Sunday, 15 November 2009

KOSHERFACE exhibition

I know that I've already spoken to you about my talented friend Fred. The brilliant yet humble Fred, who is living out his dream of being a photographer. He could have done anything, but he taught himself photography whilst he was studying Japanese at Oxford, and today he is a successful photographer, having taken portraits of varied people - from models for Vogue to politicians like Bill Clinton. Extraordinary. Fred is just one of those people who makes things happen.

I know also that I have spoken to you about Chabad, the orthodox Jewish movement, but permit me to speak about it again. It is a chassidic group that is very outreach oriented. It sends emissaries to open 'Chabad Houses' all over the world - Jewish cultural centres, homes away from home for any Jewish passer by. These emissaries give up life as they knew it in Brooklyn or some other Jewish neighbourhood to take up residence in far flung places like Bangkok, where there is no kosher food, where they have no friends and no Jewish amenities. They build synagogues and mikvaot. They build a community, often from scratch. They open their homes to students and travellers 24/7, giving up on their private lives - they are as selfless as can be. They do all of this with an unwavering joie de vivre, because they have a purpose. I've honestly never seen anything like it.

Fred is not orthodox. But he is open minded enough to have decided to live with wonderful Rabbi Eli in Oxford, his wonderful wife, Freidy and their gorgeous (and expanding, b'h) brood of children. He developed such an appreciation for the orthodox movement despite holding many different personal views that he embarked on a project to capture their energy through photography and gain exposure for them.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the opening night of his exhibition, KOSHERFACE, in London. I loved the life and energy that his photos evoke. His portraiture literally sings - he brings his subject to life so that you almost feel he or she will start talking to you. Most significantly he brought out the immense warmth and openness of the Chabad movement.

So proud of you Fred! xxxx

If you want to check out Fred's website - and you should - it is at

Me, Musia, Chanale, Freidy, Rabbi Eli, Fred, friend of Fred's

Sheer beauty

Look at the warmth and intelligence, the willingness to challenge his audience and nurture their thought. You look at the picture and you've almost met the man (Rabbi Lau)

Rabbi Eli in front of a photo of himself!


Nadia said...

What an interesting exhibit! Those pictures are amazing! Sounds like such a fun night!