YONTIF

CompanyHome Office
PhotographerEDITE HABERMAN
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

A documentary and editorial study of the orthodox Jewish communities of Brooklyn during the week before the New Year celebrations of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The importance of family and tradition. The sense of community. The ebullient energy that is felt all around as they hurry to get everything prepared and ready for the most important holidays of the year. The word Yontif means Holiday in Yiddish – the language of the Hassidic communities of New York City and the language of the Jews of Eastern Europe before WW2.

Story

A documentary and editorial study of the orthodox Jewish communities of Brooklyn during the week before the New Year celebrations of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It is about the importance of family, friendship, and tradition and their strong sense of religion and community. And the shopping! Everything needs to be just perfect, just right. There is a reason behind every peace of clothing. And there’s a meaning for each type of food, and an order for every detail. The ebullient energy that is felt all around as they hurry to get everything prepared and ready for the most important holidays of the year is so palpable and striking. I walked the streets of Williamsburg, Borough Park and Crown Heights. I spent time with different families and I was able to witness the beautiful moments and the excitement they were feeling as the holidays were getting closer. I celebrated Rosh Hashanah with a beautiful family, a Rabbi, his wife and their many children. I was very thankful that while it is usually hard to photograph the community and specially during these sacred holidays, that I was given access and opportunities to do so. This project is mainly a little window into the lives of the Hassidic Jews of New York City during a special time of the year. The word Yontif means Holiday in Yiddish – the language of the Hassidic communities of New York City and the language of the Jews of Eastern Europe before WW2. As a secular jew myself, I was interested to look at the differences between those communities and mine, and what is important for them as opposed what may be important in the secular judaism I grew up with. While I know I am an outsider and always will be, I was struck by the love and the genuine spirit they all carried throughout that week and I know that each New Year after this experience, I will bring something special with me, something deeper that I learned with this project.

About Photographer

I grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina where I studied architecture at the University of Buenos Aires, and later immigrated to the US where I received a degree in graphic design and marketing communications from UCLA. I went to work for international advertising agencies in Los Angeles, San Francisco as an art director and was involved in major ad campaigns for both print and television for several years. Inspired by photography and cinematography while art directing, I went back to UCLA to study film and simultaneously acquired a degree at the Los Angeles Film School. I wrote, produced and directed short films. Later I went to study photography with some of the world's finest photographers. I have been exhibiting my fine art, documentary, and portrait photography in galleries and juried shows in the US and internationally. I work as a portrait, lifestyle and event photographer for private, and corporate clients. "Photography for me is the culmination of all my experiences in architecture, design, film and art direction. It all comes together and this is where my passion is".