Flamboyan Ketubah


This ketubah was created for a couple who love to surf.  The ketubah includes images of the boardwalk in their home town, Asbury Park, New Jersey.  There are flamboyan trees, representing the groom’s childhood home in Puerto Rico.  A stylized skyline of Chicago, the bride’s home town, is in the upper left corner.  Overall, the ketubah represents the couple’s vitality, dynamism and love of their families and hopes for the future.


Purple Passover


Golden Memories of 2015

“Make new friends, but keep the old,

One is silver and the other gold.”

My friend, Mark, had a gold mine.  As a parting gift, he handed me a large hunk of rock, laced with the unmistakable gleam of gold ore.  Until I saw that rock, I never understood gold fever.  The gold gleamed, so pure and sparkling:  a treasure from the earth, just waiting to be found.

Mark was on his way out with terminal cancer, we had come to say goodbye. In giving me the rock, Mark acknowledged what we often hear, that “you can’t take it with you.”  The gold was his magnificent obsession, but his passion was digging for treasure, not the wealth he found.  He never got around to refining most of it.

The sparkle of the gold, sitting on a shelf in my kitchen with crystals and obsidian he had given me over the years, reminds me of Mark’s intellect, his eccentricity, his house nestled in the golden hills around Santa Margarita, California.

I share with you a selection of things golden that dazzled my eyes in 2015.

In Memory of Mark Wolff.


Washington Square Ketubah


Ketubah:  Washington Square Park, Chicago (with Detroit and Chicago skylines), 2015, Judith Joseph

My latest ketubah shows Washington Square Park, the oldest existing small park in Chicago.  It was the most celebrated open air free-speech center in the country. It was also known as “Bughouse Square”, because of the nuttiness of some of the speakers. Young Studs Terkel hung out there, listening to soap-box orators, in the 20’s and 30’s.  When he died, he requested that his ashes be scattered there.

The Spirituality Of Color


The Chicago Jewish News has a nice feature article (p. 1 and p. 2) about The Color of Spirituality, a group exhibit I curated for the Artists’ Beit Midrash class I taught with Jane Shapiro at NSS Beth El.  The exhibit is at Arthur Feldman Gallery in Highland Park through the end of December, 2015.

In Good Company

Juggling Magus

I’m happy to share that I have been accepted into the Midwest Jewish Artists Lab at the Spertus Museum.  A group of 12 artists will study together, share ideas and generate new work, which will be exhibited at the museum.

Celadon Gives Me An Endorphin Rush

I offer some random treasures from today’s visit to the Art Institute of Chicago.  Every visit there can be a new experience.

These objects and images don’t have the crowd-drawing power of:

BUT, they take me down roads in my imagination to storied places.  With their intricate beauty or elegant simplicity, they make my senses hum.  Go to your favorite museum and skip the “regulars”– make it a point to spend time with things you never noticed before.

Glass Half Full

Now on view at The Art Center, Highland Park, through Jan. 31, 2015.

Glass Half Full, egg tempera and gold leaf on panel, 16" x 20", 2014, by Judith Joseph.

Glass Half Full, egg tempera and gold leaf on panel, 16″ x 20″, 2014, by Judith Joseph.

Henna Crown

Buzzfeed feature includes my henna crown for cancer patient Jessie Lugowski, as photographed by Lindsey Furniss and videotaped by Dann Wunderlich!

Henna painting by Judith Joseph, on model Jessie Lugowski.  Photography by Lindsey Furniss.

Henna painting by Judith Joseph, on model Jessie Lugowski. Photography by Lindsey Furniss.

Artists’ Beit Midrash Exhibit Opening Nov. 12

Artist as Kohen:

Transmitting Holiness

Art by participants in Artists’ Beit Midrash

Judith Joseph and Jane Shapiro, co-facilitators

Curated by Judith Joseph

Choshen, by Linda Sonin

Choshen, by Linda Sonin

North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, 1175 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park, Illinois Through January 2015

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 6:45pm
Exhibiting Artists:
Lois Barr ▪ Sam Bernstein ▪ Sylvia Dresser ▪ Nessia Frank ▪ Judith Joseph ▪ Ruti Modlin ▪ Lilach Schrag ▪ Judy Solomon ▪ Linda Carol Sonin
Leah Sosewitz ▪ Sandy Starkman

Join us for a wine & cheese reception and study session with Jane Shapiro.
Reservations are requested to Marcie Eskin at meskin@nssbethel.org or 847/432-8900×234.

To view exhibit at other times, please call NSSBE  847/432-8900 for open hours.