Orly Morgenstern

2020 - Ongoing

Mexico City, Mexico; Poland; Israel

This photo-project intends to play along with the unlived memories of a past, my supposed heritage, ancestors and the perennial question of the meaning of the jewish existence within the environment of a jewish Mexican woman: myself.

I remember the first time I ever questioned my judaism. I was probably 6 or 7 years old. Me and my parents were on our way to grandma’s house for a Rosh Hashanah dinner or some other ritual dinner. I was so short, so young. Could barely look at my reflection on the mirror covering one of the elevator’s walls. A weird question came to mind: who decided that I’m jewish? No answer. I didn’t even verbalize the question, I left it there to live in my mind, to plant its roots on a tremendous wait for a day in which I could finally answer my little 6 year old self about her judaism.

Years have passed and I’ve finished all my obligated jewish education, from kindergarten to high school. Even though I graduated with honors I cannot say anything about the true meaning of judaism, I’m not even sure that anybody can.

Photo albums, prayer and ritual books are the doors to my heritage, writers of my past in whom I most trust; no one else knows, nothing else does. “The Jewish people” are united by ancient and modern history, events such as the Holocaust are carried by us even if we were not even the ones who survived it but the children of the children of those who did.

Forever marked by the word "Jude" I carry my judaism hoping to figure it out someday.

{{ readMoreButton }}

  • All.

  • Keter: "crown" in Hebrew - kabbalistic symbol.

  • Photo composition of my greatgrandfather's death certificate validating he died in Warsaw during the Ghetto and Holocaust times, his portrait; a self portrait and the first page of the Torah.

  • Playground at the edge of the border of the
    Krakow ghetto

  • "Construction hazard" (Polish)

  • Fingers of fire - candle lights

  • Mom and I

  • Tefilin

  • Woman

  • Majdanek

  • No tefila

  • I was 3 or maybe 4 years old when she died. I pictured a beam of light coming from the sky vanishing her from her wooden floor apartment. That was how I pictured death.

  • Self portrait

  • "Family"