The Authenticity and Identity exhibition, curated by Ori Z. Soltes, was produced by Adas Israel Congregation in partnership with exhibition director Robert Bettmann, and through support from the Jewish Artists of the National Capital Region, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and Georgetown University’s Center for the Study of Jewish Civilization and Culture. 

The exhibition includes more than seventy artworks selected from several hundred submitted for consideration between January and April 2020. The live exhibition was delayed because of the public health pandemic. Approximately half the selected artist live in the national capital region, with the remainder from around the globe, including metropolitan centers in the United States, Europe, and Israel. 

View a list of included artists, with links to view their works in the online exhibition, on the “Artists” page. 

Click to view the Artists page Click to view press coverage of the exhibition

Exhibition Production

Curator Ori Z. Soltes

Ori Z Soltes is a pre-eminent scholar of Jewish art, culture, and history. He is the former Director the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum. As co-founding Director of the Holocaust Art Restitution Project he has spent twenty years focused on the issue of Nazi-plundered art. Soltes has authored or edited 25 books and scores of articles and exhibition catalogue essays. Recent volumes include Our Sacred Signs: How Jewish, Christian and Muslim Art Draw from the Same Source; The Ashen Rainbow: Essays on the Arts and the Holocaust; Mysticism in Judaism. Christianity and Islam: Searching for Oneness; and Tradition and Transformation: Three Millennia of Jewish art and Architecture.

Robert Bettmann

Robert Bettmann is the exhibition director. He is program manager for the non-profit Day Eight.

Naomi Malka

Naomi Malka is the director of Immersive Experiences for Adas Israel Congregation.

Rabbi Lauren Tuchman

Rabbi Lauren Tuchman is a production consultant to the exhibition for inclusion.

The Exhibition Committee

In preparing for development of the exhibition a committee of Adas congregation members and community members was central offering ideas and feedback – from the call for submissions, to the execution of connected events. Those committee members individually and collectively contributed significantly to the exhibition, and they are: Susan Rosenbaum Abramowitz, Barbara Gelman, Jennifer Gibson, Susan Freiband, Anna Fine Foer, Susan Dorfman, Steven Kleinrock, Heddy Abramowitz, Peter Sprung, Rachel Kanter, Rabbi Lauren Tuchman, Ori Z Soltes, Robert Bettmann, andNaomi Malka.

Adas Israel Congregation

Located in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C., For almost 150 years, Adas Israel Congregation has been a flagship synagogue in American Jewish life. We care about having meaningfully Jewish experiences and work together to ensure each of us has multiple entry points to those moments. We also care about the wider world and appreciate how our location in Washington provides unique pathways for social impact. At Adas Israel Congregation, we draw from the wisdom of the Torah for insight and strength in all that we do.

Georgetown University

The Center for Jewish Civilization (CJC) is an interdisciplinary teaching and research unit in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. The CJC specializes in subjects ranging from American Middle Eastern foreign policy as it pertains to Israel, to Holocaust and genocide studies, to Jewish-Catholic relations, to Jewish literature, music, culture, and religious expression. Judaism is examined as a religion and as a civilization in dynamic dialogue with other peoples and polities.

Hakhel / Jewish Artists National Capital Region

Founded in 2014, Hakhel is the first and largest global incubator for Jewish intentional communities. Hakhel operates in partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, which works to strengthen Jewish life in the Diaspora and connection to Israel. The Jewish Artists of the National Capital Region, a Hakhel community since 2019, are a co-supportive group of arts professionals, developed to provide opportunity for shared exploration and growth.

Exhibition Catalogue and Website

The exhibition catalogue and website are produced by the non-profit Day Eight. Day Eight is an arts producer and publisher, developed to contribute to the healing of the world through the arts. To learn more about Day Eight visit