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Art is an integral part of the Hebrew Home. Over 5,000 works of art are installed throughout the residential neighborhoods and public spaces for the enjoyment of residents, visitors and staff. The Derfner Judaica Museum maintains a collection of approximately 1,400 objects used in traditional Jewish ceremonies and rituals as well as Jewish Art.

Derfner Judaica Museum

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Derfner Judaica Museum
Sunday-Thursday 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Located in the Jacob Reingold Pavilion


Archie Rand: Psalm 68
September 21, 2014—January 4, 2015
Reception + Artist’s Talk: Sunday, Sept. 21, 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the Derfner Judaica Museum, located on the main floor of the Jacob Reingold Pavilion at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale
R.S.V.P. art@hebrewhome.org or 718.581.1596

Archie Rand,
Psalm 68:26 (from the series Psalm 68), 1994,
acrylic on canvas, 12 x 16 inches.,
Courtesy of the artist.

The Derfner Judaica Museum is pleased to announce its latest exhibition, Archie Rand: Psalm 68. A reception and artist’s talk will take place on Sunday, Sept. 21, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the Derfner Judaica Museum, located on the main floor of the Jacob Reingold Pavilion at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, 5901 Palisade Avenue in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx. This event is free and open to the public. R.S.V.P. (718) 581-1596 or art@hebrewhome.org. The exhibition will remain on view through January 4, 2015.

A Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, Archie Rand (b. 1949), the Presidential Professor of Art at Brooklyn College, has had more than 100 individual exhibitions. In the series Psalm 68 (1994), he uses abstract iconography to explore one of the oldest extant Hebrew poems and its compelling, if elusive, narrative.

The powerful emotions of Psalm 68—whether in the service of extolling the prowess of the military in battle or the rejoicing in gladness of peacetime—find a proper receptacle in Rand’s paintings. The intense color and black amorphous shapes in some of the canvases echo Surrealist automatic writing; still others feature tantalizing forms that suggest a wide range of images gleaned from an array of sources, including architecture and comic books. Natural, manmade and supernatural elements can also be discerned. Rand’s 36 exuberant 12x16-inch acrylic paintings, some with marker or hand-mixed with resins and acids, provide an impassioned foray into ancient perils–both awesome and delightful.

Rand was born in Brooklyn and graduated high school at the age of 15. He attended the City College of New York and also studied at the Art Students League and Pratt Institute. He was first included in a group show at Tibor de Nagy Gallery in 1966, and went on to have a solo exhibition there in 1972.

A frequent collaborator with artists and poets, Rand has partnered with John Ashbery, Clark Coolidge, Robert Creeley, Kenneth Koch, David Plante and John Yau. His work has explored subjects as diverse as jazz, the Bible, and Jewish history. In 1974, he completed murals for the 13,000-square-foot interior of B'nai Yosef Synagogue in Brooklyn, a monumental three-year project. Rand has administered and taught at numerous graduate art programs and appeared in major art journals and newspapers for over four decades.

As a member of the American Alliance of Museums, The Hebrew Home at Riverdale is committed to publicly exhibiting its art collection throughout its 32-acre campus including the Derfner Judaica Museum and a sculpture garden overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. The Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection provide educational and cultural programming for residents of the Hebrew Home, their families and the general public from throughout New York City, its surrounding suburbs and visitors from elsewhere. The Home is a nonprofit, non-sectarian geriatric organization serving more than 11,000 elderly persons in greater New York through its resources and community service programs. Museum hours: Sunday – Thursday, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Art Collection and grounds open daily, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Call 718 581-1596 for holiday hours and to schedule group tours, or for further information please visit our website at hebrewhome.org/art

This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


Tradition and Remembrance: Treasures of the Derfner Judaica Museum

Hanukkah Lamp
Bezalel School
Jerusalem, ca. 1920-29
Copper alloy: cast, pierced; copper: stamped
Ralph and Leuba Baum Collection

Kiddush Cup
Bezalel School
Jerusalem, ca. 1910
Silver: filigree, engraved
Ralph and Leuba Baum Collection


Hanukkah Lamp
Frankfurt-am-Main, ca. 1750-60
Silver: repoussé, chased, traced, punched, pierced, cast
Ralph and Leuba Baum Collection

Shabbat/Festival Lamp
Andreas Schneider (German, active 18th century)
Augsburg, 1765
Silver: cast, engraved
Ralph and Leuba Baum Collection


Scroll of Esther Case
Izmir, Turkey, 19th century
Silver: Filigree; parcel-gilt
Ralph and Leuba Baum Collection

Torah Case (Tik)
Kashan, Persia, before 1950
Wood: painted; fabric


New York, late 19th century
Wood: carved, painted, gold leaf
The Hebrew Home at Riverdale Archive

Zygmunt Menkes (American, b. Poland, 1896-1986), Cohanim Blessing, ca. 1940s
Oil on canvas, Gift of Erica and Ludwig Jesselson and Family in Memory of Leo Forchheimer


The Derfner Judaica Museum occupies a 5,000-square-foot exhibition space in the Jacob Reingold Pavilion at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale. It is the focal point for a wide range of educational and exhibition programming for residents and visitors alike. Completion of the Museum was funded in part by a furnishings grant received from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. With approximately 250 objects, the inaugural exhibition, Tradition and Remembrance: Treasures of the Derfner Judaica Museum, explores the intersections of Jewish history and memory. The stories of objects used in traditional Jewish practice are interpreted in light of the role of memory in shaping both individual and communal identities. Among the featured objects in the exhibition are a silver filigree vase, ca. 1911, and an early copper alloy Hanukkah lamp, both from the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts founded in Jerusalem in 1906. Other objects come from near and far, including a set of 18th-century German Torah implements, a handsomely illuminated 19th-century Italian marriage contract and a 2nd-4th century lamella amulet.

The Judaica Museum was founded in 1982 when Riverdale residents Ralph and Leuba Baum donated their collection of Jewish ceremonial art to the Home. A refugee from Nazi persecution, Ralph Baum, and his wife, Leuba, had an intense desire to preserve and pass on to future generations the memory embodied in the objects they collected, the majority of which were used primarily by European Jews before the Holocaust. In 2008 the Judaica Museum was named in honor of its benefactors, the late Helen and Harold Derfner.