Dale Lazar’s 43 photographs of Israel’s Samaritan community are on exhibit at the American Jewish Museum at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh through July 24. The photographs tell a story of a small, yet enduring, religious community celebrating their Festival of Unleavened Bread. The exhibit is divided into three sections: the Festival of Unleavened Bread, Faces and Epilogue.
The Israelite Samaritan religion is similar to, but distinct from, Judaism. While today’s Judaism is rabbinic, the Samaritans are biblical, having only one sacred text, the Samaritan Torah (written in a version of ancient Hebrew). The Samaritans are led by a high priest; venerate their Temple Mount, Mt. Gerizim in the West Bank (Samaria); and practice a style of Israelite religion that predates the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem. There are approximately 800 Samaritans in the world today, with half living in Holon, Israel, and half living in the town of Kiryat Luza in the West Bank.
page/ajm for more information on the exhibit and the American Jewish Museum.