gay Block (born 1942) began photographing her own affluent Jewish community in Houston in 1973. She expanded this study to include Jewish senior citizens in south Miami Beach, focusing with affection on the "bubbies" or grandmothers that (she attests) she wished she herself had had as a child. Later, Block's landmark work, Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust, made in collaboration with writer Malka Drucker, explored the lives of non-Jewish Europeans who risked their lives to hide Jews from the Nazis. This series was exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art in 1992, and has been exhibited internationally. In 2003, Block's 30-year series of photo-, video- and written portraits of her mother, Bertha Alyce: Mother exPosed, was published to great acclaim and was cited as one of "Twelve Great Books Published During the Year 2003" by The Review of Arts, Literature, Politics and the Humanities. Here, for the first time, About Love surveys more than 30 years of Block's intimate and moving portraits. She explains the title thus: "Through photography, I have learned about love. I hadn't learned about it at home or in school... I couldn't have learned about love without photography, and I'm still learning." Organized chronologically, and published in an oversize format that is designed to evoke the idea of a family album, the book offers a thorough overview of the artist's approach to portraiture.

More Artists at my website:
www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art

More Real Life Romances at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance


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Tags: art, days of love tb
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